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Nicola Harding and Andy sitting on loveseat

Behind the brand: Nix and Andy’s story

In honour of Valentine's Day, our husband-and-wife founders, Nix and Andy, share their personal story and how they make it work as partners in life and business.

Nicola and Andy Harding NiX interiors furniture


Where it all started

20 years ago, Andy and Nix met on a bank holiday weekend at their local London pub. What was supposed to be a quiet and uneventful pint with friends turned into a riotous evening that, little did they know, would eventually lead to a wedding, several house renovations, three children, three dogs and a joint business venture. Phew!

In those early days, did it cross either of their minds that they would one day set up a business together? The answer is a firm no. "We were so different, it was a surprise that we were even forging a relationship together – the possibility that we could also forge a business together was not something that either of us could have predicted," laughs Nix. When they married, Nix was in the early days of setting up her award-winning interior design business, Nicola Harding & Co, and Andy was busy building a career as a multi-channel retailer, specialising in e-commerce and customer experience for big consumer brands such as Carphone Warehouse and House of Fraser. A natural communicator and strategist, Andy is a true people-person who has an innate ability to quickly distil ideas to their essence. Meanwhile, Nix is a creative who keeps a cool head under pressure. She can effortlessly articulate a vision and galvanise a team. However, they soon realised, it was their differences that made them perfect partners in life and eventually work. 


A business is born

NiX by Nicola Harding was an idea that grew and evolved slowly over time. Together, they had dreamt of building a business that combined their complementary skills, shared values and passion for responsible and sustainable business. Still, it was not immediately clear what shape that business would take. The idea was percolating for over 15 years and it was not until 2022 that everything finally fell into place. NiX by Nicola Harding was launched the following year, rooted in Nix's deep understanding of homemaking and steered by Andy's e-commerce expertise. "I think it was absolutely necessary for both of us to have that time to grow our careers separately, to have our own success and to learn from our experiences," muses Nix. "I think it's all about timing, and we couldn't have launched NiX any sooner than we did."

The lifestyle brand made its debut with a collection of lighting, followed by occasional furniture, upholstery, textiles, wallpaper and beds with plenty more in the pipeline. While Nix runs the creative side of the business and manages client relationships, Andy looks after all of the studio’s commercial, operational and financial elements, drawing on his retail, digital and fin-tech background. “We’re lucky in that we don’t want to be doing the same elements of the job that the other one enjoys: Andy doesn't want to be muscling through colour charts, and I would rather not be trawling through a spreadsheet,“ she smiles.

Nicola and Andy Harding NiX furniture studio showroom London


Finding balance

These days, the couple spend their time seamlessly shifting between the personal and professional; from their home in the country to their office in the city, they are designing, making, communicating and selling. "Having spent years running in separate directions trying to juggle family life with careers, it’s been a relief to find ourselves running in the same direction and spending time together," Nix reflects. "It's been great to experience this side of each other."

"I've loved it," agrees Andy. "I've loved stepping into a creative business and juggling all of the different components between us” Although the intense overlap between home and work life is unavoidable, especially when your business is all about homemaking, he says they try to avoid talking shop on the weekend and make space for family time. “It can be relentless because it's very tempting to talk about work all the time but we're lucky that our children pull us up on that!" he adds. 

Over their decades-long relationship, the couple say they have always made sure to celebrate each other's successes and have always remained grateful for each other. They understand and respect each other’s strengths and weaknesses, know when to lean in and support each other, and when to stand back and give space. "Running your own business is so all-consuming," explains Nix. "It can be quite a lonely road, but with someone else, who cares as deeply about its success as you do, it’s great to be able to share the load.”

Nicola and Andy Harding family
Nicola Harding & Co

About Nicola Harding & Co.

Nicola Harding & Co is a London-based interior design studio that creates places, not spaces. Rich in atmosphere, our interiors are refined and reassuringly familiar, reflecting and serving the people that use them.

About Nicola Harding & Co