Animal instinct pays for April and the Bear founder Siobhán Lam

Aileen Lee talks to Siobhán Lam, founder of April and the Bear Interiors Store.

Animal instinct pays for April and the Bear founder Siobhán Lam

What’s your background?

I studied for my BA hons in English and Sociology in NUI Maynooth and after that I started to work in retail. My parents are entrepreneurs, so I’ve always thought I might follow them down that route.

After a few more years working, I returned to college to attain my post-grad diploma in fashion buying, and after working in buying for several years, I set up my own business.

April and the Bear has been open for four years — we actually started out online only and held pop-up stores throughout the city which really showed us that our customers really liked the idea of a physical store. We opened our store on Cows’ Lane in Temple Bar, Dublin, last year.

Face Vase €49 and Pink Wire Chair €155

Face Vase €49 and Pink Wire Chair €155

What’s a typical work day like for you?

A typical day of work generally involves lots of replying to emails in the morning as well as some social media planning.

If I’m in the store, the morning is generally dedicated to fulfilling any online orders that have arrived in overnight.

The Mouse Lamp available from April and the Bear, €65

The Mouse Lamp available from April and the Bear, €65

The rest of the day is spent chatting to customers, or placing orders, or taking in deliveries.

To be honest, each day can be different from the next, depending on what stage of the season you’re in, and whether or not we have design projects on — it’s what makes the job so rewarding.

Tell us about a favourite project or design you have worked on?

One of my favourite projects to work on was on our Dinosaur head wall mount, I collaborated on this with my model-maker brother, Vincent Lam.

It was such an exciting and fulfilling project — to see something from conception to completion is incredibly satisfying.

What’s your design style?

I’m drawn to eclectic interiors with a focus on natural textures. I always think it’s more beautiful to reveal the beauty of a building structure that to cover it up.

What/who inspires your work?

I’m inspired by all sorts of things — from a quick trip to Paris to a random quote from Instagram, inspiration can take hold from anywhere.

What’s your favourite trend at the moment (if you have any)?

I’m really excited about the fresh pairing of green and pale pink this season — I think it’s such a cleansing colour combination and can’t wait to introduce it into the store.

What’s your most treasured possession?

My engagement ring.

Who would be your favourite designer, or style inspiration?

I’ve always adored Abigail Ahern’s style — it’s unequivocally ‘her’ and yet it’s evolving all the time. She is a very inspiring woman. Her style is all about embracing the darker side of the colour palette — her stores and home really embody this dark, glamourous, yet cosy aesthetic and she always brings so much personality to her designs.

What would be a dream project for you to work on?

I would love to build a modern house on the West coast of Ireland — it would incorporate the Irish coastline into the design and work seamlessly with the land… one day!

Have you any design tips for us?

Don’t be swayed by current trends or other people’s opinions when it comes to your home — follow your gut and what you are naturally drawn to. Your home should reflect you and your tastes, no one else’s.

Additional information: Website:

Social media sites: Facebook/Twitter/Instagram:@aprilandthebear

More in this section

News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up


Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.