In conversation with The Little Haus founder, Laura.
Tell us a bit about how and why you started The Little Haus
During lockdown in the UK I sadly lost my job. I had three small boys and decided to start a small instagram business selling antiques. I discovered a love for antique lighting and felt I needed to be able to offer shades with them. I did a course and instantly fell in love. When we decided to move back to Cape Town I wanted to bring English-style lampshades to the South African home as there wasn’t anything like it on the market. So,The Little Haus was born!
Walk us through a typical day in your workshop
I have stolen our garage from my husband, much to his dismay, and converted it into a sweet little studio. I have trained the most wonderful lady, Lexy, up and she now makes all our pleated lamp shades. Lexy had been unemployed for 5 years and had managed to raise her 3 kids as a single mother with very little. She now makes a far better lampshade than me and is so proud of the fact that she is one of only a handful of people in SA who are skilled in making traditional lamp shades. All our bases are handmade by a husband and wife team. They have very basic machinery, but managed to produce the most mixing hand-turned pieces. I am so lucky to have these amazing people helping me produce our creations.
Tell us about raising a family and running a business
I feel so lucky to be able to have the flexibility to do both with my business. It’s not always easy. I never seem to be able to switch off as the studio is at home, but for the most part it seems to work. I feel really supported by the people I work with – they really give me the freedom to focus on my family as well.
Give us 3 words to describe your experience of motherhood
How honest can I be
Emotional – all types!
Which is your favourite room in your home and why? And your favourite piece/object in your house and why?
My living room. It fills me with such joy – it’s full of colour and pattern. The South African sun also helps to bring it alive. My favourite piece would have to be an old library chair that I found at an antiques fair in Peterborough, UK. It was in the most horrendous condition. I had it recovered in a bright yellow linen. It is just pure sunshine
What do you think are the synergies between Hadeda & The Little Haus?
They are both run by British mums who have a love for Africa. We want to showcase what the amazing people in this country can create with very little resources. I am so excited by some of the products we are working on that blend British traditional methods and techniques with African materials and artisans.
What is your favourite product launching on Hadeda?
Our lamp bases, although English in style, are completely African. We use iroko wood which is also known as African Teak. They’re hand turned by an incredible Zimbabwean couple. They’re then sprayed by hand by the wonderful Lefa from the Eastern Cape. We’re also working on a range of African Mohair lampshades in some amazing colours. These are still in development and will hopefully be launching soon.