When Alicia Jackson became a mother, she was disappointed that she couldn’t find tangible items she wanted to invest in for her girls. She wanted to surround them with practical, gorgeous items that were built to last and that made her (and her daughters) happy. And so Marmalade Lion was born.
That sounds nice and tidy, and it’s all true. But it’s not the whole story.
It’s easy to over-simplify, but life is messy and it’s important to us to honour the love, inspiration and drive that led to Marmalade Lion. And a lot of that is due to Valerie.
Valerie was an inspiration and mentor to her daughters Alicia and Hayley, and to another Hayley who’s like family to them. Alicia would go on to found Marmalade Lion, with both Hayleys later joining her to grow the business. These three women used their years of business experience and training to nurture Marmalade Lion into the brand you see today, and they also became mothers themselves. The squad of little people to their names only goes to further reinforce their combined purpose behind the business.
Valerie left the world unexpectedly 2015, in the same week that Alicia’s first daughter was due to be born. This became one of the most emotionally conflicting times of Alicia’s life. She’d lost her mother, and yet had also just brought a new life into the world. Marmalade Lion became a focus for her grief, and a love letter to her mum – a tribute to the creativity, talent and childhood memories Valerie had showered on Alicia, Hayley and Hayley.
Years earlier, dreamer Alicia had come up with a business idea that her mum liked (not getting the usual ‘oh Alicia, yeah sure!’ response), and together they’d set off to an old textiles factory that was closing down. They filled the car full of different fabrics, which stayed in Valerie’s garage for years, until they came into their own…
This is where the ‘tidy’ part of the story that you heard at the start begins to weave in. Marmalade Lion launched September in 2017, and we’ll let Alicia explain the rest:
Mum and I had always been creative forces with strong textiles experience. I’m also quite nostalgic and sentimental, so I wanted to create products that resonated with these ideals, and with a level of detail that Mum would have loved. More than anything, though, I wanted to honour her.
I don't like the idea of someone going and that's it. I want to move forward but I want her to live on through me, my children and this brand. In my heart this is what makes sense.
Our relationship was anything but smooth, but we were incredibly close and Mum’s life lessons were strong and memorable. I believe our products have those same strengths and morals. I want Marmalade Lion to make your life easier, and I hope that when you think back on our products in years to come, they’ll bring a big smile to your face!