Tell us about your background and how you came to design?
I studied Bachelor of Design majoring in Textiles in Wellington and began my career in the fashion industry developing and sourcing textiles for apparel. I travelled overseas and then based myself in Melbourne where I moved sideways into the interiors sector with Warwick Fabrics. Now I work for Weave as the design manager â€“ responsible for the creative direction of the Weave brand.
Who were some early design inspirations and how have they influenced your work?
As a child in the 1980â€™s my parents had a design book by Terence Conran. I would sit for hours fascinated at the images. As a teenager my friends were all reading fashion mags but I was always reading architecture or interiors issues. I think I was destined to work in interiors from a young age but got sidelined in the fashion industry for a bit. I feel more inspired in the interiors industry than I was working in fashion.
Where do you look for inspiration now?
Everywhere. Sometimes itâ€™s set design and costume in movies/tv. Architecture and interiors are also key points of inspiration for me. And Iâ€™m always looking at magazines or on Instagram. I also find the natural environment hugely inspiring and often look to patterns and elements from this area for inspiration. Studioilse the company of designer Ilse Crawford always provides inspiration from interiors and homewares products and she has a very strong design ethos that her studio follows which I admire. Ferm Living are a homewares brand that I love for their styling.
How would you describe your design process?
Generally it starts with travel to key retail hot spots or trade shows where we review what is happening internationally on a trend and fabrication level. From here I collate images and colours alongside other inspirational pieces and create moodboards and colour palettes. Then I get into designing prints and weaves and determining what types of fabrics we want to work with. Then itâ€™s a process of briefing in the concepts to our talented craftspeople and suppliers to create the end product. I travel to our suppliers twice a year to work with them on product development.
What would you consider to be a turning point in your career and why?
Moving into developing finished goods rather than fabric was a turning point. I really enjoy the increased challenge of the design and development of a finished end product. Developing a range that encompasses cushions, throws and handwoven rugs enables me to create a whole room concept which I find exciting.
What are the defining values of your work?
I endeavour to develop products that are high quality so they have longevity. I also aim to be aware of global trends but try to not dogmatically follow these. Again to enable the products to have a longer lifetime and have appeal for more than one season. The aim for the Weave brand is to create ranges of homewares that have great quality at affordable prices.
What are you working on now?
Iâ€™ve just completed our Spring/Summer 2020/2021 collection for Weave and have begun researching and mood boarding for Autumn/Winter 2021 which we will release in February next year.