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Category Archives: Interviews
A few weeks ago, a little email appeared in our inbox. It was politely and modestly written, asking kindly if we would be interested in sharing their new design concept with you all. Looking through their website it was clear this was a very clever design mob who we needed to explore further! The business in question, is Koush Design – an Adelaide based furniture and interior design business who have recently developed a recyclable and artistic recyclable light named, Glimpse.
Made from 100% recycled Ecoboard, each coaster sized Glimpse light features a unique photograph of various textures, which emit a soft glow when backlit by the LED light within. They can be used by themself, or coupled together to create an extravagant glowing feature wall. We spoke to Koush founder Julie Piede, who has shared more about her design business, and other applications for these cute lights!
1. Who is Koush design? How did you meet? What is your design ethos?
Koush was started in 1999 by me Julie Pieda, initially as a sole practitioner, with a focus on furniture design and residential interiors. After more than a decade that’s passed, it’s amazing to look back to see the scope of work we have since completed ~ from a wide variety of hospitality work, to office interiors, commercial buildings and retail fitouts as well as a continuous stream of residential jobs. Every interior we have done has featured our custom furniture in some form, and we also continue to produce individual pieces for other designers and of course directly to clients.
We have also created a product range, which began from items we couldn’t find in the marketplace and now gives us a chance to try new ideas and materials away from the commissioning aspect of the business.
I am very pleased to no longer be working solo – the koush team includes Interior Architect Jaana Bithell, industrial design student Sara Horstmann, as well as an informal collection of excellent trades and craftspeople with whom we collaborate with regularly.
2.What inspired you to design the Glimpse Light?
The Glimpse light was one of those perfect storm design moments that don’t happen often! We had just finished installing a pop-up lounge for the Performing Arts market at the Festival Theatre made from the marvellous Ecoboard. The product is made from 100% recycled cardboard. I had previously worked with Andrew from Ecoboard on a ceiling for another fitout and this job gave us the chance to try out the material for furniture and screening. We where then given an opportunity by Bowerbird, Adelaide’s design market, to be involved in displaying our Ecoboard work at Barrio for one night (which was a fantastic temporary bar and entertainment space during the Adelaide Festival.)
We wanted to get really involved in it and do more than just put our furniture in the space, so we got brainstorming around the studio about creating a small product that could be sold at Barrio on the night. For years I had been thinking about a mood light that featured the photographic textures, but I had never been able to control manufacturing costs. When we looked at the lighting concept with LED’s as the lightsource and Ecoboard as the structure, it all just made sense and Ta-da, we had a light on our hands – Most importantly made locally, from sustainable materials with a low energy light source!!
3. What applications does the Glimpse light have?
The applications of the Glimpse lights are as creative as the individual wants them to be. Essentially they are lights but they are also artworks and we’ve been careful to select images that look good with the light off as well as on.
• Grouped in a grid or line as an artwork/lightsource;
• Wall hung as a single piece to accompany other pieces of art;
• As a bedside night light in a child’s room;
• To feature on a wall outside during a party;
• used as a table lamp;
• We’ve hung them from a ceiling as a modern day chandelier, looking up into the images;
• Diagonally up a stairwell; AND
• We even had customers tell us they were using them as a mood light outside to guide guests to a door!
4. What can we expect to see if the future from Koush Design?
We are looking at doing a powered version of the Glimpse light along with a larger version. We love Ecoboard as a material, and are looking at using it for several other applications. We are also in the process of adding another upholstered piece to our product range, a glamorous 3 seater sofa.
Alongside product development our commission work is extremely busy with several house interior renovations, the conversion of a warehouse into a funky office space, and interior and custom furniture design for a community library. Watch this space!
5. Share with us your easy eco living tip: As designers we have a responsibility to design in the most sustainable manner we can. This applies to materials and processes, but also to choosing to manufacture locally thus supporting industry in Australia. These decisions are also relevant when we buy – I choose not to compare only the cost of a disposable item made in China with the cost of another item handmade locally . There are so many factors involved other than the final $, and its therefore not a true comparison. I instead try to choose quality….. My overall tip would be :
Save up. Buy something that you have researched and look forward owning, so you fully appreciate it. Make sure it’s good quality so it can be repaired when it wears (because you use it often) not thrown away because there’s no substance there in the first place and therefore no way to “fix” it. We see this with sofas regularly – and design ours to be reupholstered not put on a curb.
It’s all advice my grandma’s grandma probably used to say ~ timeless common sense advice; we just forgot it for a while.
Finding interesting pieces of art for your kids bedroom room is not the easiest of tasks ~ that is if you don’t want the standard counting or alphabet poster. Marcelle Crosby may be about to change that for you – particularly if you have a little girl. Her artistic folded paper dresses adorn walls from Russia to Australia and beyond, which is little wonder as they possess that unique quirky flavour that is often hard to find.
Maps, vintage patterns and floral printed paper are nimbly folded origami style into little girls dresses. Whether displayed on a hanger, or mounted within a frame, they make for interesting artwork. Marcelle is modest about her work, even to the extent of being a little too shy to share images of her workspace. She claimed it didn’t look too interesting.! I bet we would all beg to differ – Pieces of colourful paper cut outs and half folded dresses spread across a table or falling upon the floor would look great! Marcelle did however happily have a chat to us about her beautiful designs – so read on to learn more!
1. You clearly have a way with paper – Can you share with us where/how you learnt this skill? I was always interested in art and craft. As I grew older, however I did forget about it for a while. I was a nanny for 6 years and remembering all the art and craft projects to do with the kids really got my interest back into it. I was always remembering things that I used to do as a little girl that I would show the girls I looked after how to do. I loved origami and it is a great thing to do with kids as there is no glue or messy decorations to clean up. We also used to fold napkins in lots of different shapes for the dinner table. God bless the internet and all the wonderful activities it can show you.
2. Can you share with us what inspired you to create the Folded Paper Dress wall hangings? I made them for the little girls that I looked after. 1 girl had been to Paris and 1 was interested in New York so I made the first 2 dresses for them. I wanted to make something that I could make for their walls that was different to the wall art that I was seeing in stores. It was a lot of trial and error, but people of all ages have really taken to them.
3. Your folded paper dresses feature floral, vintage & map prints amongst others – Where do you source all these wonderful prints? I am lucky in Melbourne to have access to lots of beautiful shops that supply such wonderful things. If I ever see anything that catches my eye, I also make it up. Some maps work better than others, but I can sort of tell from looking at something now if it will look good made into a dress.
4. Can you give us a sneak peek/insight into what we can expect from you in the future? More dresses. I am trying to make some animals and some boys overalls too. Can someone please find me more hours in the day so I can achieve all this??
5. Share with us your easy eco living tip! Reuse, reuse and then reuse again. I have a lot of scrap paper from the dresses that I make and I am trying to make something that uses all the scrap paper – watch this space! I love reusing things. I have a lot of candle jars that I use for pens and bits and pieces on my desk. I can’t bear to throw them away. Don’t even get me started on ribbons from presents!
If you are interested in getting your hands upon one of Marcelle’s dresses, please see details below.
$69.50 on hanger.
Available at Potier, Albert Park, Vic
Once upon a time, sourcing organic cotton textiles with modern stylish prints was a difficult task. But thanks to a growing interest in sustainable textile design, seeking out contemporary prints on organic cotton base cloths is getting a little easier. Self professed best friends and husband and wife team Bec and Cameron Duff, have just launched Kambamboo, and if their first range is anything to go by, we can add another cool business to the small but growing list of Australian sustainable textile design talent.
Both Bec and Cameron come from creative backgrounds. They both met in Melbourne when studying Contemporary Arts, but along the way they have also been involved in film making, graphic design and printing, which then evolved into print making.
The Kambamboo collection is vibrant, fresh and inviting – Not only do they produce fabric for you to make into anything you please, but they also make a small homeware range. I particularly love those Whale Tail Cushions (above), and the Marigold Deckchair “Journey” print fit out which shows just how these fabrics can transform an otherwise ordinary piece of furniture (keep reading to see another fab furniture makeover piece below!).
We always love delving a bit further into the people responsible for creating beautiful designs, so it was with much pleasure Bec happily (and promptly!) agreed to answer our questions:
1. What inspired you to launch Kambamboo? How did you choose the name? We share a love of design, painting and illustration and were inspired by the dynamic colours and rhythms we see and feel around us. Kambamboo was born out of a desire to bring our inspirations to life. The name ‘Kambamboo’ is a made up word. When we started working on our designs ‘Bamboo’ was the first inspiration for our prints so we played around with sounds and syllables until we found the right name that felt rhythmic, fresh and light.
2. You just launched in February this year. What influenced the designs on your organic textile range? We’re influenced by the journeys we take. Our first collection focuses on our local plant, marine and bird life. Our next collection, which we’re currently working on, is inspired by a recent visit to Yosemite National Park in California. With our homewares and accessories, we look at the way we live when creating our products. With our Journey Bag for example, we wanted a practical bag that would fit in our bicycle basket for regular journeys into town.
3. You use organic based textiles and water based inks in your work. Is this a deliberate decision? We don’t claim to be 100% organic, sustainable or ‘green’ but we are focused on making good choices about what materials we use and how we use them.
We take our time choosing materials. It’s not always enough that a material is organic, it also needs to be durable. We currently use medium and upholstery weight organic cotton/ hemp basecloth for our printing and beautiful french-style hemp terry toweling as the backing fabric in our baby range. The inks are water based and therefore a better choice for our customers as well as our environment.
In our very creative community we have found a wonderful team of artisans who we believe are the best in their field when it comes to screen printing, fabric cutting and sewing. We choose to manufacture our products in and around our home region. This not only supports our local professional crafts people but also allows us to maintain a high level quality control of our products as we have access to the materials as they go through each stage of production.
4. I just LOVE that chair – is there a story you can share about its design? In 2011 by chance meeting we found Laura and Katie of Flourish and Blume who restore and upholster the most amazing furniture. We had seen their work before and as soon as we had our first run of upholstery fabric printed, we couldn’t wait to meet with them so they could do their magic and create the chair of our dreams. Laura and Katie sourced the 1960’s Wrightbilt Australian TV Chair and lovingly restored and upholstered the set using our Whale Tail printed organic cotton/hemp canvas.
(Flourish and Blume wrote a great blog post about the work that went into the Whale Tail Chair & Stool here… )
5. You have only just launched your first range, but can you share with us what we can expect to see from Kambamboo in the future? We will continue producing new colourful textiles and wares for the home and journey, and further into the future we’re looking at expanding our homewares range into areas such as bed linen and napery. We’re looking forward to doing some more one off pieces of furniture with our upholstery range too.
6. Can you share with us your easy eco living tip? Gift wrapping can be eco friendly, stylish and personalized using materials that are made from recycled contents or repurposing small items. We love playing with recycled brown paper, natural cellophane, tissue paper made with recycled content, natural twines, off cuts of fabric, stamps, newspaper, buttons, shells & stones.
Thanks Bec and Cameron for sharing your beautiful collection – Do check out their website where you can view their full bright and colourful fabrics ~ showing us that sustainable design is anything BUT dull. Thanks guys.
Handmade craft is making a comeback. Some miss the mark, but others are capturing the flavour of old, and making it relvant to modern day style. Illustrator, visual artist and fashion/textile designer (yes she is one amazingly talented person) Jessie Tucker is one such creative wonder, who saw the intrinsic beauty in this knotting craft.
Whilst the knotting technique has not changed, Jessie’s macrame pot holders include bright coloured beads (replacing the traditional shell), and her ropes are personally hand dyed in refreshing vibrant shades. The photos of her work alone drew me in, and had me envisioning the perfect spot in my house to hang one of her pieces – in fact – I found the perfect spot just inside my back door…and above the kitchen bench…
Between juggling a new baby, and designing a new colour range Jessie was very kind to sit down with us and answer a few questions about her stunning range:
1. What inspired you to work with macrame and how did you obtain the skill? I have always loved craft, ever since I was a little girl at the Steiner school, when it was my favourite subject! We learnt all kinds of craft skills and macrame was among them. I can’t say I remembered how to do it from primary school, but when I decided to have a market stall selling homemade homewares, I refreshed my memory. I did this using a 1970′s macrame magazine I picked up at an op-shop for 50c. I soon remembered how much I enjoyed it and what potential it has to create beautiful objects and developed my practice from there.
2. Your designs are a modern take on a traditional craft? Yes, when I create my pieces I aim to incorporate the traditional craft techniques with a contemporary aesthetic. I like the nostalgia of the 1970′s, but want to create something new and different from the dusty old potholders found in the back of sheds covered in cobwebs.
3. Looking at your designs they look quite intricate and I know I would have myself tied up in knots giving it a go – How long does it take you to make individual pieces (ie pot hanger) or more complicated pieces? Some of my pieces are definitely quite complicated and do involve tangles. Tying knots can be quite meditative but I have to stay focussed! It’s hard to say how long each piece takes as the process involves dying string, hand making beads, cutting lengths and tying knots. This spreads out over days and sometimes weeks. When I do have a full day of knots I get rope burn on my hands!
4. Do you have a favourite design (new or old) you can share with us? I don’t have a favourite design, each piece has it’s own story and place. But if I had to choose from the selection of experiments and samples I have around my own house and garden, I really enjoy the small, yellow, hanging vase I have in my kitchen.
5. Where can we find your designs? My macrame can be found online at www.lightly.com and www.editionx.com.au . I also take individual orders via email, products can be seen on my website, www.jumblehome.com. “(Edition X is currently sold out of my designs but a new edition in a new colour will be arriving soon.)”
6. Share with us your easy eco living tip! I think we all need to be mindful about the way we consume. Think about where the things you buy come from, who made them and how far they have travelled. Don’t buy things that are designed to last one season then end up in landfill. Eat seasonally, dress in vintage and support businesses that produce locally and value quality!
Do visit the stores listed above to see more of Jessie’s range (her talents also extend to a textile range at her store Jumble), and keep an eye out for the new macrame colours she is introducing soon!
It is a rare moment that I get excited about cleaning products. The very term conjures up mops, vacuum cleaners and toilet brushes – far from a favourite past time! But the new Melbourne made Planet Luxe cleaning range, has made me look twice! First and foremost, it is an Australian made eco friendly cleaning range which receives a big fat tick in my book. Second, the packaging is sleek, minimalist and modern – which somehow makes the task of cleaning just that little bit more enjoyable – strange how the psyche works!
Melbourne based Toni Lawler, is the brains behind the brand. Combining her marketing skills with experience in sustainability, she decided it was time to introduce a jazzy and sensitive planet friendly cleaning range to the market — and voila, Planet Luxe was created. I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Toni a few weeks ago, where we had a great chinwag, and she shared the following about the birth of Planet Luxe:
1) What inspired you to develop a natural cleaning range for the Australian market? It was a culmination of a whole lot of things that led to the ‘aha’ moment …I have been in advertising/marketing/pr/branding all my working life and after completing a Master of Entrepreneurship & Innovation in 2003, I had been wanting to launch a new business – I’ve run my consulting business Black Marketing (OK I’m a bit obsessed with the colour black – the name is a bit of a joke) since 1995 but have always wanted to create my own range of something. The challenge then is what? I spent 3 1/2 years as Brand Director in the sustainability space and had been exposed to very forward thinking about the issues of personal wellness, reduction of chemical exposure and green living trends so that was on my radar. Plus I was conscious of wanting to make better choices myself regarding the products I used at home both from a toxicity and irritant point of view – I was getting rashes when I used some cleaning products and coughing and spluttering when I used others. I was buying some eco products but I thought the packaging was not very attractive and I thought if the eco product packaging had a modern design aesthetic then more people like me would be attracted to the products …so really it was identifying a gap and setting out to give the category a makeover.
2) Planet Luxe is filled with wonderful Australian fragrances – How did you choose the blends? That was really hard because once you start researching smells you realise there are a guzillion gorgeous combinations. My first decision was to have an Australian angle, then I scoured the op shops for books on aromatherapy, then I got some essential oils and started experimenting. I wanted the products to have a depth of aroma so I worked on the different notes to get the blends I wanted. I then had samples made up for some market research. The only product that changed was the Toilet Cleaner …I went in a bit too tricky in the beginning and the feedback was that people wanted the Toilet Cleaner to have a smell that was more traditional so we changed that.
3) It is clearly no easy task developing an environmentally sensitive cleaning product – What major challenges did you experience formulating the range? The biggest challenge was making sure the products all worked (no one is going to use a product if it doesn’t do the job it is meant to) and there were no hidden nasty ingredients. I did a lot of research into what the main problem ingredients were, examined the products already on the market (both here and overseas) and looked at consumers trends in the category. As a marketer I started by developing the brand strategy and identifying what I wanted to be able to claim about the products and worked backwards to develop products that could deliver those claims. I knew that I wanted to say absolutely that all the products were toxin-free, readily 100% biodegradable and grey water safe with no animal testing or animal by-products. Plus no parabens, phosphates, sulphates, ammonia, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances or dyes. I thought it would be easy to get the products I wanted but it took me two years from concept to launch.
4) What can we expect to see from the Planet Luxe range in the future? PLANET LUXE is an eco-lifestyle brand so the plan is to continue to develop products that help us all to do our bit to save the planet and ourselves without sacrificing style in the process…at the moment I am working on a Dish Washer Powder…
5) Share with us your easy eco living tip: Mmm – my first thought is that I use PLANET LUXE products now! But in addition to that…I am reducing my usage of bottled water. I am trying to get into the habit of filling my reusable BPA free water bottle from the tap before I leave home…that helps save the environment and saves me money as well…
Thanks Toni – we look forward to seeing further product releases from Planet Luxe!
++ Planet Luxe ++
Now stocked at State of Green.
Would you describe yourself as a modern parent trying to lead a sustainable lifestyle for your family? If your answer is a resounding “yes”, then boil the kettle and put your feet up as there’s a new magazine that is sure to help steer you in the right direction. USA based Natural Child World (NCW) magazine features innovative and modern product design for your children along with articles and tips from a variety of experts on child rearing – in a modern and sustainable way. No tie dye or hippies in sight – promise!
NCW first launched in L.A in early 2011, and quickly attracted a national readership across the USA via outlets such as Barnes and Noble and Wholefoods USA. To celebrate its first birthday, the magazine has just launched worldwide via online subscription, making it an easy and accessible read from your ipad, laptop or desktop computer!
Barbara Manconi, Managing Editor of NCW is no newcomer to the sustainability scene. With a background in “green” marketing, teaching and consultancy work she brings many years experience to NCW. She generously gave us her time to answer a few questions, plus provide us with a quick peek at what to expect in next month’s mag.
1. Where did the idea for Natural Child World stem from?
First and foremost from the love for children and the love for beautiful design. NCW was born with aspiration to promote the attractive side of sustainability to modern parents with a conscience and a taste for life. I wanted to defeat a stereotype: green means sacrifices. I wanted to prove that is possible to live a healthier and a more sustainable life without sacrificing style, taste or performance.
NCW is the result of many years of experience as a marketing professional consulting for international clients and teaching at major American Universities Sustainability and Green Strategies. I couldn’t find for my clients an outlet that would feature exceptional design, great photography and sustainable principles. The sad choice was simply between traditional parenting magazines full of redundant information and far from sustainable content or “tree hugger/granola” type of publication that would alienate the majority of people not willing to “commit” to that extent.
2. What are the main features readers can expect to find in the magazine?
The magazine has a heavy focus on design and style. Simply because giant leaps have been achieved in these industries and amazing companies are producing beautiful products using sustainable principles as tools for innovation. For this reason many of our readers compare us to Dwell magazine. For our clean and minimalistic design and content we have been compared to Wallpaper magazine. The most important thing that also sets us apart I think is the fact that we feature international and global content. From the Fashion Summit in Copenhagen to the small design studio in Melbourne, we bring to our readers the latest trends in modern parenting and modern sustainability with no boundaries and borders. So that parents can feel inspired and more connected.
3. What do you see as the important issues for raising children in today’s climate?
Education is key. At different levels. A) Parents need to educate themselves more than ever to be able to make informed decisions for their families and be able to navigate through often misleading claims. B) Parents need to understand the responsibility of being role models for their children and start shifting to healthier and more sustainable behavior that can be emulated by the little ones.
4. What do you see as important features in designing new products for children?
Leaving aside safety standards that are obviously key, a successful product nowdays is a product that can “grow” with the child. Children grow so fast and get bored so easily, a product that can follow and adapt to multiple life stages will last longer, will meet parents’ (and wallets’) favor as well as create less waste. Another key element is also the opportunity to spur children’s imagination. A new generation of children are growing up oversaturated with technology, and parents are increasingly concerned that imagination and active play are at risk. This is an amazing opportunity for companies to come up with creative ideas.
5. What were your top 3 children’s design products for 2011?
- Kalon Studios Hut Hut Kids, a modern reinterpretation of the rocking horse, created with innovative non-toxic resins (kalonstudios.com);
- 5 Phases 1st hybrid baby bottle internal glass bottle + covered by a shell of plastic; and
- Ubabub pod cribs, ultra stylish and safe, and…Australian!!
6. Can you give us a sneak peek into what’s in store for Natural Child World 2012?
We will be expanding online, launching our online shop and affiliate program, and we are looking at international distribution in Europe, Australia and Asia.
7. Where can Australian readers find your magazine?
The print edition can be purchased online at www.naturalchildworld.com and we are launching our digital edition for computers and iPad in March 2012. This will be available on our website as well and on zinio.com. Currently we are looking into physical distribution into Australia and New Zealand.
++ GIVEAWAY DETAILS ++
To celebrate the worldwide launch, we have 3 online subscriptions to giveaway!
To enter simply follow instructions below.
(i) LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW telling us why you’d like to win a subscription to Natural Child World; AND for an extra entry
(ii) By midnight on Friday 24th Feb (Australian EST), “Like” Natural Child World on facebook with comment “I’d love to read Natural Child World in Australia”.
The winners will be drawn at random on Saturday 25th February 2012 (Australian EST). The winners will be notified by email. GOODLUCK!
Being in the right place at the right time, can shift the course of your future, and this is exactly what happened with fashion designers Anita Tamati and Kimberley Quintal from the relatively new sustainable fashion label, Karmatique. It was whilst working in hospitality they first met. When their friendship blossomed, they decided to fuse their respective skills as a fashion bridal stylist (Anita) and local fashion design understudy (Kimberley), to launch their own fashion brand ~ with sustainable fashion as its central focus.
Based in Bondi, Sydney, Karmatique are carving a niche in the sustainable fashion industry, and we hope making other fashion leaders stand up and take notice too! Not only have they developed an eye catching range with a 1960′s flavour, but they have done so by incorporating sustainable design practices. Organic farmed cotton and bamboo is sourced from Queensland, and recycled textiles sourced from markets, antique fairs op shops and garage sales are ingeniously incorporated into their range. As they approach their first year anniversary, we spoke to Kimberley and Anita who shared with us a little more about their range:
1. You both share a love for sustainability – Why is this important to you?
A: Growing up in New Zealand in a small town, being green was a way of living, everyone had a garden, recycled, supported the locals, everyone did their bit – so to be honest I can’t imagine a life without it!
K: I grew up in a household where recycling and composting were common practice. I have had a kooky obsession with removing the plastic from window envelopes for as long as I can remember. It was a natural progression for our label to focus on sustainability as it is ingrained in both of us.
2. How do you incorporate sustainable design into the karmatique range?
We design around the vintage and recycled fabric and trimmings we source. In order to minimise waste we created karmatique boudoir a sustainable lingerie line made from the off cuts of our collection and recycled or vintage trimmings.
3. What inspired the first Karmatique range?
The light hearted romanticism of the 60’s and 70’s, as well as fabrics and trimmings we sourced from far and wide.
4. You are working towards being a carbon neutral business – What efforts are you taking, and what is your penultimate goal?
Yes, we are working towards being carbon neutral. We are also donating a percentage of the sales towards planting trees within Australia and practicing sustainability in both our design and work practices. Our penultimate goal is to be an internationally recognised brand inspiring and educating people on eco living trough design!
5. Share with our readers your easy eco living tip!
+ Plant a garden – even if it’s just herbs
+ Buy local in season produce. It’s much better for your health and is has less impact on the environment. J
+ Avoid plastic bags whenever you can by taking reusable cloth bags with you
+ If you do get plastic bags with your shopping, re use! Don’t just throw!
+ Recycle! Don’t just throw everything away. As they say one person’s trash is someone else’s treasure!!
+ Think before you buy. If you can buy local, then do!
Karmatiqe is available at Paris Texas and The Candy Store (both in Surry Hills, Sydney) and The Coop Store (Manly and Melbourne). Keep an eye on their website, which whilst under construction, will be showcasing their full range soon!
Do you love plants but manage to kill everything left in your care? Andrea Daniel of Odds&endS may have the perfect solution for you. Her plant range looks good, requires no watering, they withstand extremes of temperature, never wilt and are not plastic! Too good to be true, you say? Okay, whilst the cacti plants are not real, they look close to the real thing, although a lot cuddlier than the real version!
Just last year, Andrea Daniels launched Odds&endS, a craft label devoted to traditional crafting techniques utilising antique and reclaimed materials. In addition to her signature cacti pieces, Andrea also creates some very friendly looking soft toys and patchwork blankets crafted from old pullovers made pure wool, cashmere and mohair jumpers.
Trained in Industrial design and holding a BA in Fashion Design, Andrea works part-time in the fashion industry, in addition to running Odds&endS. Between juggling both occupations, Andrea kindly spared a few moments to share with us a little further insight into Odds&endS:
1. What inspired you to start Odds and Ends? I have trained in Design (Fashion and Industrial Design) and always been a self-confessed craft lover. What started as a hobby making soft toys and cacti for friends, lead to participation in some design markets, which then developed into private and retail orders. Odds&endS was initially about finding inspiration in my large collection of vintage textiles, to create unique handmade products.
2. Who inspires you? My family are a wonderful support and encourage me to keep up the work involved in running a label. Creatively, I admire Ray and Charles Eames for their whimsical sense of design, coupled with their beautiful appreciate for form and function. If I had one wish, it would be to visit their home case house study #8 – so amazing!
3. What are your favourite pieces? In my collection of Odds&endS, I do love to make the knitted cacti. I never expected for a product concept to literally evolve the way that it has. I have to giggle when I find myself gravitating towards the landscaping magazines and botanical journals when I am at the Newsagent.
4. What does a typical day at Odds & Ends involve? No two days working on Odds&endS are the same. I try to vary my work tasks each day, but guaranteed there is always lots of knitting and hand sewing to complete! Over time I have worked out ways of streamlining my practices, so generally I will work away at one task at a time. For example, I will spend a morning on knitting, afternoon sewing and then preparing/cutting pattern pieces for the soft toys/blanket collections. Evenings are great for administration and time for online marketing….I love blogging, and reading other design blogs!
5. What can we expect to see from Odds & Ends over the next twelve months? I am very excited about Odds&endS expanding into new product categories in the coming year. I hope to launch a stationary and illustration collection in collaboration with my sister Renee who has a background in printmaking and design. I also have some exciting exhibition proposals in the making…expect to see some larger than life knitted cacti!!
6. Share with us your easy eco living tip: I love thrift shopping, and where possible buy preloved over new. There is so much character in a vintage piece and often the quality and craftsmanship exceeds the fast mass production products of recent times.