Hi, and welcome to our online store. We hope that you’ll find lots of unique, colourful and interesting products to tickle your fancy!
Our core values are:
So let us start by introducing ourselves and our business. We are husband and wife team, Katie and Howard, and together we run our design-led gift business Lighthouse Lane. We have two small people at home (two little boys), two furry cats and an insatiable drive to create fun and beautiful things and bring something truly different to the marketplace. We are lucky enough to have a bricks and mortar shop in an old Co-operative Building on the cobbled Main Street of Haworth, West Yorkshire; of course the beautiful village of Haworth was made famous as the home of the literary greats, the Bronte sisters. In the shop itself, we have our own products and also creations from a carefully selected group of independent British designers and makers. The shop is now also home to Kawaii Corner; a room specially dedicated to all things cute and kawaii.
We design and make all of our products ourselves. Katie is the artist and she loves to paint using brightly coloured acrylic paints or sketch intricate monochrome designs. She likes creating a wide variety of designs using different techniques across a variety of subjects. Howard is our resident funny man, technical know-how and graphic designer. Each design is hand sketched, painted or designed digitally (or quite often a combination of the three!) and then transferred to our range of products. Our aim is to create a brand that offers original, accessible and relatable products that raise a smile. We hope our products are just as special and unique as each of our customers are.
So how did we get here? It all started in on 2nd May 2015 when we opened the doors to our first shop in Haworth. It was a pretty bleak day out on the cobbles; the sky was grey and the drizzle was definitely that stuff that wets you. Our original shop was very small and pretty cold (we quickly learnt to wear a lot of layers in the shop). Since signing the shop lease, we’d spent the previous two weeks decorating the shop, getting together the handful of our own designs that we had at that stage, and sourcing other British designers to provide giftware to complement our own. It was a very hectic few weeks and looking back, the shop, although colourful and welcoming, seemed very bare when we first opened!
Feedback from the outset was overwhelmingly positive. We realised that we were onto something, the ideas kept flowing and we steadily built the business to what it is today. After 6 months, we felt confident enough for Howard to follow Katie in leaving his steady job at a bank head office, so that we could share the running of the shop and the childcare of our boys. In January 2016, the opportunity presented to move into much larger premises next door to our original shop. We jumped at the chance and managed to move the entire shop on one Friday night! All the extra space meant that we could accommodate more stock and made us much more noticeable on the street.
It was also at this point that we decided to invest in computer and printing equipment to allow us to make our products ourselves. Howard’s computer wizardry came into its own here (all those years playing Mario weren’t a waste after all) and we taught ourselves how to print a wide range of homeware and more recently, a clothing range. The journey to build up the knowledge that we have today has been fascinating – sometimes long and fraught with frustrations - but ultimately rewarding as it further opens our ability to create new work. The in-house production also gives us the freedom to make tweaks and changes to designs, so that we’re able to offer a bespoke and personalised service if customers wish so.
2017 saw further changes as we welcomed our second little boy, took on our first member of staff and opened our now infamous Kawaii Corner. We love to travel and we reasoned that the one thing missing from our gorgeous historic village was a taste of cute Japanese culture – so we brought it! Our dedicated kawaii room now features lots of fun and authentic wares imported from Japan and the Far East. It has proved very popular with our younger customers!
Still to this day, when someone chooses to buy something that we’ve designed, it’s a buzz and privilege, and a fitting testament to the work that we’ve put into building the business and getting to know our customers. We love getting to know our customers both online and face to face. Hearing what our customers think helps us to build our business. Please stay in touch with us on our Facebook page and via our Instagram account.
Thank you to our customers for your continued support! You’ve helped us to turn the seed of an idea into a reality.
Katie and Howard