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Our Story

Take a look at the Ruby Watts family story through the eyes of Sophia Marks, the owner

1985

“Hello Ruby”

It all started with my father’s favourite song “Cowgirl in the sand” by Neil Young. The second verse of the song starts with the words “Hello Ruby in the Dust” – I remember him playing it over and over on our old stereo when I was a kid.

He always wanted to open his own restaurant in London and the song gave him an idea for the name.

1986

Ruby’s wild days

My dad’s dream came true – my parents bought a restaurant in Camden, London, and named it “Ruby in the Dust”. It was a table dancing, burger and tequila restaurant.

Ruby became a persona, young, wild, and full of life. Some of our present clients tell me they remember the restaurant so I guess you could say Ruby has become one of London’s urban legends.

1989-2013

Ruby’s family home

After a few years it was time for Ruby to take off her dancing shoes.

My parents bought a house in the countryside, and continued working in the service industry. They were doing the house and raising four kids.

My mum’s a brilliant spatial designer and she’s always had a great passion for interiors. It goes without saying that she styled our house beautifully! This was the time when she started thinking of opening her own business.

2014

Ruby’s return

Now that my siblings and I were all grown up, my mum and auntie continued the family legacy – they founded an antique lighting shop, Ruby Watts. Ruby – to continue the family heritage, Watts –  like the units of electric power!

It’s always been my mum’s dream to open a business with her sister, and since both of them are incredible interior stylists, the shop was built on solid foundations.

Our first location was in a retail barn in a small village of Hurstpierpoint in West Sussex. Ruby, now older and wiser, lived on through a new business carrying on the family legacy.

2015

Ruby’s high street debut

The mature and classy Ruby Watts had her high street debut in 2015 in a shop in Hurstpierpoint. This was also when I joined the business as a Brand Manager.

We were offering unique vintage lighting, and soon gained many trusted local clients who would come over for a chat and a coffee (and lighting advice, of course).

Winter was our favourite season – our shop would fill up with festive music and the sweet smell of mince pies. Ruby Watts was always full of fun, laughter, and light – in every sense of the word! 

2016

Ruby’s evolving

The way I see it is that my mum and auntie planted the seeds and I’m watering them. I helped to develop brand strategy, and soon became the owner and director of the company.

We updated the branding, and designed the current version of the logo – elegant and minimalistic. As the brand developed, we also introduced modern designer lighting to our collection.

There were many changes but one thing has remained the same. Ruby Watts was still a warm and inviting local community space – not only because of the beautiful ambient lighting inside the shop!

Everyone was always welcome, and people would stay for hours chatting about life, interiors, and lighting. That’s when we introduced our lighting consultancy service to help our clients create their dream homes.

2020

Ruby’s moving online

It’s time for Ruby Watts to move online.

We want to offer our lighting to everyone, and that’s why we are introducing a new user friendly online shop. You can now visit our new website and social media channels for a daily dose of inspiration and tips about lighting your home. Chat to us or call us to ask any questions about the products we offer – we’re always happy to help!

Oh, and did I mention that we still offer bespoke lighting consultancy? Yes, we can come to your home and help you choose the perfect lighting for your space!

Our goal to keep Ruby Watts as a warm and welcoming space for everyone. We are constantly thinking of new ideas for the brand development, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for Ruby Watts!