FROM cottagecore to wall panelling, vintage mirrors to blue kitchens, macrame textiles to mermaid tiles, Lisa Blatch, owner of Scape Interiors, in Leigh, has plenty of top tips for what will be trending in home design this year.

It’s the place to peruse an eclectic range of furniture, soft furnishings, home and giftware, professional silk flowers and unique home accessories. But there’s a lot more to her beautiful boutique than you might realise.

The delightful family-run store in Broadway is dedicated to improving the lives of poverty-stricken people in India.

Lisa moved to the Leigh in the 1970s. She went to Westcliff High School and went into advertising. Lisa’s father set up the store in 2001 after becoming involved with El Shaddai Street Child Rescue – an Indian charity based in Goa that rescues, homes and educates children that have been abandoned.

lisa blatch owner of Scape Interiors

lisa blatch owner of Scape Interiors

This involvement led to a long-standing relationship between India and Lisa’s family.

She explained: “We originally started to bring beautiful products in from India that had been made by small co-operatives and small families often in a very rustic way.

“Being unconnected and of limited means, they had no way of getting their products to market. We quickly expanded to import and sell furniture but have always ensured that we know the origins of the products we sell and are confident that they have been sustainably made by people who are paid a fair wage for their labour.”

Once Lisa took over the helm in 2012 her first task was to rebrand and take the business online.

Scape interiors

Scape interiors

“It had grown as a very successful bricks and mortar store in the heart of Leigh but had absolutely no online presence” she said.

“I was very fortunate to meet up with Fenella (my amazing store manger and wingman) who had recently returned from living in Greece for the past 30 years.

“She has been an absolute godsend and runs the shop on a day- to-day basis.

“We both travel to India and to the various European shows on buying trips and never buy anything unless we both like it.

“Over the past couple of years we have built up relationships with artisans and craftspeople in India. We have got to know them, their families and their workers.

“We have even designed our own ranges of furniture and household products including beautiful William Morris inspired prints on cotton velvets.”

Scape interiors

Scape interiors

Lisa and her team put a lot of focus into ensuring their suppliers are treated well and paid a decent wage: “We have visited our suppliers, their factories and met the workers and are confident that they work in safe and healthy conditions and receive fair wages with additional benefits,” she said.

“This is important to us. We pay the advertised prices for goods – we don’t haggle over price and pay for goods sometimes four to six months up front as the suppliers need the money to buy the raw materials.”

Another core part of the store is that it is always changing, and this is another thing that’s appreciated by customers – 50 per cent of which are out of town daytrippers who have heard about Scape Interiors and want to have a day out perusing the store’s stunning stock.

“Our current best sellers are chairs, cushions, throws and side table.

“However, printed cotton masks were a totally unexpected best seller of 2020,” said Lisa.

Lisa gets to travel to India regularly: “The wonderful part of being able to travel to India as part of the job is the warmth and friendliness of the people,” she said. “They are far less materialistic than westerners and know how take pleasure in simple things. It has been lovely to build up relationships with the people and see their children grow up.”

“India is a very colourful country – the vehicles, the architecture, the clothes. When I first arrived there many years ago that was the thing that first struck me.”

Stunning sofa - one of the store’s bestsellers

Stunning sofa - one of the store’s bestsellers