Gabrielle Harris is the founder of London Cows, the luxury bespoke cowhide furniture brand. The company was started by Gabrielle in 2008 out of a passion for cowhide and a genuine need to furnish her new ‘forever’ home with different and stylish furniture that would withstand the sticky fingers and muddy paws of her two young children and beloved greyhound, Daphne.
We find out how the mother, wife and business owner keeps her life positive.
One word that describes you?
In your own words, what do you do?
I am a Mummy and a wife first and foremost but I also run a unique and bespoke cowhide furniture and luxury item online business.
Who is your greatest influence in your career/life?
My family and friends are my greatest influence – I have and still do learn so much from all them.
What is your favourite part of your job?
The favourite part of my job is sourcing new products and coming up with new designs.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Most of my customers are divine on the rare occasion one is not I find it very challenging.
What is your greatest achievement?
My greatest (career) achievement is starting a company from nothing with no experience of retail and managing to create a brand and a business that I love and that I can fit around my family.
What was your Plan B?
I didn’t really have plan A so certainly no Plan B. I just sort of fell into this through my love of interiors and certainly had no idea at the beginning the size (although still small) we would grow to.
What is your most prized possession?
My most prized (inanimate) possession is my house. I absolutely adore it and work hard all the time getting it to be exactly how I want it. Just annoying that I change the brief all the time!
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
The best (business) advice I have been given is don’t try and be jack of all trades and master of none!
Please complete the sentence… I could not live without…
My family – we are a huge family on both mine and my husbands sides and they are friends as well as family, they all live near and I love them all.
If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
My Grandmother. She died the day I was born – she waited for me I think. My mother tells me about her a lot but I’d love to feel her warmth of character myself. Failing that I’d love to hang around with the Brat Pack for a while – what fun!
Sustainability and consumption are two words you will hardly find in the same sentence – which brands do you think are good quality and are doing their bit for people and the planet?
This is a tough one… much as I’d love to list a host of organic and sustainable brands, with two children and a busy life it’s not always possible. However, one great discovery is Kettle Chips, we don’t eat very many snack style foods, but when we do it’s good to know they are completely natural and as a brand they put so much back into their community. The other is a brand that is a Positive Luxury member, Seascape. My friend does their PR and introduced me to their Soothe range about a year ago, I’m now in love with their body wash and the fact that they are a sustainable British brand is a total bonus.
Do you support a charity or cause?
Somewhat controversially I only support animal charities but I support quite a few. I particularly give to a charity called Blue Moon in Egypt, simply because I have been there and have seen first-hand the sacrifices the lady who runs it makes and her complete, unwavering dedication to the cause of relieving animals from their suffering.
What is on your Xmas list?
What I would want most of all this year is a delicious surprise!
What is your personal luxury?
Walking the dog! Daphne is a rescued Greyhound and one of my life’s luxuries is my early morning walking with her before everyone else is up.
What is your most treasured luxury item?
My engagement and wedding rings – it may sound corny – but I first fell for my husband when my older brother brought him home for tea, I was only 14 and it took him another 15 years to realise he felt the same!
What steps do you take to make your life more positive?
I loosely follow the Sedona Method and often spend time releasing angst. I find it helps enormously – ‘letting go’ of thoughts and problems that I can’t do anything about. It clears the decks for productive and happy thoughts.
To view all of London Cows’ positive actions, see their brand profile page here.