We had the good fortune of connecting with Tim Gledhill and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tim, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk is what makes having your own business so exhilarating and also so stressful. There is no bigger risk than betting your livelihood on your own entrepreneurial venture. You are left to balance your own creativity, quality of life and financial security while riding a runaway rollercoaster. I, like a lot of entrepreneurs, am highly motivated by risk – if things start to feel comfortable we push the boundaries to grow further and become more fulfilled.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I studied politics at the University of Edinburgh and went into a career in corporate and political communications (basically a lobbyist). I never really enjoyed it, and when a lucky introduction led to an offer to open The Rug Company’s new showroom in Los Angeles, I jumped at the chance to try something completely different. After 7 years with them, honing my skills in both the management and creativity of a very successful brand, I started to harbor my own entrepreneurial ambitions. I had recently met a digital printer who gave me a lightbulb moment – I could use that technology to create huge scale prints on linens the way a weaver can do on a rug. In February 2012 after a year of designing and sampling, I launched my first collection of 10 original table linen prints. Dusting off my PR skills, I managed to get the fledgling brand same national press coverage and we had enough success to quickly expand into bed linens and a constantly growing collection of colors and prints. A lesson I learnt from The Rug Company is that the ability to offer customization is very valuable, so I set up the company with total control over the whole production process. I design the prints, I work directly with our printer in Italy and we have our own workroom here in California where we cut and sew all of our finished product. As a result we have a very successful custom linens business making custom size tablecloths and sheets, monogrammed napkins and even custom prints with fast turnaround times.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The Huntington Botanical Gardens is my favorite spot in Los Angeles – the beauty is utterly transporting, and every time you go is a different experience. Stopping to smell the roses is thirsty work, so I would stop for lunch and a glass of wine at Julienne and browse all the independent boutiques on Mission Street in San Marino. Before dinner I would check out Hauser and Wirth Gallery in the Arts District, have a pre-dinner cocktail at their bar Manuela before a breathtakingly tasty middle-Eastern dinner at Bavel. (after dinner we used to occasionally go dancing, but that was a different lifetime!) A trip up the PCH is obligatory – most visitors think Los Angeles is a beach city, so give them what they want! Stop to put your feet in the ocean and see some of the most expensive houses in the world along Carbon Beach. Keep heading north to Adamson House to view their beautiful beach-front gardens and take a docent tour to learn about the Malibu tile company and see all of their wildly inspiring colors and designs throughout the historic house. Then an old-school lunch and people-watching at Geoffrey’s. Stay out in the calm of Calamigos Guest Ranch nestled high in the Malibu hills. After a day looking at the ocean, it’s time to get out on it – head north to Oxnard and take the ferry to Anacapa Island. On the journey look out for the dolphins swimming with the boat. Pack a picnic because the island is totally uninhabited. The remoteness and beauty of the Channel Islands is utterly refreshing. You can hike end to end in an hour and then enjoy a refreshing dip in the cove. Keep an eye on the clock because there is only one ferry a day to bring you back. You’ll be missing people so head into West Hollywood for dinner on the patio at Gracias Madre and endless opportunities for cocktails for even the thirstiest visitor.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my husband Cliff. On a personal level he gives me unending support and love. And on a professional level he has contributed his painting skills to several of Huddleson’s prints and provided an inspiring gallery of artwork to hang in my shop.