Simon St James LeComte

Simon St James LeComte owns and operates Simon St. James Studio, a custom lighting and furniture studio for bars, restaurants and hotels (including Soho House), and NewMade LA, a line of home products, including hanging planters and storage items.

He is a Soho Warehouse member who designed light fixtures for the sixth-floor club, the ground-floor Tavern and the Bedrooms at his local House. simonstjames.com

Profession: Custom lighting and furniture designer

What do you love about what you do? 'Everything. I’ve always been a hands-on creative person, so the fact that I get to have a career out of ‘making’ is pretty wild. I enjoy the satisfaction [I get] that what I’m creating has an effect on a place or a person, whether it be momentary or perpetual. It’s also knowing that what I made started from simple materials and evolved into something entirely of its own being.'

Tell us about your design process… 'I think that the ultimate concept remains the same, but it’s the details that get refined along the way. I’m somewhat of a perfectionist, so every little thing matters. There are often times when I’m still thinking about the product or project even after it’s completed. The design process is constant. Once in a while, a prototype turns out just right and nothing needs to be altered, but those aren’t as fun as the ones that really challenge me to think and adapt.'

What’s your favourite part of creating? 'The tactile element. I love to use my hands and I think that it’s something that gets a bit lost these days when creating products. So many people rely on computers and software for renderings, but I believe that there’s no substitution for feeling and seeing the item in person. I also like interaction with a piece; the more you interact with an object, the more you make a personal connection to it.'

Did you grow up creating things? 'Always. Whether it was drawing, building catapults, making sculptures or rebuilding cafe racers, I was always creating. The combined influence of both my parents helped shape me and ultimately led to my current creative path. My mother owns Amsterdam Modern, where she imports mid-century modern furniture from Amsterdam, which has been a massive source of design inspiration for me. And my Dutch father collects pre-1970s European classic cars. So, I was raised with this unique mix of mid-century and European style that greatly contributed to my personal aesthetic and me as a designer.' Words: Charlotte Steinway

Mariane Chan

Mariane Chan worked in the fashion industry for 10 years, before having an epiphany to swap styling for ceramics. Three years on, she hasn’t looked back and is gaining a growing fanbase for her fun yet functional designs. She is a member of Soho House Hong Kong and has produced some decorative ceramics that are displayed around the House. @mceramics_co

Profession: Fashion stylist and writer-turned-ceramicist

Tell us about your transition from fashion to ceramics… I started by going to some ceramic weekend workshops and loved it. So, I decided to quit my job and do it full time. I just wanted to do something different, something that was ‘my own’. With fashion, you always need to work to some kind of guideline – and with clients who are, to be honest, sometimes not so creative. But with ceramics, I can have complete control over what I do and my creativity when I do it. How does your fashion background help your craft? I learnt that there should be no boundaries and that things can be playful and functional at the same time. You just need to go for it. To me, it’s the same with ceramics. Of course, you need to learn the basics first, like throwing, glazing, decorating and all the science behind it, but you can still have a lot of fun and make something extraordinary.

What else informs or inspires what you do? I go to art museums and exhibitions whenever I get a chance. Paintings, installations, sculptures and photography all inspire me.

Name your favourite thing about your new job… I can get dirty and wear whatever I want, without people criticising me.

What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learnt since making the transition? That it’s OK to fail, because ceramics is a craft that takes a lifetime to master. There have been a lot of ‘trial and error’ moments during my journey as a ceramicist and I often have to throw away pieces that I’m not satisfied with.

How do you feel when you’re making your pieces? It’s kind of like meditation for me. It’s really therapeutic, because your mind has to be absolutely calm when you’re handling clay, especially during throwing, otherwise it will go out of shape and you’ll fail. Words Ted Stansfield

Maria Sigma

Maria Sigma is an ethical, zero-waste textiles designer, born in Greece and now based in south-east London. Using natural materials and traditional techniques, she creates hand-woven rugs, cushions and other soft furnishings, which are sustainable, modern and luxurious. Her latest collaboration is with Soho House Design for Soho Roc House in Mykonos, which opens soon; sohohouse.com/houses/soho-roc-house mariasigma.com

Profession: Textiles designer

When did you first become interested in textiles? My great-grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was a child. She was from Andros, a Cycladic island that’s close to Mykonos, where hand-crocheted laces were a traditional hobby of the women of the island. I became really interested in textiles during my first degree in textile conservation, which I completed in Athens. I fell in love with weaving, so I decided to go to London and obtain my second degree in textile design, at Chelsea College of Arts, specialising in hand-weaving.

What do you love the most about your job? I like how weaving combines craft, maths, machinery and creativity all in one. I enjoy exploring new materials and design ideas, working on commissioned pieces and collaborating with other designers. It’s challenging to have a brief and try to find what is or isn’t possible to make on the loom and, of course, within a specific budget.

How do you ensure your work is always sustainable and ethically produced? I source sustainable natural yarns, or waste yarns from small mills, directly from the supplier. I also strive to reduce yarn waste and unnecessary cuts, carbon footprints and the use of machinery, water and electric energy. I exclusively use natural, undyed, British wool and alpaca. I consider the impact on the planet at every stage of the design and making process, as well as within the daily work environment and packaging of my work.

Can you tell us a little about your project with Soho House Design for Little Roc House in Mykonos? It will be an exclusive capsule collection. I have designed some new throws, inspired by the unique and minimal aesthetics of Cycladic architecture, plus the natural landscape of the island, but with a daring style. The throws will be made with 100 per cent Greek, organic-certified cotton. The production will take place in one of the few remaining weaving mills in Athens, a small family business passed down through the generations.

Why is it important for us to surround ourselves with beautifully made things? One of the main characteristics of humans is our pervasive dependence on objects. Our possessions are considered to be a major contribution to our sense of self. Living in a digital era of single-use items, where we discard things easily, the need for tangible and real materials is essential. Craft can invest a context of regionalism and history to our convenience-based economy. More specifically, hand-weaving – one of the oldest crafts – brings back a long-forgotten, almost romantic collaboration of the body and mind, and the relationship between domesticity and creativity. Words James Anderson

Soho Warehouse Downtown LA

Take in the view of Hollywood from the rooftop pool at Soho Warehouse Downtown LA