SME catches up with Claudia Lambeth, Founder & CEO of Luna Mae London
First of all Claudia, tell us about Luna Mae London. What is the business about?
Luna Mae London offers bespoke lingerie and loungewear which is delivered as a personalised and private service designed to celebrate the female form. Made-to-measure solutions are unique to each individual, yet all characterised by an unrivalled combination of meticulous British craftsmanship, exquisite attention to detail, and sumptuous materials hand-selected to shape and support.
What inspired you to set up the company?
I founded Luna Mae London at the age of 22 after discovering a gap in the market for quality lingerie which recognised the complexities of bra engineering and how the high-street’s two-dimensional sizing availability cannot accurately fit all women. Luna Mae London is challenging industry standards by creating beautiful bespoke pieces which are as unique as the woman whom they are individually created for. Using the finest satin silks and treasured embellishments such as hand-corded Chantilly laces, Italian macramé embroideries, and hand-beaded tulle motifs, each piece is proudly handcrafted by expert seamstresses in England.
What were the challenges in the early days?
The concept of bespoke lingerie is a relatively unexplored one. Luna Mae London is breaking barriers to this market as the only brand offering lingerie with such a high level of quality and dedicated service. Launching a brand which is so exclusive was challenging since a lot of our organic growth comes from word of mouth and referrals which required patience in the early days. Understanding this, I ensured I was always providing the very best level of client service which thankfully enabled me to grow the business with a small amount of very loyal clients. I’ve also learnt that you have to be brave to venture into an unknown territory by challenging people’s perceptions on how they experience lingerie but at the end of the day, the quality of your product will speak for itself.
You have recently won a Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for 2017. How was that and how did it make you feel?
It is a huge honour to be recognised for such a prestigious award. It really cements the hard work that I have put into creating the business and gives the brand a great platform to grow further. It’s been a very exciting year and I cannot wait to see where I can take the business next.
Why did you decide to call your company Luna Mae?
I wanted an evocative female name which was ethereal and mysterious. I loved “Mae” because of its unusual spelling and then spotted the word “Luna” which for me was a perfect match and represented elegance and sophistication.
Talk us through the client process, from beginning to end.
The journey begins with a consultation where we spend time understanding what the client is looking for – whether it is a bridal commission for an unusual shaped wedding dress, or just a beautifully fitting everyday solution. We advise on designs to suit the client’s particular shape and colours to complement her skin tone and invite her to choose from our extensive archive of satin silks, delicate hand-corded laces and embroideries. The client is then fitting and detailed measurements are taken which are used to create her unique pattern. Once the pattern has been drafted, our team of artisan seamstresses will carefully bring the creation to life, finishing with anything from monogramming of her initials and hand-sewn delicate embellishments. The process takes between six to eight weeks as standard, but we also have a Rush Service available of two to four weeks.
Do you offer an online service?
Yes, we offer Ready-to-Wear collections which are available to purchase online from www.lunamaelondon.com but all our lingerie is bespoke and requires an in-person fitting.
Can you personalise what you order?
Absolutely, all our lingerie is bespoke so it’s completely personalised. It’s not just the design which is personalised, but also the size to ensure that we can cater to each and every woman.
Where do you hope the business will be in, say, five years’ time?
I’d love to keep growing the brand expand to open stores in new cities, so long as the quality or client service is never compromised. We’ve just opened our first flagship store on Elizabeth Street in Belgravia and our Bespoke Atelier is located beneath the store. Championing British Craftsmanship is really important to me so I will definitely ensure that our Atelier remains in the England.