Meet the Maker: Alexandra Austin, Textile Designer


Alex Austin Fabric Designer


Our factory in Long Eaton is home to some of the most skilled workers in the furniture industry and we’ve been chatting to the dedicated craftsmen and craftswomen behind Arlo & Jacob. It’s time to catch up with our in house textile designer, Alexandra Austin, who works alongside Sarah Hopkins, helping to create our exciting range of over 100 house fabrics.

How long have you worked at the Long Eaton factory?

I’ve been working here for just under 3 years now, it’s flown by!

How did you get into [your role]?

When I graduated from Nottingham Trent University after studying for my degree in Textile Design, I knew I wanted to stay local to the area and was lucky enough to land a job in Long Eaton, the heart of upholstery, with Arlo & Jacob.

Describe your perfect sofa.

My perfect sofa would be a formal, heart shaped back, with buttoned arms and extremely soft seat cushions, like Arlo & Jacob’s Knightley. I like a sofa to be big enough to snuggle up and sleep on. I prefer fabric rather than leather and would finish the look with an array of eclectic scatter cushions.

What’s the most important skill required for your job?

Having an eye for colour and design is key. This helps me to make sure the looks I put together work well for the industry.

What makes an A&J sofa different to other sofas on the market?

The Arlo & Jacob models are clean and fresh and offer a contemporary twist for the slightly younger, trendier market, as well as traditional classics for the family.

What training did you have to have for [your role]?

My role is very diverse, it’s really creative but also involves a lot of organisation and planning so I’ve had to learn how to use various computer packages to help with this.

What was the first piece you worked on?

For my first project I was involved in putting together the whole house fabric range, which was a big task! We went through around 700 fabrics, researching various qualities of fabric, to reach the final 120 that now form our house collection.

Which is your favourite A&J piece and why?

It has to be the Darcy, especially when it’s made up in velvet- it looks so rich and luxurious! I really appreciate the craftsmanship and hard work that goes into making this piece, especially with all the individual deep buttoning.