As Secret Linen Store hits double digits, we snuggle up between the sheets with founders Molly and Harriet, coaxing out some bedtime secrets and pillow talk wisdom. They reminisce about the sleepless nights and dreamy moments of growing a business, as well as giving us a glimpse of their big vision for the future. So tuck in, get comfy, and join us for a bedtime story ten years in the making. Sweet dreams guaranteed.
What is currently on your bed?
Harriet: Ssshhh… it’s a secret, but I am trialling a new design for next spring. It’s a simple waffle texture in white but it is literally the lightest, softest duvet cover I have tried, and I love it!
Molly: Jude, our brand new bed linen, mixed with Conker 100% Linen. I have a Little Greene Invisible Green bedroom and this works soooo well. (I secretly designed this especially for me.)
What's your favourite place you've ever visited?
Harriet: Oooh, that’s a tough one. I would say Seville in Spain. My husband and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary there, luckily just before Covid19 hit us. It’s absolutely beautiful: full of stunning architecture, delicious food and orange trees. I would highly recommend a city break there. If you go, you must venture inside the cathedral – it’s so pretty!
Molly: That is so hard to answer. Can I have 2 places please? If I am allowed, I will have:
Anywhere in the Alps in the wintertime. I love being up a mountain in the snow.
Los Enamorados in Ibiza. I went there this summer for lunch and it was one of the coolest, most colourful, uplifting, shopping/lunching/swimming experiences I have ever had. I’m desperate to go back and stay there too. This was the first time I had been to Ibiza and I’m looking forward to exploring it more one day. (If only I were younger!)
What's the worst thing you've ever done?
Harriet: Not followed my gut instinct. I’ve had a few times when I’ve had a strong feeling that a decision wasn’t right and done it anyway. It has never worked out for me. I’m getting better at tuning in to instinct but am still learning.
Molly: Errrrm… nothing. I’m always good.
What's one bed linen set you'd bring back?
Harriet: Black and Natural Linen Stripe. I loved that one. I think it was ahead of its time and I reckon it would be super popular if we bought it back. That or Dotty Dora. I have two sets of that one and I still love it. Can you detect a theme? (I like a bit of monochrome!)
Molly: Has to be Pinecones. I loved this bed linen with its smooth and silky touch and rich colours.
What's your proudest personal and business achievement?
Harriet: Personally, it’s got to be my children. Only two and four when we started the business, they have grown up with the Secret Linen Store and had a mum that wasn’t always able to be present. Although now smelly teenagers, they are both entirely different and equally wonderful.
Professionally, there are many. I’m not always very good at looking back but turning ten has certainly made me stop and reflect a little more. There are many, many achievements but two stick out to me. Receiving our B Corp certification this year was an incredible feeling. Balancing purpose and profit is paramount to Molly and me and this is only the beginning. Secondly, is the team we have built. Each and every person in our business is special, and we have a great culture and camaraderie within our team. I am very proud of them all and we couldn’t do this without them.
Molly: Getting to ten years old. We are very proud of our achievements and all of our fabulous team. It’s been a full up and down ten years, but we are here and going strong. That is a personal and business achievement as they are so intertwined for me.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years' time?
Harriet: Older, wiser, with a little more free time, hopefully.
Molly: See question 2 😊
Tell us about a moment that's stuck out to you - for whatever reason!
Harriet: Gosh there have been so many! I think moving in to our first proper warehouse. We hired a removal truck and a bit of muscle, and we moved all our stock from our first office to a real warehouse. We carried each box on and off the lorry by hand and were delighted that future deliveries didn’t mean carrying each box by hand up a flight of stairs. I was certainly fit back in those days!
Molly: The day that we got the keys to our first warehouse, I drove my car around inside because it felt so big. We soon filled it up, but it was a big step from our first small office.
What is something you wish you knew 10 years ago?
Harriet: That I can do anything, but not everything.
Molly: When you grow a business, it’s like getting a new job every six months. You have to evolve, let go, teach others and learn new skills all of the time.
What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Harriet: It’s ok to make mistakes; that’s how we grow and learn.
Molly: You can do anything, but not everything.
Tell us a secret…
Harriet: I love salad cream and accompany way more meals with it than I should.
Molly: I take my own pillow wherever I go. And if I can’t take a pillow (for example, on a plane) then I take my own pillowcase.
Clean Sheet Friday or Clean Sheet Sunday?
Harriet: Definitely a Sunday. Clean sheets night is always the best sleep of the week and waking up refreshed on a Monday morning sets me up for the week.
Molly: Friday for me.