Sisters Hermione and Ellie Gee are a creative duo taking the world of interiors by storm. Founded in 2020, Hum London is best known for beautiful, hand-painted lampshades in soft, pretty tones that add a little warmth to any room. With designs ranging from chic, timeless stripes to intricate, antique lace lampshades in the new ‘Prairie’ collection, there really is something for everyone. We visited their creative studio in Battersea to see the sisters at work, painting pretty new designs by hand and creating bespoke pieces to last a lifetime.
We're a lighting brand specialising in hand painted and limited edition lampshades. We've always been obsessed with lighting and its ability to make such a difference to a room, so I jumped at the chance to experiment with painted lampshades when I was planning my flat. This was back in 2020, when we'd both temporarily moved to our Mum’s house for lockdown and I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into my next creative project.
Fast forward a few months and Hum officially launched in the autumn of 2020, with the help of Ellie who has done this alongside her role in sustainability for the last three years (lots of late nights and evenings!) and has recently joined Hum full time.
Over the last few years we've been growing our business steadily and we're now based in a studio in Battersea. Alongside our collection of signature designs we also offer a bespoke service, from painting shades in custom colourways to creating totally new designs for our clients.
We recently launched the Prairie Collection, a series lampshades which have all been made from antique fabrics and for this our inspiration came from the ruffles, romantic silhouettes and delicate detailing found on dresses of the mid 19th century. Generally we find that getting out and about is always the best inspiration, which sometimes means looking for it in unexpected places… And we're forever gathering all sorts of inspiring images - from colourful architecture and botanical drawings, to Islamic textiles and vintage couture. We're loving really old interiors books at the moment too.
Tricky one… Our proudest times are probably when interior designers that we really admire use our lampshades in their projects. We also were really proud to have created a series of huge paper lanterns for Rixo's flagship store earlier this year.
Hermione: One of the main challenges has been my health - especially at the beginning. The year before we started Hum, I was in a car accident which involved being hit by a drunk driver and meant I wasn't able to complete university. I had quite severe injuries that meant it almost impossible to do a full day's work, so working around this has been testing, but luckily I'm feeling a lot better and we look back at that time as almost as a serendipitous, as it was the perfect way for me to ease back into life and work, without the pressure of a typical 9-5 job.
Our other biggest challenge was finding amazing suppliers. When we were first trying to source lampshades, we really struggled with the quality, so I'm always so grateful to have found two amazing British lampshade makers, where the shades are really good quality and beautifully made by hand.
Definitely to make friends with other business founders. Asking people for advice is one of the best tools to have as often people have great perspective and have been through what you're going through too.
It’s really fun working together on a creative project like this and having a shared passion for our business. We’re always in awe of people who manage to launch a business as a one man (or woman!) band, as we find it so helpful to have another person to brainstorm and bounce ideas off. And luckily we seem to get on pretty well most of the time!
We always love a blue and brown combo or a buttery yellow colour.
It's probably got to be the Autumn Stripe Cindy Dress or the scrunchies, I've been wearing them almost daily since they arrived…