What I Know About Style

Mungo & Maud

November
20

Founder & creative director of Mungo & Maud, Nicola Sacher on feeling at home in the new Ledbury Road boutique

Who is Mungo, and who is Maud?

Mungo & Maud are fictitious characters left to one’s imagination. In my mind, Mungo is the dog and Maud is the cat.

What first inspired you to launch the collection?

Our first dog, George, an English Setter. At the time we struggled to find tasteful accessories and there were no other stores around other than traditional pet shops. My husband and I believed strongly in the idea and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to create something new and unique.

What did you feel was missing from other dog and cat boutiques before you created Mungo & Maud?

There seemed to be nothing in Europe at the time that was designed to complement the owner’s home and lifestyle. Nothing that resonated with my taste – lots of primary colours and synthetic fabrics. I wanted to create a charming environment that made the shopping experience pleasurable.

Do you think a stylish life is important? Do you believe aesthetics are important in every arena?

I can only speak for myself. I am a person who is drawn to the finer details and aesthetics of life. It gives me pleasure to notice these things. As the creative director, I constantly draw on inspiration from art, music, fashion, nature – it’s endless. Ideas pop up in the most unexpected of places! Our Bauhaus Lead & Collar was inspired by powder pink and yellow roses I saw and fell in love with in a little farmers market.

Your signature colour palette is unusual for a pet shop. Muted tones, interesting textural harmonies and a distressed slate grey floor all lend themselves to a high-end fashion boutique. I love this shift away from garish synthetics for pets. Did you spot an untapped niche?

I am extremely colour sensitive. I just work with colours that I am drawn to and use them for the basis of my work, whether that’s creating a store environment or a dog bed. Working with colour is one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job.

What is your favourite Mungo & Maud item?

It changes. When new products come out of production it excites me. It’s a bit like getting a new pair of shoes. At the moment my personal favourite is our new ‘Puffacake’ toy, it makes me laugh.

Did you have a background in design? What led to animal apparel?

I worked as a TV producer in advertising so my eyes and ears were highly trained. My husband Michael came from a retail family, Marks & Spencer, and my brother (our Sales & Marketing Director) came from a film background. All our resources are extremely complimentary.

If you hadn’t created Mungo & Maud, what would you have done instead?

Worked with Orangutans in a sanctuary, I adore them… Not sure I would have persuaded my husband.

Your newest boutique has recently opened on Ledbury Road – what drew you to Notting Hill?

I love the area and feel at home there. Our flagship store on Elizabeth Street in Belgravia also has a village-type feel and I think Notting Hill has a similar vibe. That’s unusual in such a sprawling city like London.

Do you think Mungo & Maud will start a wider trend for more discerning animal outfitters?

There has definitely been a marked increase in dog and cat accessories brands since we started back in 2005. Our admirers often tell us that there’s nothing else quite like us, but who knows what the future will hold… Although no two things can ever be the same.

Do you have a favourite west London hangout?

Oliveto, the Italian restaurant on Elizabeth Street. I live there.

 Do you have a favourite west London boutique?

I love Mint. They have the most interesting and original works in a beautiful space.

Who is your most stylish (canine) customer?

I couldn’t possibly say, I’d be hounded at the dog park if I only named one!

Any plans for world domination?

It’s my dream to walk down Madison Avenue and see Mungo & Maud.

282 Portobello Road, W10; 020 8993 4162

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