If you know lights, you know Hector Finch Lighting, one of the prime lighting suppliers for retail and commercial spaces. From lanterns to wall lights, Finch Lighting is an all-in-one source for countless different styles and interpretations of decorative lighting. Who you may not know, however, is Emma Finch, Hector’s wife, and much more than the first lady of a lighting line. Behind the scenes, Emma’s business development know-how and creative eye have made the brand what it is today. Now, she’s stepping into the spotlight with her own sustainable decor line, aptly named Emma Finch, which will provide decorators and collectors with ethically-sourced high-end artisan decor. From Europe to Asia, Finch’s travels throughout her career have inspired a holistic, botanically-inspired brand of her own. To start, the line will launch furniture and decor from around the world and later branch into fragrances and herbal remedies, something Emma has been inspired by for years. Join us this Maker Monday as we talk design icons, Bowie, and 14th-century woodwork. In the Harbinger Showroom, a pair of citrus-colored chairs and watercolor wallpaper ushers in a brand new East Coast flagship for Emma and Hector’s designs at the New York Design Center.
Andrew Joseph PR – What’s your wakeup ritual?
Emma Finch – The alarm goes off at 630 and I have a cup of tea with honey whilst having a bath, then a few yoga stretches before a short sit and the run for the morning train with my 16-year-old son. Because we live in the middle of nowhere, there is a lot of driving involved but this is compensated by the beauty of the area we live in. I have porridge when I get home and then walk my lurcher, Teasel.
Andrew – Style (or design) icon?
Emma – I do really love Gio Ponti and Piero Fornasetti and that whole period of Italian manufacturing at Fontana Arte in between the wars. The shift from the Arts and Crafts movement to a clean, modern aesthetic using contemporary manufacturing techniques was so necessary to take the design world forward in a new direction and is informs much of what we do and produce today.
Andrew – Most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?
Emma – I left a really good job in publishing in my mid 20’s, to go walkabout in South East Asia and spent 10 months on the road, 6 in India. Although often with a travel buddy, I learned how to be truly independent and that if you smile and have a positive attitude, you will reap the rewards many times over. I had some amazing encounters with travelers, local people, and holy men and saw a goat sacrifice in the snow-covered Himalayas, at full moon, which was the culmination of an exorcism of an evil spirit in the house. I’ll never forget it! The tastefully nautical Coral Table Lamp is a collaboration between Finch and silversmith Jocelyn Burton. The Swing Light in black by Finch marries function and form in a sleek black-and-gold essential.
Andrew – Favorite city to recharge?
Emma – New York. We moved out of London to a very rural location 14 years ago when the children were still very young and since then my visits to our showroom in New York have been a godsend. I have family and friends there, so am never on my own for long, and adore the vibe, the rush of adrenalin that I get on the way in from the airport and the frenetic activity. I know that I would not want to live there full time, but as a ‘fix’ a couple of times a year I would not swop it for anything. And the Met is one of my favorite museums in the world and I go every time I am in the city.
Andrew – Favorite place to view art?
Emma – I studied History of Art at university and 14th century Italian was my favorite period. I love seeing artworks in the places they were originally produced for and love most of all the fresco cycles of Piero della Francesca in Arezzo and San Sepulchro and the incredible works by Masaccio in the Brancacci Chapel in Florence. I love going to tiny churches and chapels in Italy and finding a beautiful Madonna or Crucifixion languishing in a dusty side chapel and have developed a penchant for the Byzantine wooden crosses. There is something about their Ancient abstract simplicity that has an almost contemporary feel.
Andrew – Song you can listen to on repeat?
Emma – Ground Control to Major Tom is, without a doubt, the track I would take with me to heaven. I have loved David Bowie since I was 8, saw him in concert in London when I was 13, spotted him on a cross Channel ferry a year later and have been passionate about him all my life. I love his iconoclastic imagination, his humor, his music and lyrics but most of all his persona – so difficult to fathom and so endlessly creative and bewitching. Retro and radiant, the 50’s inspired Lucia lamp shines a spotlight on anything you want to make pop!
About Emma Finch | I am an experienced and dynamic Company Director and have spent the last 22 years working alongside my husband, Hector Finch developing our business enterprise in the UK, USA and latterly globally. My previous employment positions have contributed to my ability to manage budgets as well as identify marketing and public relations opportunities. Along with networking and communication skills and a no-nonsense approach to financial, legal and human resources issues, my mantra is to conduct business in an open, friendly and professional manner (whilst not suffering fools gladly) and I believe wholeheartedly in honesty, transparency and generosity.
Now that we have an excellent and committed staff of 25, I am able, for the first time in 22 years, to pursue my own passion – to work with talented designer/ fabricators and to support and promote them in whatever way I can to bring top quality, functionally designed and original goods to market.
In October 2019, we will be celebrating 25 years of Hector Finch Lighting and I will simultaneously launch my eponymous brand, Emma Finch, which will represent and celebrate high-end artisan producers from Europe and Asia. The range will include Italian glass, ceramics, linens, leather goods and fragrances as well as some niche products from further afield. It will have a particular emphasis on the history of the family companies I have been fortunate to find and will have an ethical stand on fair trade, sustainably sourced materials and ecologically friendly materials and production processes. My interest in botanicals and the natural world will lead the brand into natural healing products, including herbal teas, essential oils and natural medicines.
In 2019 it is my intention to set up The Emma Finch Foundation with the aspiration to promote talented, young designer-makers from Asia and help them develop markets in Europe and America. I will give 10% of the profits of Emma Finch Ltd to the foundation as a tangible means of showing my commitment to the practice of generosity, known as the Diamond Suttra in Buddhist practice. The Buddha describes the three central practices of Buddhism as Dana, Sila and Bhavana, or generosity, morality, and meditation. In addition, the development of the Ten Parami (Six Paramita in Mahayana Buddhism), or perfections, is considered crucial for the eventual attainment of Nirvana, generosity being one of them.
About Andrew Joseph | Andrew Joseph’s passion for design and rich journalistic history led to the launch of his boutique PR firm in 2012. Prior to enjoying the successes of Andrew Joseph PR, Andrew honed his editorial skills at Vanity Fair and Allure. This experience, as well as the strong network of contacts developed over the years in public relations, brings a valuable edge to his new role as contributing editor. Let the musing begin.
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