Born as Lucy Sutherland on June 13th, 1863, she spent her childhood in both Canada and the Channel Islands. She became married to James Wallace in 1884. They had a child together, though Wallace’s drinking led their marriage into a separation by 1890. In 1893, their marriage was officially ended by divorce, a rarity of the time. Because of this divorce, Lucy found herself nearly penniless. She began a dressmaking business from her home before renting a shop and workspace in London in 1894.