Life Changing Magic of Linen Sheets (Small Shop Love: LAST LIGHT)
When you live in a small space with 4 people you learn to be okay with being uncomfortable and inconvenienced. I truly think this has made me a better person. A bit more patient, a lot less entitled and more flexible than I ever thought I could be. When putting away my bed everyday becomes the norm and not being able to access my closet past 8pm acceptable, a touch of luxury in our living situation can have a big impact. We recently replaced our bedding with Last Light Collection Linen bedding and I'm pretty sure I will be happy in a wall bed for the rest of my life as long as I'm sleeping in these dreamy sheets.
Now when I say replaced, I mean replaced. As in we only keep one set of bedding for any of our beds. I find we can't afford the storage to have an extra set of sheets for 3 beds. We have a washer and dryer so we just make sure we can wash and dry our bedding in one day. This may sound crazy to some people but I find it a great small space solution. That way we use our "linen closet" to store other household necessities we need much more. I also find we learn pretty quick if we bought good bedding as it gets a lot of use, not to mention sticky fingers and snotty noses at times.
One of the great joys of this blog is meeting and learning from small business owners who are pouring their hearts and energy into creating beautiful, quality and conscious items. Janine from Last Light Collection is one of those people. When I had coffee with her it was such a treat to hear her speak so passionately about Linen and the attention to detail she put into creating this line. I have been searching for a Canadian source for linen bedding for a while and Janine was doing the same so she decided to take her years of fashion and textile experience and solve this problem herself. West Coast designed, made from Europea Flax and woven in Portugal. I loved hearing about how most families in Europe have used Linen bedding for generations and their bedding lasts for years! The longer we live small and the fewer things we own, the more I realize that having high quality natural fabrics and finishes is worth the investment. Janine is as lovely as her linens and she offered to answer some questions about her company here:
I'm always inspired by people like you that take the leap to create a small company and put their product/vision out in the world. What made you start Last Light ?
I’ve worked in the apparel industry for 16 years and always with the idea that I would start something one day. I’d been collecting linens on my travels for years and could never find what I wanted in Canada. For the most part, linens in Canada are coming from European or Australian brands. Two years ago, I traveled through Australia and was inspired by the design community and the young talented business owners and that got me focused and was the nudge I needed to get going. It was a slow process over 18 months to launch LAST LIGHT, because I wanted to take the time to get everything right.
I'm still learning about all the magical properties of Linen. Can you explain... why exclusively Linen Bedding?
I love everything about linen! It’s one of the oldest textiles in the world and steeped in centuries of craftsmanship. Flax uses little to no irrigation or fertilizers compared to cotton, and the whole plant is used. Linen is luxurious yet understated, it’s durable, and it’s soft yet crisp. It’s often a family heirloom in European families and gets better with age. It feels wonderful to sleep in and wear. And it’s naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic and can be thermoregulating.
I have such a love for Portugal after travelling there last year. Why Portugal for manufacturing Last Light?
I scoured Europe to find the right factory partners…and was looking for linen from France, Belgium or Portugal who are known for quality. Ultimately, I chose a family-run factory in Portugal after touring their facility, meeting their team, and testing out their fabrics. They’ve passed down their craft for generations and I connected with their passion and dedication. I also wanted to source linens from a place I would enjoy traveling to frequently and Portugal checks all the boxes with the history, architecture, food, surf, landscape, culture, etc. (ed note: yes!!! I need to get back to Portugal too! It's a really special place)
What's the best part of running your own small business?
What I love about LAST LIGHT is that I'm spending time creating something I love and believe in. I am bonkers about textiles, and the idea of creating every day items that last a lifetime, and building items that nurture people and restore. I am enjoying learning from other business owners and being part of the design community…I’m meeting some incredible people.
What's the worst part?
I find the most challenging part is balancing my time and energy between my partner, my work, LAST LIGHT, and my friendships and family. Also, having faith and patience that I’m going the right way :)
Thanks Janine for sharing some insight into your brand and the natural magic of linen. For all the little inconveniences and sacrifices we make living small, the indulgence in your bedding reconfirms for me that fewer and better quality things, with a focus on where and how things are made is the right path for us. Wishing you all the success in growing your business!
(Thoughts and opinions completely my own. Sheets were generously gifted. As always I would only work with brands that I truly believe in and align with my values. Thank you for supporting brands that support 600sqftandababy)