We chat with the managing director of Dragons of Walton Street, to hear all about how she went from ballet school to heading up the beautiful, luxury children's interiors company
Lucinda Croft, Managing Director of Dragons of Walton Street
Lucinda Croft is Managing Director of Dragons of Walton Street. She lives in Sussex with her husband, Simon and two children, Phoebe and Archie, aged fourteen and seventeen.
What is your family’s morning routine?
My husband and I get up first, do the lunch boxes and our son will walk to his school nearby whilst we drive our daughter to her school which is about 15 minutes away. If I am working out of our Sussex office I will walk our dog and head to our Studio where I work with our artists and Head of Production or I jump on the train to London.
What is your office environment like?
Our office in Sussex is low key and very creative, as it is where we produce everything. There are artists painting, orders being export wrapped and quality control checked ready for delivery, plus it is our office hub. Our design office in London is a lovely space on the first floor in Walton Street, which is more glamorous and where I meet clients. We have a roof terrace and on sunny days we have even had meetings with clients outside. It is rather beautiful and I love the buzz of London and working from there. Alternatively, I might be on the showroom floor at Harrods meeting clients, which is different again entirely.
Do you have such a thing as a ‘typical’ day?
I don’t have a typical day as I work out of three different locations: Harrods where our showroom is, our Sussex studio and our design studio in London. It is always different, but I love it! The one thing that is consistent is a large coffee in any of the places of work, as some working mothers may agree that by the time you get to your desk you have done a million things already!
Dragons of Walton Street safari nursery
Did you always want to do what you do now, for a job?
I have always done a creative job, as I started life as an actress, then worked for a charity called The Besom Foundation which was the perfect antidote to getting stressed about auditions, as I worked with people in need. My job was to furnish their homes through other people’s generosity. It was bit like being Mrs. Santa Claus, turning up with different items people needed for their new homes after having been re-housed for whatever reason.
What was the first thing you wanted to be ‘when you grew up’?
The first thing I wanted to be was a ballerina, and I even went to ballet school: but the truth was, I wasn’t good enough!
What is the best thing about your job?
I think the best thing about my job is coming up with an idea, developing it into a product and then seeing it become a popular item in our inventory. Working with talented people or spotting someone’s talent and watching them grow in confidence as their artwork sells is very rewarding! I love the different strands of the business as well - working with different cultures is fascinating.
Dragons of Walton Street nursery
Are there any downsides to your job?
The downside to my job is I always want to do better and be more creative, sometimes having to work within a budget can be challenging as I have expensive tastes!
How do you come up with creative, original ideas?
Most of my ideas come from talking with different people either listening to clients, seeing something which inspires me or when we have meetings as a team. There is so much talent at Dragons and being able to have an idea in the morning and ask an artist to paint in the afternoon is a luxury.
How do you juggle family life with work life?
Juggling family life can be tricky - I feel like I need to concentrate to make it work! As most working mothers know, thinking ahead and planning is key, however, Inset days and extra-curricular matches can totally throw us a curve ball!
Dragons of Walton Street nursery
What do you do outside of work, with your family?
Outside of work we go to an amazing church which is very cool and current, where I find the music and teaching to be very restorative. My husband and I love dancing, particularly Ceroc as it is such a work out, and a stress buster. I love Pilates, but fail miserably to make time for it. We are doing our house up slowly, too. It will be wonderful, but I need patience!
What is coming up, work-wise, for you and your business? Any new ventures?
Work-wise, potentially a new retail space, which will be very exciting having been in the same area, apart from Harrods, all of our life. We are also planning on launching some more fabrics as well, to gain more international trade partners.
Would you want your children to follow in your footsteps?
I think if Dragons was one of our children’s passions, then yes, I would love them to follow, but only if it felt right for them.
If you had superhero skills, what would be your dream job?
The superhero skill I would like, would be to teleport so I could finish a meeting in London at the end of the day and be back instantly in Sussex without having to do any of the travelling!
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