Louis Sotiriades, or Mr Louis as most of his customers call him, came to England from Cyprus in 1933. His family had always been in the linen business, selling beautiful Lefkara lace and embroidery. As a young man, in a more trusting England than today, he managed to make a living selling his linens door to door. After a few years of building his reputation with hard work, good service and beautiful linens, one of his customers was so delighted with her purchases that she gave Louis the names and telephone numbers of seventeen of her friends. A business was born.
A chance meeting some years later brought Louis together with Jose Fernando, a young man who owned a hand embroidery factory in Madeira and was trying to find business in London. This business partnership and warm friendship lasted for more than sixty years. The combination of exquisite Madeira embroidery and Louis’ hard work created a business that was unique and successful, leading to the young boy from a village in Cyprus to walk in palaces and manor houses, to be embraced into the exclusive circles of royalty, aristocracy and show business. Approached many times by newspapers and magazines to write his story and talk about his customers, Louis always
refused, creating a mystique and exclusivity that has remained. You either know Mr Louis from the recommendation of a friend or family, or you do not.
Sadly, Louis passed away in 2013, having worked until his mid-nineties. He loved visiting his clients, chatting and having a coffee. His daughter, Anna and her husband Theo now run the business, following the same principles as he taught them. Sometimes, change and modernisation are not necessary. They still visit his loyal clients and their children and grandchildren on a one to one basis, offering a bespoke, personal service of long ago.