Tuesday, 16 August 2011


We were told, more than once, that we were mad to try and set up our own business in the throws of a worldwide economic crisis.  Perhaps those pessimists had a point but almost one year on and we are still here- just!  There have been definite highs, more lows than we care to dwell on and lots of laughs (some tears) to get to where we are today.  And so as we approach our first major landmark, we have decided to start a blog.  I’m not even sure why! Maybe, because we think it might help to put things in perspective, perhaps, because in a strange way it is rather therapeutic.  Either way, I hope that there are others out there, going through similar experiences to us who might, just might, be interested in what we have to say! 

So here goes…

Who are ‘we'?  Well, we are Sophie and Tiff.  We are both 26, live in London and are trying desperately to make a success of our small business, Andara.  We have known each other for years, have both recently got married, and are both fascinated by all things ‘Interior Design’.  

Rather glamorously, we came up with the idea of ANDARA in India!  At that point, we didn’t have a name for our company, or indeed a clear idea of what we were going to sell but we knew what we wanted to stand for.  We wanted to create a brand that appealed to our own age group and that wasn’t cripplingly expensive.  We wanted it to be chic and stylish but at the same time, show off the handiwork of skilled artisans all over the world.  Hhhmmm- where to even start!!

Back in London, I remember us staring at our mood board feeling incredibly depressed.  We had such big ideas and absolutely no clue as to how to even start going about making them a reality.  In India this had all seemed so possible and yet sitting around Sophie’s kitchen table in London, we couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry- it all seemed so completely unobtainable.  It would have been easy at that point to give up, but if truth be told, neither of us had a job- Sophie had been made redundant and I had recently moved back to the UK from India.  We were bored, broke and had nothing to lose.

We launched our first collection 7 months later which you can see on our website, www.andarahome.co.uk.  As it turns out, that was the easy part.  The next hurdle of actually keeping ourselves afloat is far more daunting.  So join us as we muddle our way through the highs and lows of running our own business and enjoy, what I hope will be, a visual feast of photos and design ideas.

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