Causeway Chamber Business Award Finalist, Jill Gurney, founder of Linen Lane, has been an integral part of The Designerie and Makers House since its inception. As one of the earliest designers to take up residence in Makers House, Jill has seen her brand develop over the last 3 years, from screen printed linen products and cushions to sustainable and timeless lamps.
With an extensive background in textiles, dressmaking and interiors, Jill has more than 20 years of experience in soft furnishings.
From a young age, Jill has had an interest in textiles with a strong family connection to linen as both of her grandfathers grew flax, the basis of the fabric. In the end, it was the chance discovery of one of the last working linen mills in Dungiven that led to the creation of her brand Linen Lane.
“This ancient fabric plays such an important part in our history and I love being able to use it in a modern way to bring light into our homes. I met several people who come into The Designerie and say their granny worked with linen, spinning, weaving and bleaching.” she explained.
She started her journey in Makers House with screen printed linen, pouches and cushions. Her first products, mainly the screen printed lampshades, attracted a lot of interest, which led Jill to develop the lighting side of the business. Once she was able to source the handmade wooden bases for her lamps, they became the anchor product of Linen Lane.
Driven by her love for linen Jill now creates unique, one of a kind lampshades that bring the texture of Irish Linen to life when lit.
Her simple, timeless and classic lamps combine Scandinavian and Retro themes, especially her new range of recycled glass bases which are reminiscent of the 1960s with there cone shaped shades.
After experimenting with different designs, her current lamp designs celebrate simplicity and hand-woven linen, including her signature tall lampshades.
“My range is centred around lamps and lighting that are versatile and would complement a modern or traditional home.”
Jill is committed to creating sustainable and functional pieces that are built to last and made for you to enjoy in your home for many years to come.
“I love using Irish Linen to create my lampshades and gifts not only because it is a beautiful versatile cloth but because it is also one of the most sustainable, eco-friendly fabrics.”
The combination of the rich texture and colour of the handmade linen shades and the organic shape of the recycled glass base makes her new range of Glass Bubble Lamp Collection more eco friendly than mass-produced lighting.
Sustainability has always played a very important part in Jill’s creative process.
“In this fast-paced throwaway society, it has never been more important to seriously consider how we use the planet’s resources. That is why every lamp base and fabric I use is carefully selected to be as sustainable as possible.”
Taking sustainability a step further, Jill offers a ‘Revamp Your Lamp’ service to bring people’s old lamps back to life. Instead of throwing out old or maybe slightly damaged pieces, they are transformed into something new, giving it life for years to come.
A finalist in the Environmental Sustainability category, at the Causeway Chamber Business Awards Jill is constantly inspired by other designers in Makers House.
Being a resident designer in Makers House gave her a team to be a part of, a like-minded community to collaborate with and a support system to rely on.
“After working so many years on your own, being self-employed, it’s just lovely being part of the team and meeting customers. I love chatting to customers and solving their problems.”
Helping her consumers decide which piece would suit their home the best, or coming up with bespoke designs is one of Jill’s favourite parts of working from her Makers House creative hub. Having a physical space to showcase her products allowed her to grow her brand in ways that an online shop would not have done.
To see Jill’s range of one of a kind, sustainable lamps, or to transform your old lamp into a beautiful new piece call into the Designerie. You will find Jill in her studio in Makers House, or you can browse her range or on her website.