Finding Inspiration, part 1: Taylor & Gray's Journey

Finding Inspiration, part 1: Taylor & Gray's Journey

In the journey of establishing Taylor & Gray, my Irish design and homewares business, I've been fortunate to draw inspiration from various aspects of my life. Today, I'm excited to share a pivotal influence: my maternal grandmother, Genefer. Her indomitable spirit, keen eye for design, and adventurous soul have left an indelible mark on both my creative sensibilities and entrepreneurial endeavours.

Genefer is a woman ahead of her time, fearlessly traversing the globe as a solo traveller in the 1950s—an era when such independence was rare, especially for Irish women. Her love affair with India began during this time, a country she continued to explore extensively. It's amidst the vibrant colours, rich textures, and diverse cultural tapestry of India that Genefer's passion for aesthetics and craftsmanship flourishes.

In Ireland, she established The Emerald Butterfly, an antiques shop nestled within the charming Powerscourt Town Center in Dublin. Here, Genefer curated a treasure trove of eclectic finds, ranging from exquisite jewellery to intricate rugs, captivating ceramics to refined artwork. Her discerning taste and knack for uncovering hidden gems earned her a devoted clientele and a reputation for offering the extraordinary.

Driven by a desire for sunnier skies, Genefer eventually migrated to the South of France, where she continued her quest for beauty and adventure. Even in her twilight years, she remained an intrepid explorer, crisscrossing continents from the lush jungles of Borneo to the ancient wonders of Armenia. Her insatiable curiosity and zest for life serve as a poignant reminder that age is no barrier to embracing new experiences and pursuing one's passions. Genefer spent significant time helping different wildlife causes from working with endangered tortoises to leading treks in the Jim Corbett National Park in the hopes of spotting a tiger. 

Genefer has influenced the ethos of Taylor & Gray, infusing it with a sense of wanderlust, discovery, and refined taste. Her fearless pursuit of the extraordinary inspires me to seek out the unique and the exceptional, whether it's sourcing handcrafted textiles from artisans or designing captivating, beautiful ceramics. 

Her spirit of adventure, coupled with an unwavering commitment to quality and authenticity, serves as a guiding light for Taylor & Gray as we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of homewares and design.

As Taylor & Gray continues to evolve and grow, Genefer’s influence remains an integral part of our identity, reminding us to always strive for excellence and to never lose sight of the magic that lies in the pursuit of beauty and inspiration.

Join us as we embark on this journey, fueled by a shared love for all things beautiful and timeless. Together, let's create spaces that not only reflect our individuality but also celebrate the boundless creativity and diversity of the human spirit. 

Stay tuned for more insights and stories as we continue to weave different influences into the fabric of Taylor & Gray, one exquisite piece at a time. Until then, may your homes be filled with warmth, beauty, and the echoes of adventures yet to be embarked upon.

Genefer above in India.

Above: My great grandmother with Abdullatif and Genefer in 1988 in Tangier. Abdullatif owns a carpet shop in Tangier.


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