Louisa Judith designs fabrics to inspire a sense of imagination and adventure for children.
I began the brand from my home in South London after I inherited an old apothecary chest from my Great Aunt, which had been handed down the generations of my family for two hundred years. Peering into the chest, I discovered a secret drawer with an old leather journal inside, and inside of that, an envelope. When I opened it, out fell a series of tiny animals exquisitely cut out of fine paper. Running dogs, long-legged giraffes - each animal had so much character. These designs were made by my great, great, great, great Grandmother Isabella Button in the early 1800s.
Our first collection, the ‘Isabella Button Collection’ is based on these delightful paper cuts hidden away since the 19th century. I hope the collection reflects the sense of playful discovery felt on finding that hidden treasure.
Louisa Judith is a sustainable and ethically conscious brand. I ensure that everything is made to the highest quality, so that each piece can be kept, loved, and passed onto future generations. I select the highest quality fabric, woven in the UK, each design printed using non toxic pigment dies in our factory, North of London. A large part of what I do is working with with those I know and trust to develop our products.
One way we are excited to develop this further is by working in collaboration the women at Rehema Crafts based in Musoma, Tanzania. The Rehema vision is one after my own heart. The Musoma region is renowned for their seamstresses, or ‘fundis’ as they are called in Swahili. They use traditional sewing techniques, making everything by hand on their antique sewing machines. Over cups of Chai, the Rehema women sew, laugh and share stories over a kitchen table.
Bit by bit, Louisa Judith is developing more ways to connect with the skills of these women. I have started by working with Erica, who has made all of our little purses, and is beginning to make our cushions. Each lady employed, is paid a living wage, enough to support them and their families, and in turn benefit their communities. Many of the women employed by Rehema, have at some stage, been trapped in the cycle of poverty, but through this charity they are now part of a loving community and receiving practical support.