Mag Square

Thursday, March 31, 2011

in the spotlight: little rivet jeans

Comfortable, durable, great fit and reasonably priced - these are all traits describing this next Malvern retailer. Little Rivet Jeans knows denim and Bec Moloughney happily talked to Magnolia Square about her background and what 2011 has in store for her.



Tell us about your business and your background.
Dedicated jeans provider for kids aged one to fourteen. My background is fashion with 6yrs at Levis Australia and New Zealand working in marketing and product development.

What is your favourite part of the job?
Developing the washes and perfecting our fits so that they are kid friendly

Describe your workspace or where you create.
It is a constant process in-between fielding nappies, lunchboxes and bedtime stories.

What’s your own personal style?
Jeans of course! And a heel for dressing up or a plimsole for weekend.

If money were no object what would you buy?
More jeans! And my own laundry to develop washes.


What are some of your daily reads or blogs you can’t live without?
I love LMNOP, DenimBlog, Kid Independent, Style Collective, Snippets Blog

Describe your typical workday?
Distributing orders and speaking with suppliers/PR agencies/retailers, taking time to do competitor market visits, as well as preparing for pop up events along with arranging new season photo shoots and catalogues


What other designers inspire you?
I mainly get inspiration from seasonal colour palettes and global trends from numerous places and people.

What business advice would you give to those just starting out?
Have a clear strategy as to how, where, when and why you are going to function and it is always good to have a mentor or buddy to bounce and discuss the good with the bad.

What are you looking forward to in 2011?
Our expansion into interstate events with Magnolia Square.


What three words best describe you?
Fun, Friendly, Dedicated

For more information please visit:
www.littlerivetjeans.com

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

in the spotlight: alouette design

Tell us about your business and background
The idea for Alouette Design emerged from a childhood love of all things precious and beautiful. As a child I spent hours pouring over my grandmother's button drawer and jewellery box-both of which were full of the most amazing intricate treasures and jewels. My mother had a similar such box and I have been lucky enough recently to share in the contents every now and again.


What is your favourite part of the job?
I love the creativity of the work. In my previous life, there was no room for creativity - just spreadsheets! So now I spend hours sourcing the best silver, gold, stones and pearls to work with - it’s half the fun! And watching a client trying to choose from the collection is so rewarding - they love the individuality of each piece and sometimes find it hard to choose a favourite.



If money were no object what would you buy?
Diamonds - and a weekender at Red Hill.

Describe your typical workday?
After dropping the kids off and doing the daily (boring!) household shopping and chores, I race to my studio and go over all the orders and work that I will try to get through in the space of about 3-4 hours before picking up the children again. I am also working hard at the moment on The Lotus Dinner - a charity for kids with cancer. I am creating a line especially for the charity and will be selling these pieces at Magnolia Square and via my website. All profits will go to LARCH - The Leukaemia Auxiliary of the Royal Children's Hospital.

What business advice would you give to those just starting out?
Just give it a go! I never imagined I had a creative bone in my body. I have many successful friends and always felt overwhelmed by their artistic flair. If you have a passion, go with it but most of all enjoy the work and have fun. Also, put any/all profits back in to the business.

What are you looking forward to in 2011?
More press, (thanks to Sally Richardson of Sugar and Spice - a PR guru!) more Magnolia Square successes and more orders! But most of all, more inspiration to create for Alouette.

What three words best describe you?
Motivated, Feminine, Loyal

What is playing on your iPod right now?
Sarah Blasko, Lisa Mitchell

Please tell us your blog/website link
www.alouettedesign.com.au

Monday, March 28, 2011

in the spotlight: klei

Creating works, predominately jewellery and decorative vessels, out of porcelain, the team behind Klei, continues to impress us again and again. Talented and with a keen eye for detail, we can't wait to see what they bring to Malvern!


What inspired you to start your business?
Barbara made herself a grey porcelain ring in 2005, which she still wears daily. The response from friends and strangers alike was really positive. We took our small range to Craft Victoria who became our first stockist. It worked well there so we took on more stockists and now have about 30 stores selling our work. Another important aspect of our business is doing pop-up retail events like Magnolia Square, it gives us the opportunity to present our full range in one place and gives us an outlet to show one off and new items.

What is your favourite part of the job?
Our favourite part of the job is when all our orders have gone out and we have free time to try new things in the workroom. It is often difficult to develop new work when we have to focus on production.


What’s your own personal style?
Sleek and minimal are not words you would use to describe our decorating style, we only buy things we really love so why would we want to hide them in cupboards. We are also quite resourceful, when we couldn’t find a coffee table we liked anywhere we decided to knock up a temporary one. We found a beautiful piece of travertine and 4 concrete bricks to do the job, that’s was 6 years ago and it won’t be replaced anytime soon. 
We tend to like materials with a rawness to them, things that are too polished tend to look sad when they wear where as honest materials like stone and timber acquire a patina that only add to their beauty.

If money were no object what would you buy?
We are pretty easily pleased, Barbara would get herself some flat boots from Humanoid. I'd buy the complete range of Vincent van Duysen timber/ceramic containers.


Describe your typical workday?
Our work room is in the same street as our kids school so we drop them off and get straight to it. I will check emails for wholesale and internet orders and make a note of what we need to make. We both like mixing and staining our own clay bodies because we like to work them at different consistencies, I find Barbara’s clay too sloppy and she finds mine to dry. We work at the same big bench but independent of each other. We try to not have to many tasks on the go at the same time. It creates chaos in the studio. 

Sanding is a messy job so it’s good to do it in one sitting, clean up and get on to the next job. Our dog comes to the workroom with us everyday and at about lunchtime he expects a good workout. We are lucky that our studio backs on to amazing parkland, standing in the middle of it you would never know you’re only 10 minutes from the cbd. At 3:30 one of us picks up kids while the other stays on for a few hours. We try not to bring work home but sometimes it has to happen.



What other designers inspire you?
Dame Lucie Rie . Because no one has or ever will make a bowl like the dame. Ruth Asawa, her wire crocheted forms are beautiful sci-fi and Adam Silverman of Atwater Pottery, the man is a magician with glazes.



What are you looking forward to in 2011?
We will be expanding our clothing line to incorporate more separates, up until now it has been mostly dresses. Our pots will be getting smaller, we have just finished some micro pots, some are just 6cm high.


What is playing on your iPod right now?
Hindi Zahra – Handmade
Asa - Beautiful Imperfection
Peggy and the Pirates – Their cover of Missy Elliot’s All n my Grill

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

Friday, March 25, 2011

we're loving...portobello bridal market

If you happen to find yourself in Melbourne this weekend, we suggest you get down to St Kilda Town Hall to check out the Portobello Bride Boutique Wedding Market. This is not your ordinary wedding event, instead you'll find all sorts of unique and creative ideas to create the wedding of your dreams!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

in the spotlight: koolaman designs

Sisters, Stacey Clayton and Lisa O'Keefe, tell us a bit about their business, Koolaman Designs. Don't miss their latest range at Magnolia Square Malvern...


Please describe your business and your background.
Koolaman designs is the brainchild of, best friends and sisters Stacey Clayton and Lisa O’Keefe. Together we are the co-directors of a unique business that hand stamps silver jewellery. If you peel back our brand, there is not a lot of rocket science behind what we do, just a lot of pride, passion, perfection and persistence. Stacey and I are two very proud and passionate Mums with 6 children between us, operating Koolaman Designs from our own personal studios (some of you may know these as ‘kitchens’)and are located 450 km apart. Never in our wildest dreams did we think that our ‘initial idea’ could develop into a ‘real’ source of income.

We often laugh when we hear ‘diamonds are a girls’ best friend’ – because it is silver that has helped us build dreams. We distribute our products via our online retail store and through expos and fairs.To us our business is a success because we spend time working with those we love, we have built a better life for those dear to us…and everyday we bring a smile to the faces of those that receive our product…we know they love it because they tell us so….Koolaman designs is the proof that you don’t have to live in a capital city to run a successful business. The internet and technology has meant that we’re all on an equal footing…



What inspired you to start your business?
Both necessity and ambition: after years of drought, our farm could no longer support two families and there was a need to look for off farm income. Starting koolaman fulfilled three dreams for me: to work with my sister; to provide additional income and provide the flexibility to integrate family and work.

What is your favourite part of the job?
Communicating with and meeting people: for an on-line retail business we could easily not have face to face communication with our clients – but that is what we love the most.



What’s your own personal style?
Conservative but stylish…just like our hand stamped Koolaman silver pendants our pieces are stylish and designed to last longer than a fad.

If money were no object what would you buy?
Everybody we know has lost someone special to cancer. If I could do anything with money it would be to fund the research to find a cure.



What other designers inspire you?
I am inspired by style in general, rather than being inspired by one specific designer. I love the old world elegance, glamour and sophistication of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly.They are true examples that elegance and sophistication never dies nor becomes unfashionable!

What business advice would you give to those just starting out?
Listen to everyone’s advice, but like any new Mum knows, sift through all the information and use the ‘bits’ that best apply to you.

What are you looking forward to in 2011?
More family time! And expanded travel around Australia due to koolaman designs growth. This year we are very proud and excited to be launching our koolaman light gold and leather range.

What three words best describe Stacey and Lisa?
Sisters, Generous, Inspiring

Please tell us your blog/website link:
www.koolamandesigns.com.au
www.koolamandesigns.blogspot.com

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

in the spotlight: missie

The tagline for Missie Jewellery says it all - gorgeous goods for grown up girls! Appealing to women of all ages, Missie is the brainchild of Al and Sue, two primary school teachers that decided it was time for a change. Visit this dynamic duo at Magnolia Square Malvern where they will help find the perfect piece for you!

Tell us about your business and background.
Our business would be best described as “fun, interesting, unique, individual jewellery and accessories”- a fun shopping experience. Both Sue and I were primary school teachers with about 40 years experience together behind us. We decided that it was time for a change so we created Missie- gorgeous goods for grown up girls. Missie is a business that uses our creative sides to inspire women of all ages to feel good about themselves.


What inspired you to start your business?
We are inspired by the clothing industry, people, materials, colours and travel. We are always looking to design new pieces to go with today's fashion. We talk to people and listen to what they want. We always strive to create funky new pieces that all ages will enjoy wearing.


Dream holiday?
Both Sue's and my dream holiday destination would be somewhere hot, by a pool, cocktail in hand, A gorgeous waiter looking after us with beautiful food etc maybe Hawaii or Mexico,.....anywhere that fits this description but overseas somewhere exotic.


What other designers inspire you?
One designer that inspires us is Jan Logan. She uses the natural stones as we do and her pieces are simple yet elegant. She has a more conservative but timeless range.


What business advice would you give to those just starting out?
Best business advice would have to be keep up with the fashion, always look ahead, be positive, honest and have a business plan. Don’t be afraid to try something new and if you believe in it, then others will too. Believe in your product and have confidence that others will see its value too.



What are you looking forward to in 2011?
We are looking forward to a very successful year in 2011 . We have set ourselves some new targets and goals this year and we are looking forward to making them happen. We want to get our Missie brand name ‘out there’ more and we very excited about creating our next new range. We want to have great, individual pieces while keeping our prices affordable for everyone.

What three words best describe you?
fun-loving, hard working and honest (and a bit cheeky)


For more information please visit:
www.missie.com.au

Monday, March 21, 2011

real living: on sale today

The April issue of Real Living magazine goes on sale today and once again Deb Bibby and her team have outdone themselves!


This issue is chock full of stylish homes, favourite finds and even features one of our own Magnolia Square retailers, Make Me Iconic. You'll find the lovely Natasha Skunca on the cover and be able to check out her Melbourne home - gorgeous!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

in the spotlight: sisken

Designed in Melbourne, SISKEN is the inspiration of Kristyn McKenna. Offered in a range of colours and always reflecting a modern, classic style, SISKEN products are made to fit all occasions. We asked Kristyn, who will be at our Malvern event, to tell us a bit more about herself and the SISKEN brand...

the SISKEN stand at the St Kilda event ... 
we love the blue and silver merchandising, it is very NOW!

Tell us about your background your business.
I studied graphic design and worked in publishing for years before deciding to start my own label. I have always loved everything about design and being creative. SISKEN provides gorgeous handmade leather accessories as an affordable, everyday luxury. Combining style and functionality, SISKEN bags and accessories are practical yet elegant, functional yet sophisticated.


What is your favourite part of the job?
Designing beautiful pieces, being creative and meeting new people!

Describe your workspace or where you create
I work from a studio at home which I love. I find inspiration in so many different places, but my work studio is always a great place for me to settle in and be inspired!


What’s your own personal style?
Black! A typical Melbourne girl - I wear way too much black.

If money were no object what would you buy?
A round the world ticket and travel some exotic far away places.

What are some of your daily reads or blogs you can’t live without?
magnolia square, daily imprint, the design files.

Describe your typical workday?
Where to start - there is never really a typical day as everything changes all the time. My day can involve everything from designing product to developing marketing material, liaising with stockists, placing orders, communicating with factories and suppliers, responding to customers, filling web orders, preparing for market or trade events and so much more!

What other designers inspire you?
So many…I do adore Swedish design, its simplicity, clean lines and gorgeous combinations of bold colours. Earthy colours, raw textures and often nature-inspired patterns complement perfectly the classic design approach I tend to take.

What business advice would you give to those just starting out?
Follow your dream and love what you do, always enjoy the journey.



What are you looking forward to in 2011?
Growing the business and designing new products to add to the collection.

What three words best describe you?
honest, creative, perfectionist.


What is playing on your iPod right now?
Train

Please tell us your blog/website link
www.sisken.com.au

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

in the spotlight: ella sanders

Melbourne based label Ella Sanders, was launched in 2008 by Australian textile designer Danielle Sanders. Since that time she has created a brand known for it's attention to detail and high quality, effortless pieces. The only difficult thing about her collection is choosing which piece you want! Check out her range at Magnolia Square Malvern.



Tell us about your business and your background.

ELLA SANDERS is a Melbourne based label offering unique accessories & knitwear for the body, child & home. Est in 2008 by Melbourne textile Danielle Sanders, the label is stocked in over 80 boutique fashion, home & giftware stores, department stores and online. Utilising only the purest, high quality yarns, ELLA SANDERS is well known for unique design and quality. Winter ranges include 100% pure woolen scarves, wraps, beanies, cardigans, dresses & homewares. We have also launched into baby beanies & kids sizes also.

Coming from a background in textiles & design, Danielle studied textiles & fashion at RMIT, Melbourne & whilst there was given the opportunity to study in Helsinki - FINLAND at the university of design & fashion for 8months. Straight after completing degree in 2003 she worked at COUNTRYROAD as textile designer & then more specifically for HOMEWARES. She left in 2007 to begin the next chapter of her career and created ELLA SANDERS as well as numerous freelance & consultant work.


What is your favourite part of the job?
Definitely seeing your designs become a reality. Whether seeing them in store or being worn by someone or selling our product - it is a great feeling.

Describe your workspace or where you create
We are in a studio space in East Brighton VIC with plans to move into a exciting new workspace with retail opportunities


What’s your own personal style?
I think I'm drawn to certain colours, prints & textures - I don't strictly follow any style however I love Scandinavian design & a modern Australian aesthetic.

If money were no object what would you buy?
My own Knitting factory!

Describe your typical workday?
On the Mac first thing, write to do list, emails (lots), online store shipments, meeting with suppliers &  sketching



What other designers inspire you?
Malene Birger, Bali Designers such as Maagali Pascal & Lulu, Missoni, Architect Robin Boyd & Gloria Pettarye.

What business advice would you give to those just starting out?
No matter how much planning or how organised, you will make mistakes only to learn and grow from them.



What are you looking forward to in 2011?
Opening a retail store & seeing the brand launch into dept stores.

What three words best describe you?
Patient, Creative, Inquisitive

What is playing on your iPod right now?
Angus & Julia Stone

Please tell us your blog/website link
www.ellasanders.com.au

Monday, March 14, 2011

in the spotlight: insync designs

If you've ever wondered what it would be like to combine graphic design with contemporary jewellery then inSync Design is your answer. Led by Iris Saar Isaacs, inSync transforms botanical and geometric drawings into wearable art in the form of brooches, bangles, earrings and necklaces.


Tell us a bit a about your business and background.
I was born in Israel in 1969 and after migrating to Melbourne, in 1993 I got my first opportunity to follow my passion and study art and design. In 1997 I started a very intense, constant and fascinating journey discovering fine art and design. inSync design was initially just a one project idea that started on a whim to produce a small range of brooches to sell pre-Christmas in the 2006 Melbourne Design Market. Following it’s initial success, we continued developing new ranges selling both in Australia and overseas.

What is your favourite part of the job?
I love the flexibility of being my own boss; I love being creative and thinking outside the square. The sky is the limit… I am limited only by my imagination.



Describe your workspace or where you create
A big mess… Books, magazines and materials surround me … but there is always a clear path leading to my mac…

What’s your own personal style?
I love minimal and understated aesthetics, classical yet contemporary. I wear a lot of black, highlighted with bits of coloured jewellery or accessories.

If money were no object what would you buy?
Another holiday to a destination I haven’t been to before…




What other designers inspire you?
There are many but the ones that come to mind immediately are: Issey Miyake (for his innovative thinking more so then his cloths), Liedel Koort (for her insights and interpretations), dinosaur designs (for their vision and persistence).

What business advice would you give to those just starting out?
Believe in it and persist, it’s persistence that will carry you further!

What are you looking forward to in 2011?
I was pleased to be nominated for the Melbourne Design Award, which I will find out the selection results in a few months time. I am about to launch a new range of necklaces, completely different to the previous work, I am very proud of it and hope it will be warmly received, but also a bit nervous…



What three words best describe you?
Dedication, Creativity, Persistence

What has been your greatest success to date?
There were a few along the way…I guess presenting each new collection and seeing the positive response from the public. Winning ‘Memento Award’ in 2007, Winning ‘Faces Of Design Award’ in Berlin in 2010, Exhibiting in New York, Tokyo and Stuttgart last year. Being nominated for the Melbourne Design Award at the end of 2010, yet to be advised who the winner is…



What is playing on your iPod right now?
At the moment I like listening to a mix of songs by Adele, Angus & Julia Stone, Bruno Mars,James Blunt, Seal

Please tell us your blog/website link
www.insyncdesign.com.au

Friday, March 11, 2011

we're loving...pinterest

If you spend as much time as we do online you'll understand and appreciate our brand new crush - Pinterest! Can you say amazing


Now for those that don't know what Pinterest is, it's like a virtual moodboard, a place where you can post collections of things you love, and "follow" collections created by others - put simply it's photo heaven and we warn you that hours can be easily lost just checking out the visual goodness. If you're a Pinterest member then you already know what we're talking about and if not hurry on over and sign up. Happy pinning...

If you're a Pinterest member comment below so we can follow you!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

in the spotlight: GATE uniques

Expressing creativity and individuality through the most gorgeous sterling silver jewellery,  GATE Uniques comes to Malvern with an exciting array of products. Annette Coleman, maker, buyer and designer of GATE Uniques shares with us her journey...



Tell us about your business and your background...
After 14 years as designer and director of a fashion company that traded around the globe, I sold and took a few years to work out what I wanted to do next. I decided to devote my next phase to finding and designing gorgeous, elegant and practical products.  Currently GATE uniques retails gorgeous hand embroidered manchester, napery made in sturdy linen, organic candles and soap, leather belts and of course sterling silver Doodle Daddles and bracelets. I love the concept of Doodle Daddles as the customer can be an individual by making up their own combinations to wear on a neck chain or on their wrist…they can put meaning behind the pieces and bless it with their love and good intentions.    
What inspired you to start your business?
Compliments and comments on items I had designed and made… I just had to make more!



What is your favourite part of the job?
Watching a design grow from just an idea in my head to a finished product that I can touch
If money were no object what would you buy?
Before the floods in Queensland, I’d buy a string of polo ponies complete with groom… now I’d rather houses for all those families without homes.



Describe your typical workday?
Check orders from the website… walk to school with the dog through the parklands, Pilate's, administration, filling orders, a meeting or 2, the post office (can’t miss that!), school pickup then the afternoon with my daughter… evenings, back on the computer...

What business advice would you give to those just starting out?
Make contingency plans for everything… don’t run out of money… price all items with your labour cost included… have fun every day… employ people to do strengthen your weaknesses



What are you looking forward to in 2011?
Balance between work and play
What three words best describe you?
Unpredictable…  a “do-er”…  loyal

What is playing on your iPod right now?
Cassius
For more information please visit:
www.gateuniques.com

                             

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

in the spotlight: marja leena

Artist Marja Leena will brighten up Malvern Town Hall with her colourful, creative designs. Showcasing a range of whimsical cards and original paintings, Marja's artistic passion shines through in all of her artwork - make sure to stop by and say hello...


What inspired you to start your business?
I have always been painting and I wanted to paint life positive pictures using lots of colour with a "dream reality" touch. I wanted to have fun in my adulthood, that's why I started my business.
What is your favourite part of the job?
Painting the pictures and talking to my customers. 



What’s your own personal style?
My style is honesty, cosiness and bliss and I chase everything that will bring those feelings to me.
If money were no object what would you buy?
A little cottage for myself and bush for endangered species.
Describe your typical workday? 
Wake at 9am, exercise, breakfast, start to paint until 8-9pm, then as the light is bad I start to design in my computer until about 1am. So I work most days, 13-14 hours.


What other designers inspire you?
Not so much designers but painters Marc Chagall, Henri le Douanier Rousseau & Lennart Jirlow 
What business advice would you give to those just starting out?

Be 100% interested in what you do, and prepare to work 7 days a week with rarely a day off. 
What are you looking forward to in 2011?
I'm looking forward to open my first Australian store and building my brand. 



What three words best describe you?
Passionate, persistent and childishly mature.
What is playing on your iPod right now?
NickelBack
For more information please visit:
www.MarjaLeena.com

Sunday, March 6, 2011

that's all folks...

The doors have just closed here at St Kilda Town Hall and although our feet are sore, we are thrilled with the result of the show!  Thank you to all our visitors who came out to support us and to the retailers who continue to raise the bar.

It's back to work for the Magnolia Square team as we begin to prepare for our next show at the Malvern Town Hall running April 28-30 - mark your calendars!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

more from the show ...


I am having so much fun amongst the brown paper, scissors, glue and old books and the reaction from our shoppers has been wonderful. Feeling a bit sad about pulling it all down tomorrow!

This is me, (Nic) with my little girl Charlotte and Pru Trundle from Little Bird Photography.


Ahhh, we love an old book especially when the pages are old and well thumbed.

The Sisken stand looks beautiful - love the silver and blue merchandising.


Is this a painting or a poster?  No, it is a silk scarf for wearing ... or framing by brand new Sydney label L'avion.


Dianna Chapman of Lamps by Spaced can create a lamp shade with any part of the Melways you fancy.


Jacqui Porter of Reissued has a superb line up of up-cycled furniture in fabulous fabrics - and she will take commissions...


Elly Oak is a new comer to Magnolia Square, we love the bold graphics and simple images.  Be sure to pop in tomorrow (on your way to the beach!!), open 10am-4pm.