Mag Square

Monday, February 28, 2011

in the spotlight: write to me

The long lost art of letter writing has come alive thanks to Melbourne based, Write To Me. Making their first appearance at our St Kilda event, these two sisters can't wait to share their love of stationary with our Magnolia Square visitors!


Please describe your business and background...
Write To Me is a boutique stationery and giftware company that we started developing late 2009. Each of our products are designed, hand printed and crafted in our Melbourne studio. The basis of Write To Me’s creation is that no one really writes to each other anymore in form of pen, paper and posting or hand delivering. We understand and know how convenient today’s means of written communication is – emails, text messages, social networks (we do use it ourselves!) – however we really wanted to encourage people to write to each other in the old fashion way.
What inspired you to start your business?
As sisters with a crafty upbringing having a business together is something we always wanted. We have tried a few different avenues in the past but Write To Me has felt right from the start and we are both having so much fun watching it grow.


What is your favourite part of the job?
Hard question – we love every bit of it. Probably creating new products and watching them come to life.What’s your own personal style?We love anything nostalgic.
If money were no object what would you buy?
More paper!
Describe your typical workday?
Long – as we both still work in other jobs and Anna has a 2 year old our days are full and fast paced until we fall into bed about midnight every night.


What business advice would you give to those just starting out?
Plan, plan, and stick to the plan. Spend your pennies wisely and keep going – don’t give up.What are you looking forward to in 2011?We look forward to launching our new products we have been working hard on and re-launching our current range in our new packaging. We look forward to stocking more shops and meeting more people who are in the same boat as ourselves. 
What three words best describe you?
We are happy, dedicated and crazy


What is playing on your iPod right now?
Florence and the Machine


Please tell us your blog/website link:

happy snaps

We can't help but gush about Melbourne and know that many of our visitors and retailers feel the same. One in particular is upcoming St Kilda retailer,Leoni and Vonk


They have just launched a photo competition entitled 'Why We Love Where We Live' and encourage you to start snapping and submit your favourite Melbourne-based photo of where you live or work. The best submission will win a beautiful sterling silver and glass locket. For more details check out their blog or visit them this weekend at Magnolia Square St Kilda...happy snapping!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

that's a wrap

A big thank you from the Magnolia Square team to all our retailers and the lovely visitors that came out to support our Paddington launch.  We can't wait to see you in Sydney later this year but up next - St Kilda! Our first Melbourne event of the year returns to the St Kilda Town Hall running from:
3 March 5pm-10pm
4 March 10am-5pm
5 March 10am-5pm
 6 March 10am-4pm 

*we'd love to hear from you...what captured your attention at Paddington? what product did you just have to have?

Paper Construction by Jo Neville

in the spotlight: emotional baggage

We can't wait until next weekend when we can swing open the doors of the St Kilda Town Hall and showcase the amazing lineup of talent we have in store for you. One retailer ready to show her wares is handbag label, Emotional Baggage.


Describe your business and your background 
Emotional Baggage is a handbag & accessories label born out of my passion to create things with my hands. As a child I spent weekends locked in my mum’s sewing room making myself and Angelino (my doll!) some clothes from fabric remnants, and bad ‘fimo’ jewellery. Despite having an interest and passion for sewing, I went on to pursue a career in engineering and worked in the industry for sometime before re-discovering sewing again in my late 20’s. 
What is your favourite part of the job?
Definitely the fabric hunting. When you run this type of business, you MUST shop for fabric…its part of the job right? These days I have myself on a tighter leash...business budgets and all that sort of stuff…


Describe your workspace or where you create
I have a white-walled studio on the third story of an old school building in Brunswick. If you crane your neck and flipped it sideways, it has city views!! I am fortunate to have a place away from home to clear my mind and have space to cut and create without having to pack up all the time!
What’s your own personal style?
When playing dress ups it’s definitely classic; neutral tones and accessories for colour. When running around with my 14mth old daughter, jeans, flats and perhaps some avocado smeared on a clean shirt (that’s also for colour)…stylish eh?


If money were no object what would you buy?
Tickets for my family to visit the Tour de France every year!
What are some of your daily reads or blogs you can’t live without?
I enjoy reading the daily imprint to keep up with who’s doing what…and what to wear with avocado
What other designers inspire you?
I am not so much inspired by designers as by people. I love hearing stories about everyday people that have turned their creative interests into successful businesses or even just given something a red hot go and not let fear of failure get in the way!!
What business advice would you give to those just starting out?
I would suggest having a back up plan. This might sound negative, but it helps alleviate the pressure of things HAVING to go exactly as you need them to, because, chances are they wont! If you can balance business start up with paid employment, or study, its just means that you have plan B to support you through the early stages and challenges.  The other recommendation would be to network with other like-minded, creative beings. It’s an inspirational and supportive world out there if you make yourself available to meet new people!


What are you looking forward to in 2011?
I have just launched a new range of handbags and I am really happy with the result and can’t wait to showcase it at a heap of design events in 2011. 
What three words best describe you?
sensitive, playful & supportive 
Please tell us your blog/website link
www.emotionalbaggage.com.au

Saturday, February 26, 2011

blogging to you live...

We're blogging live from Paddington Town Hall today and thrilled to report that the sun is shining and the shoppers are out in full force.  With another full day to go tomorrow you still have time to visit us, we're open from 10-4pm tomorrow - come on down! 

Friday, February 25, 2011

live from the show...

The doors opened with a flourish this morning and shoppers turned out in droves to check out the amazing selection of products on offer at the Paddington Town Hall. We’ll be open Saturday 10–5pm and Sunday 10-4pm so don’t miss out! These beautiful images are by extrememly talented young Sydney photographer, Katie Preece 

inspiration: paper & thread
little branch, new to MS - love it

paper goodness by la la land

ellani petite's beautiful hair adornments

Jo Neville's paper installation

For more images of the Paddington show please click here

For our Melbourne visitors, we are coming your way next weekend. The St Kilda Town Hall welcomes back Magnolia Square beginning March 3rd – see you then!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

it's all happening...

Clear your calendars and gather your friends because Magnolia Square debuts at Paddington tomorrow! We have been busy today running around putting all the finishing touches on what is going to be an amazing weekend - doors open at 10am, we can't wait to see you there..


Paddington Town Hall
Cnr Oxford St & Oatley Rd Paddington
Fri 25th Feb 10am-9pm
Sat 26th Feb 10am-5pm
Sun 27th Feb 10am-4pm

admission $5 / children free 

Visit www.magnoliasquare.com.au for a fact sheet on getting to Paddington by public transport or  details of our shuttle bus service from Fox Studios to the Paddington Town Hall, running every half hour for the duration of  the event, $5 for return trip.

in the spotlight: reissued




One man's trash is another man's treasure can certainly be said about our next retailer's uniquely crafted product. Reissued comes to Magnolia Square St Kilda with a wide variety of rescued and restored furniture. Read more about Reissued below...



Describe your business and your background...
Reissued creatively restyles vintage/retro furniture and other products for the home. Furniture, which has lost its appeal, is reused, through restoration and/or renewal of its original design credentials. In my past life I was a human services consultant with a passion for art, architecture and furniture. I love ‘junk shops’
What is your favourite part of the job?
I am really enjoying the creative challenge and the new venture in a creative environment. Most of all I love the idea of reusing and sometimes re-purposing products. I love resurrecting furniture that looks jaded or dated to create a piece that is more beautiful or interesting than it once was.

Describe your workspace or where you create
I have a very small space (read workshop/studio/display) at the back of a shop in Brunswick East. Most of my fabrics and finished furniture is here although I do lots of the restoration work on the chairs in my small yard at home in Fitzroy.
What's your own personal style?
That’s a hard one, - pretty eclectic I guess. I love very modern green furniture design as well as vintage twentieth century French, Italian, & Danish design. I often favour the warmth of timber mixed with contemporary fabrics screen printed or otherwise that are made from natural fibres and have some texture. I love oddities found in junk shops that have been discarded by another.

If money were no object what would you buy?
A big shed (read space and horizon) in the country overlooking the sea where my partner, my child and myself could hang out together and fiddle around with our various projects, in between sharing yummy food and wandering on the beach. Argh!!!
What are some of your daily reads or blogs you can't live without?
The Design files, Inhabitat (New York green design)
Describe your typical workday?
It is pretty varied – but usually begins by walking my little boy to school and then enjoying a nice strong coffee whilst I check out my emails. I might then meet a customer in the studio for a furniture consultation or spend some time sanding and oiling a piece at home. Most weeks I hang out a bit with the upholsterers and drive about Melbourne collecting my latest finds.

What other designers inspire you?
Too many to mention really – but just the other day I saw two gorgeous buildings in issue 59 of the Urbis magazine. They were Renzo Piano’s Cultural Centre in Noumea and Chris Kelly’s Waitomo Caves visitor Centre, NZ. They are both timber structures that look like they are woven together- so beautiful.
What business advice would you give to those just starting out?
I am not sure I am a position as yet to be giving advise about business matters, but work wise do something you love and that inspires you.
What are you looking forward to in 2011?
Hopefully breaking into the world of shop interiors  & green home interiors, not to mention meeting lots more creative and interesting people.

What is playing on your iPod right now?
Its my partner's and it is the Nationals – I’m hooked. 
Please tell us your blog/website link:
I have a flickr site with lots of images of my furniture it is at flickr/photos/reissued.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

in the spotlight: little branch

The branchettes - Anna and Maree - are the two talented ladies behind Little Branch. Paddington will be their Magnolia Square debut so make sure you to show them some love! 

Please describe your business and background...
Anna: I have worked in magazines since I was 18. I interviewed Bryan Ferry, that was my first gig for STILETTO magazine, I broke out in hives. Since then I was a radio journalist for Radio National, a feature writer at VOGUE, a TV art critic on REVIEW, when I lived in New York I wrote four books. Two of them I designed with Maree. Right now I am illustrating the forthcoming book HOLIDAY GODDESS for Harper Collins and have released a recession style survival memoir called Savvy Chic: The Art of More For Less.
Maree: I am a graphic designer with over 13 years experience in the design industry. During this time my experience has crossed branding, print design, environmental graphics, packaging design, art direction in advertising and magazine publishing, and screen based design. After 5 years working for a boutique design and advertising agency in Sydney, I moved to London for 6 years working on clients such as Selfridges, Jimmy Choo, and Tropfest@Tribecca, and of course with Anna. I have been back in Sydney now just over a year and in this time have been raising my 3 children and growing Little Branch.


What inspired you to start your business?
Anna: It was a matter of combined talents, a desire to be closer to our children and Maree's obsession with finding the perfect card.
Maree: Ditto
What’s your own personal style?
 
Maree: I don't know how to put into words my own style... I love black, simple and understated style. I love shoes, but live in flats. I wear my hair up so earrings lure me in as do artsy hand made looking necklaces... 
Anna: I flip from gypsy ala Stevie Nicks to Gypsy Rose Lee ala Natalie Wood. I love almost all clothing except trousers, business suits, sensible shoes or basics. Personal style? Theatrical, coquettish but sartorially lazy. 


If money were no object what would you buy? 
Maree: First class round the world ticket for my husband and children to visit our friends in London, then France, Spain, Italy and NYC to see my brother and his family. Oh, and a house with a self contained studio.
Anna: A house. Some Georgian necklaces and a long rambling trip to Italy for my son to meet his family there. 
Describe your typical workday? 
At the moment we work from when our kids are at school/care or with neighbours/family to very late at night. When we work together Maree designs and I draw, usually on the floor in the same room. When I write I need silence but every other time I like to ramble on and on about men and listen to rock music and Maree bears with me. We sometimes get off the leash to go scope shops and one day, one day dammit we are going vintage shopping!



What business advice would you give to those just starting out? 

Maree: Do what you love. Invest as much time and energy in the start as you can. Don't be shy to ask for help from family and friends for support. We don't know what we  would have done if it wasn't for all the support we have received from our family friends in the past months of getting Little Branch off the ground. 
What are you looking forward to in 2011? 
Anna: Seeing LITTLE BRANCH succeed, making more yummy art!
Maree: Seeing Little Branch grow and spread across Australia. Hopefully a little more sleep!


What three words best describe you? 
Maree: Creative, Organized, Passionate,
Anna: Very Naughty Idealist
Please tell us your blog/website link 
www.littlebranch.com.au

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

in the spotlight: me and amber

We are constantly impressed with the products and creativity behind the talented duo that is Me and Amber. Below, these besties share a bit about themselves and will launch a new range at Paddington this weekend - don't miss it!


What inspired you to start your business?
After finishing design at uni, we really wanted to do something creative and hands on. We had a passion for both art and design, and never had the desire for a conventional day job. The idea of doing what we love, uncompromised, was incredibly appealing, and the business started from there.
What is your favourite part of the job?
There are so many things we love, it’s hard to pick a favourite… working with our best friend, designing, screen printing, meeting other like-minded people at markets and trade fairs, and having the freedom and flexibility to do what we want!

 
What is your personal style?
relaxed!
If money were no object what would you buy?
Many overseas adventures (on top of our list are Egypt, morocco and new york). We’d also love to have a huge studio space, as at the moment we both work from home, and it’s becoming a little bit difficult!

Describe your typical workday?
We don’t really have a typical workday, it changes from day to day. some days we are just busy screen printing orders, and other days we are more focused on creating new designs and products. unfortunately it’s not all creative - the business side of things takes up more time than we’d like it to (and we find this quite challenging!)
What other designers inspire you?
We are inspired by creative people from all sorts of disciplines… illustrators, architects, painters, typographers, photographers, ceramists…kat macleod, clemens habicht, szilvia gyorgy, kris coad, yoshitomo nara, bill henson, julie paterson, antoni gaudi, maya maxx, nicholas jones, and so many more. 


What business advice would you give to those just starting out?
We’ve had our business for a number of years now, and it has only recently started to feel like it’s going somewhere… so if you’re lucky enough to find something you are really passionate about, persevere!
What are you looking forward to in 2011?
Launching two new products in February (table runners and mouse pads), and a couple of exciting collaborations with friends.

 
What three words best describe me and amber?
warm, tactile, uncomplicated
What is playing on your ipod right now?
arrested development
Where can we find out more information:
www.meandamber.com

Monday, February 21, 2011

and the winner is...


We loved hearing all your comments about our Valentine's Day giveaway - it seems we all could use a little inspiration and help with getting organised around the house. All the comments from Snippets and our Facebook page were gathered and the lucky winner was chosen at random. So drum roll please...Jane from Life on Planet Baby is the new owner of Bronnie Masafau's, Ideas Book.  Enjoy!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

in the spotlight: attia

Attia inspires a warm minimalism that celebrates the human rather than the machine. With a focus on natural finishes, designer Rachel Brown has created a stunning range that promotes living with a simple yet chic palette. Create beauty on your own table by checking out Attia at Paddington this weekend.



What inspired you to start your business? 
A love (almost obsession...) of design and all things home.


What is your favourite part of the job?
Designing new products and bringing them all together to create an entire range, seeing the end result when all of the designs are perfect and all the samples are being styled up for new season imagery is so rewarding! 


What’s your own personal style?
That's a hard one... I always struggle...umm, my style is me, everything about me.
If money were no object what would you buy? 
A beautiful beachfront home.


What are some of your daily reads or blogs you can’t live without? 
Describe your typical workday? 
Lots of emails,lots of coffee, lots of phone calls! 


What other designers inspire you? 
Bricket Davda, il bisonte,  Armadillo.
What business advice would you give to those just starting out? 
Expect to work hard and to be well rewarded.
What are you looking forward to in 2011? 
Family life, my sisters wedding and the new Attia range made in Africa. 



What three words best describe you?
Hard working, a bit vague, happy.
What is playing on your iPod right now?
Baby sleeping music.


Please tell us your website link:
www.attia.com.au

Saturday, February 19, 2011

in the spotlight: the lowercase

The team at The Lowercase is busy creating the classics of the future but they took some time out to tell us about their love of design. If you too love form and function then The Lowercase is a must see at Paddington!

 
Tell us about your business and background...
The Lowercase Team has always been grounded in the arts, with former professions in the publishing and design industries. Now as the founders of our own lifestyle brand we work to create inspirational designs with classic aesthetics that represent flexibility, responsibility and value for money. Through the brand we aspire to produce timeless, functional pieces that will shape to fit any modern lifestyle and stay with you from childhood into adulthood. The 2011 Launch Collection includes 100% Natural Egyptian Cotton Bed-linen and Sustainable, Interactive Tableware & Stationery.
What inspired you to start your business?
At The Lowercase we live, breathe & sleep design. Our founding premise was to create a lifestyle brand that defines the beauty of an active imagination, and establish a working studio where each product is designed with love, individuality and intelligence.


What is your favourite part of the job?
The opportunity to inspire others with a sense of wit, humour, colour and aesthetic form.
What’s your own personal style? 
At The Lowercase we appreciate myriad design genres with a focus on the "Form and Function" design principle. We often find ourselves drawn towards classic, minimalist styles that highlight the detail and beauty of natural forms.


If money were no object what would you buy? 
One of Paul Davies, stunning architectural acrylic landscapes, in line with his 2009 'Burnt Aspens + Modern Home' Artwork


Describe your typical workday?
Designing, Coffee, More Designing, More Coffee (...and then comes the paperwork)
What other designers inspire you? 
The Bobo Choses petit clothes designers from Barcelona and Italian decor designers Bitossi and Alessi.


What business advice would you give to those just starting out? 
"Le bon Dieu est dans le detail" or to borrow from Mies van der Rohe: "God (is) in the detail(s)". We believe whatever one does, it should be done thoroughly!
What are you looking forward to in 2011? 
Witnessing some new creative projects by The Lowercase come to life!
What three words best describe you? 
Imaginative, passionate and "think-outside-the-square" quirky!
What is playing on your iPod right now? 
The XX
Please tell us your blog/website link:  
www.thelowercase.com.au