| Millie Hampson – Founder & Owner of Marram Trading Ltd |
Millie Hampson launched the Marram Trading Ltd lifestyle brand in November 2015. Located in the historic Sussex village of Hurstpierpoint, Marram Trading is a concept store, lifestyle shop and coffee house under one roof, offering unique, affordable products and with a focus on supporting fellow businesses.
Here Millie shares with me her vision for the British High Street, tips for pared back home styling and interior trends for spring 2018.
What inspired you to start Marram Trading?
I’ve always been inspired by the courage of independent British retailers on the UK High Street. I’ve also been greatly inspired by my family at home, as I grew up with a father who set up and sold his own businesses. So I knew from a young age that’s what I was going to do too.
How would you describe your brand?
A Scandinavian style concept store selling a mix of homeware, gifts, accessories and skincare.
How do you want people to feel when they come into your lifestyle store and coffee bar?
A couple of years ago, when setting Marram up I’d become a little obsessed with the Danish concept of the ‘Hygge’. The colours, textures and ambience in Marram really mirror this Scandinavian concept of cosiness. I purposely use raw materials in store to evoke a sense of warmth. Most importantly, we welcome every customer with a smile to immediately make them feel at home and relaxed.
Your shop and cafe has a lovely pared-back, clean style – any tips on how to replicate this in a busy family home?
I live by the ‘K.I.S.S’ brand concept – (Keep It Simple Stupid). I buy timeless pieces and always add an accent colour.
Think of your home rather like a capsule wardrobe. Buy timeless pieces, don’t buy anything you don’t love and compliment your investment piece with your favourite accent colour or texture of the moment. And don’t save things for best!
What are the big interior and gifting trends for Spring 2018?
I am not hot on following trends, however I’m really loving the raw rattan and bamboo materials coming through this spring. There’s a real sense of that luxury conservatory room look about them. And of course we at Marram are all over the indoor plants vibe this spring following on from the ethical movement – GREEN IS GOOD!
I know you’re a big fan of the pop-up event and host some wonderful evenings at Marram. How has the ‘pop up’ concept changed things for businesses such as yours?
The High Street shopping experience (especially independent) has had to adapt to tougher consumer buying habits. We cannot compete with what online has to offer now, with the likes of free next day delivery. So I wanted to design a destination and create a memorable experience at Marram. The Pop Up Shop in the garden was designed to create a pulling point to ‘see what’s new at Marram’ every month. It’s also become a great talking point and allows new or local artists to trial their business and work before taking the plunge!
What business advice would you give to anyone looking to set up their own concept store/cafe/brand in 2018?
Firstly, go for it, you’ll never regret what you didn’t try.
Secondly, you get ONE first impression, so make sure you deliver on what you are promising.
Thirdly, you’re never too young or old to start!
What’s the best event you’ve ever hosted at your shop and what do you have planned at Marram Trading in the future?
Well Sasha, your blogger launch at Marram has to be up there for one of the best events. It was truly inspiring and energising to see and meet so many strong independent, entrepreneurial women in Marram. I’m also excited to be hosting a Cancervive event on May 24th plus lots of other exciting pop ups throughout the summer!
Which lifestyle figure or brand do you really admire?
Sheerluxe! One of my favourite parts of the day is when their newsletter arrives in my inbox.
Your tip on making the perfect coffee?
Come to Marram and we will make you your perfect coffee with our deliciously roasted Backyard coffee 😉