At home with Laura Wortlock, designer & founder, Once Was Lost

I caught up recently with my gorgeous friend Simone, from our favourite and most loved hand crafted ceramics brand Winterwares to talk all things home. Check out our recently published chat below; Laura x


Seven years ago Laura was looking for ethically produced, handmade products crafted with a design aesthetic she would be excited to wear or have in her home. Her search for scarves and throws in a timeless, natural style lead her on a journey across the world to find the right artisans to partner with.

"When we launched, the fair trade industry was inundated with tie-dye, tribal prints and goods that while giving back, essentially lacked meaningful purpose and intentionality and we hoped to change that trend." Her range is all handmade using traditional methods in Ethiopia. Through the sale of every Once Was Lost piece, the business is able to provide safe work environments, sustainable employment as well as health care, education and additional financial support to each of the talented makers.

"I feel now, there is such a renewed awareness of asking those deeper questions about where and how the products we invite in our lives are made, which has been amazing to watch unfold. We love the privilege of working directly with our master artisans in Ethiopia and seeing our products come to life, from design ideas to being part of homes all over the world". Her philosophy is quite simple, to craft truly authentic, purposeful products that will carry you through all seasons.

"As a family, we believe that the simple and natural things are often the most meaningful and beautiful - a handpicked flower, a kind word, that first cup of weekend coffee in your favourite cup - so we’ve overflowed that feeling and aimed to infuse it into each product. Taking on a thoughtful approach to production, for our textiles, we use only the softest, hand spun Ethiopian cotton, environmentally friendly dyes (with no nasty toxins) and nurture slower production methods weaving each product on age-old wooden looms."

Laura shares her thoughts on home, gratitude and life with little ones. 

How do you feel when you do less? I have more. More time for the things I value. More space for meaningful conversation. More room for growth.

What's something you've learned to live without? A full nights sleep. Thanks to the above mentioned sweet young boys. I’m happy now.

What is home to you? A space to retreat to - but also a space to play, grow, create, work, welcome others into, rest, bunker down and breathe.


What are you most grateful for? My totally dreamy husband. He keeps me grounded, inspires me forward, makes coffee in the morning, cheers me on and always gives me the better half of anything we share.

What do you have more time for? Building cubby houses.

What meal do you love making the most right now? We make a pretty stellar pumpkin soup, which our whole family loves and is basically just a great excuse for a fresh loaf of sourdough to accompany it, so as the weather is cooling, we’ve had that on repeat.

And finally, finish these statements for us ... I can’t live without … hope and a morning cup of coffee. I care more about … quality over quantity. I care less about … busyness and keeping up with trends.

Pictured: Hand Woven Blanket - Natural