Meet Lou Harvey – entrepreneur, mother, trend setter…

The Lou Harvey brand has become synonymous with high quality, unique design & vibrant colors and has been selling like hotcakes for over 10 years now.

Now selling around the globe (most recently in the USA), this sophisticated range is the realization of Lou’s desire to balance style and functionality for every woman at any lifestyle juncture: whether you are a new mom in need of a nappy/diaper bag, taking a trip to the beach, headed to the golf course or the gym or even catching a plane, Lou’s creations are designed to support your journey in the most practical and fashionable way.

A mom herself, Lou keeps innovating with cool designs and colours that she loves. We recently caught up with Lou to find out more about this Durban-based entrepreneur…

A stunning wallpaper collection, Lou, well done! Tell us about the inspiration behind the collection and the patterns?

Thank you. The launch of my wallpaper collection is the realisation of a long held dream and comes after much experimentation. It was the ideal opportunity to marry my love of interiors and textile design and is the perfect platform to use my designs on a bigger platform. I have had such fun as I can adjust the scale and colour of my designs to suit a particular space, which adds so much scope to what can be achieved.

Textiles have always been my first love and using pattern and colour to express yourself in your home is really quite liberating. The range offers something for everyone and takes inspiration from a variety of sources – from elements of nature to exotic destinations like Morocco – it gives a nod to current trends (such as design’s fascination with botanicals and the current craze for geometrics), yet maintains a classic, timeless appeal.

I am inspired by so many different things, from images, plants, buildings on my travels, architecture and also our beautiful local landscape. I am also an avid Pinner (I think its actually a superpower haha!)

You studied interior design correct? How did that morph in to your own company and the ranges that you do now?

After studying fashion design and interiors, I began my career designing cushions for Wetherlys and Home Fabrics where I learnt many tricks of the trade. I then saw an opportunity to buy a business that made bags and slowly moulded and developed the business into what I envisioned.

After giving birth to my daughter, Izzy, I noticed there was a huge need for beautiful mummy-friendly accessories that were fashionable, yet practical. The first Lou Harvey store opened 15 years ago in in Durban and we now have 7 stores and our online store to make the brand more accessible around the country.

What is your favourite piece out of all your ranges, and one that every lady should have in her artillery?

I love the versatility of the Pack Bag, these rectangular shaped oversized hold-all’s can be packed to capacity and fit perfectly when packed individually into the car – we have one (or two) per family member in their choice of pattern and design! It’s an essential!

Lou Harvey is also available overseas – how did that come about?

The demand for the brand just grew – also word of mouth. We first became global by having the brand available in the UK and we are now also in Singapore, the US and Australia

What’s next for you – can you give an insider insight?

The new collection is will be launching in the next few weeks so watch this space! Also look out for gorgeous swimming costumes for little ones and towels for summer. I’m also exhibiting at a show in Tokyo and am really excited about that!

Books or movies, and why?

I would say both. I enjoy the silence and disconnect of reading and getting into a good book, but when I’m tired I love getting caught up in a great series or movie on Netflix!

Bucket list travel destination and why?

Tokyo and Buenos Aires – I would love to see the colonial architecture and landmark buildings of this Argentine capital city and expect it to be vibrant and colourful….and who doesn’t love to tango the night away!

If you could have dinner with one person dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Steve Madden – I’ve recently watched his documentary and could relate to so much – I think he is a creative genius and a really interesting character with some incredible stories.

Find out more about Lou Harvey online here…

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