Justine Louise is a luxury British brand selling beautiful knitted clothing and accessories made from 100% merino wool
My name is Justine, designer and owner of Justine Louise, a luxury brand that consists of clothing, bedroom accessories and personalised gifts all made from 100% merino wool. I first started knitting when I was seven years old. My mum gave me some knitting needles and taught me the basics. I’m pretty sure my first item was a very long scarf! For my 7th birthday, my auntie gave me a sweatshirt with my name written across it in glitter. I thought it was the best thing ever and I wore it all the time. I think that this really inspired me and the personalised products in my range have proved to be the most popular items.
My enthusiasm in all things creative continued and later I completed a fashion design with knitwear degree at Central Saint Martins in London. I then worked in the industry as a childrenswear designer for companies such as Marks and Spencer (toddler girlswear), BenSherman (boyswear)and Mothercare. Although I loved working for these companies (often we would go on shopping trips to Japan, Paris and Los Angeles), I decided that I wanted to do my own thing.
I dug out the knitting machine that I had bought whilst at college and started to make personalised tank top samples using beautifully soft merino wool. Over the following few years I had two daughters, called Sofia and Chloe. Although my time was more limited this didn’t deter me. In fact once I managed to knit a sample with Sofia asleep on my lap! I persevered and in 2010 the brand ‘Justine Louise’ was created, using my first and middle names. I then later started to sample personalised cushions, baby blankets and box frames.
My designs are fun, colourful, design-led, unique and contemporary. I spent a lot of time researching the wool. I use an Italian merino wool that is both hardwearing and soft. Attention to detail is key –such as beautiful shell buttons and personalised swing tags. I love creating new designs for my range and knitting up new and unusual colourways. I am inspired by any visual sources, be it magazines or from clothes shops. I am now branching into ladieswear. My first sample was a ladies poncho which proved to be a huge hit last winter. One of my favourite pieces would probably be the personalised baby blanket. As they are backed in fleece, they are luxuriously soft and a gorgeous keepsake. My daughters are now aged 11 and 12 and love being creative. I can’t wait to teach them how to knit and sew. It’s been such a source of huge enjoyment for me. The best part of my job has to be the wonderful responses that I have received from my customers. It’s what keeps me going……