New Zealand born Helen Lennie is the Sales and Marketing Manager of Signature Prints, a custodian of renowned design libraries with the rich and beautiful Florence Broadhurst archive at its centre. Together with husband David Lennie, Helen has grown Signature Prints into a multi-national brand through their collection of fabrics, wallpapers and lifestyle accessories. Their international dealings demand work around the clock, so their work life melds into their home environment. I caught up with Helen in her Sydney home.
How did you and David meet? We met out socially. I was working for Chanel at the time and within what seemed a millisecond I was out of Castlereagh street, with sleeves rolled up and in the wallpaper industry. No-one quite understood! We’ve been together for 11 years.
How would you describe your home’s aesthetic? Our home is very simple but eclectic. I like the fact that it’s “lived in” as I couldn’t live in a museum where you couldn’t enjoy your surroundings. Its always changing and I try and I treat the aesthetic as though it’s impermanent. If we want to change something, we do. Sometimes it takes on a life of its own which we really enjoy.
Where is your home office? The official home office is upstairs and it has become a storeroom of sorts, so when David and I work from home, we work downstairs at the dining table. We have room to spread out here and it feels as though you’re a part of the home.
How much time do you spend in your home office? As little time as possible and then we seem to be working all the time! We do a lot of international work which keeps us busy at home. If things have to be done at 5 am in the morning, then they have to be done.
How do you keep organized? Every piece of work that I do at home gets packed away in my laptop bag and taken back to the office. We don’t keep anything here as it’s such a small space. The size of the space forces us to stay organized and keep everything as clutter free as possible.
How do you manage your work life balance? It getting easier but it’s a challenge. There are times when we say that we have to stop and I’m getting better at that as time goes on.