Sophie founded her interior design and creative direction practice, Studio Ashby Ltd, in 2014 at the age of 25. Before branching out on her own, Sophie learned her trade working for two very different interior design practices. Her first position, as an apprentice to Victoria Fairfax, a brilliantly talented, classical interior designer is where Sophie garnered her love antiques, understanding of colour and sense of proportion. Sophie then went on to head up the interiors team at the small, creative agency Spring & Mercer where she had the opportunity to develop her own, unique, sense of style and learn about the wider responsibilities of running projects.
With a long-held determination to set up her own business, Studio Ashby was born as Sophie won her first client; within weeks, one client quickly swelled to three and things have continued to grow, steadily from there. Started from a laptop, with no investment and working from cafes, Studio Ashby has grown to become a team of twelve, with a new studio in Notting Hill.
Wake up, make myself a cup of coffee using my Aeropress gadget which I love- it makes the best coffee and is fuss free. Shower and dress. I rush around most days going to various meetings so I dress quite casually, often with trainers and always with a bold statement coat or jacket of some kind. I drive everywhere in my little black and white Nissan Figaro so it acts as my second wardrobe when the day calls for outfit changes! My favourite fashion brands are Loewe and Marni for special things, & Other Stories for basics and Casely-Hayford for all my tailoring and bespoke pieces.
Most mornings I try and head straight to my studio and spend quality time with my team where we stand at our work table and develop concepts, detail designs and discuss how projects are going. We often have suppliers come to the studio and present new collections, it could be Pierre Frey or Dedar showing us their latest fabrics or a maker or artisan from London dropping over a production sample for sign off. The music is always on, with fresh flowers and Diptych smells filling the space.
Eat a light and delicious lunch at the Dock Kitchen which is just next door to my studio or head to Lowry & Baker on Portobello road for a quick bite. I hate cooking so am never clever or organized enough to bring in anything homemade!
I spend quite a lot of time out of the studio in the afternoons where I might meet with potential new clients at the Marks Club in Mayfair, visit a supplier or shop- one of my favourites is The New Craftsmen – as well as attend site visits or give client presentations.
If I don’t need to work late, I like to try and attend events in and around the city; I go to lots of industry things and am a Young Patron of the Royal Academy so often attend openings of new shows or visit the students there to see their latest work.
By 10pm I would hope to be at least half way through a delicious dinner somewhere in Notting Hill with my boyfriend Charlie (of Casely-Hayford fashion brand) where we can catch up on the day and unwind over a glass wine and a bowl of pasta from our favourite Italian Mediterraneo.
To see more of Studio Ashby’s projects and to get in touch with them visit their website here.