Husband-and-wife team Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi with their daughters, Fauve and Blythe

Husband-and-wife team Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi founded Preen in 1996. Alongside Preen EyeWear and Preen Shoes, the couple launched Mini Preen, which is now in its second season. They live in West London with their two daughters, Fauve and Blythe.

Where do you live and how would you describe your home?
We live in a Victorian town-house in West London. It is an eclectic mix of minimal modern and vintage – full of books and toys.

You’ve been working together since 1996, what’s the best and worst thing about your set-up?
For us it’s perfect. We enjoy being together and inspiring eachother. It’s wonderful to share this journey with the one you love. The down-side is never getting away from work.

When you first launched the business, what were your ambitions?
We were having fun and just wanted to find a location to sell our clothes; it was all about socialising and having the best time. We started to take it seriously when we received a massive order from Japan. We never expected to be in the position we are now, we dreamt of it but never really planned for or thought about it.

How has having children impacted on your work, practically and in terms of your outlook?
It changed everything. We now have to work much quicker and be a lot more organised. It actually puts things into perspective. We are lucky that we work together so can split our time between work and home-life. It’s hard but rewarding.

Mini Preen is a collection of miniaturised pieces from the adult collection, combining masculine and feminine sensibilities

What advice would you give people starting their own businesses?

Really understand you need to give your life to this, and be really focused and determined.

What is the concept for Preen Mini?
It’s all mini versions of the adult collection. Shrunken favourites and prints, inspired by Thea’s childhood and dressing up like her mother.

How does designing for kids differ from designing for adults? We are lucky we have two daughters who give us amazing feedback on the practical elements of our design.

What are your three top children’s labels?
We love Caramel Baby & Child for knit, vintage from Portobello Market and Liberty-print dresses .

Where do you see yourselves in 10 years?
Still designing and loving life.

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