16.05.2019

My Father’s Florist


We’re going to do something a little different today – and that is to let Josie tell the story of her floral styling brand My Father’s Florist herself.  As you read her words, you’ll understand why it wouldn’t have been right for me to try to massage them into the regular descriptive paragraph or two.

Photography above by Robbie Hunter

My name is Josie and I am twenty-five. I live on the wrenching, gritty and graceful west coast of New Zealand, Piha.

I am in a constant love affair between the ocean, floristry and mental health. I started My Father’s Florist in July last year after some really unfair and tragic circumstances caused me to take a step back from my employment at the time. My Father’s Florist is about desperately trying to borrow what the West Coast lends me and gifting that to others through floristry.

My Father’s Florist is built around two things; capturing joy and dealing with grief. My understanding of joy is not happiness. Joy is the deep rooted and grounded understanding that no matter how horrible life gets, life is still unquestionably beautiful. I believe that joy can be present on the bad days, on the days in which you just can’t, when it’s unfair and when you just want acknowledgment that the situation you find yourself in sucks.

A big part of my business and my love for dried florals is grief. But grief interwoven with learning how to step into gratitude and step into joy.

 

I started collecting flowers when I was significantly shorter and a fair bit more foolish. I have trodden the known and unknown paths of my hometowns for uncounted dusk and dawn soaked hours. Some of these evening walks were the walks of lovers. At other times they were lonely. I started collecting, documenting, foraging and began to gain a deep-rooted understanding of beauty from the ashes.

That’s the beauty of dried florals really, that in every single process of life there is unseen detail. Silent joy.

I don’t want to be a floral designer, I want to be someone who is pursuing joy and just happens to make beautiful products. I believe in unique and whenua grounded design, I believe in creating a product, service and art piece that reminds you of Joy.

 

I currently split my time between the sand soaked soil here in Piha and the romance of the city. I work part time for a florist in Ponsonby, making whimsical wedding, store and event flowers. The rest of the time I spend foraging and creating in my Tiny house and caravan where I live by myself.

The thing that sets me apart from other florists who offer dried flowers is that all my flowers are foraged, it’s a long tedious process as it’s a massive gamble to see if things will dry in a good enough state to use. I spend two days a week exploring, knocking on doors, meeting strangers, meeting my community, talking, learning and creating a beautiful network of people who let me forage from their gardens. I make up for any lack with roadside finds.

All Photography except where noted by Natalie Ng (Journal and Co)

 

Mental health is my priority, so this business is a slow one in the sense that I am ruthlessly eliminating hurry from the way I run it, which probably isn’t a smart business move, that being said there are some exciting things in sight.

I am currently attempting to bribe a local Piha business owner into letting me have a pop up florist at their store this coming summer, my main motivation being I can surf when the waves are good and make flowers when they waves are average, plus they sell really great tacos… Alongside this I will be running some pretty incredible dried floral workshops, and releasing some beautiful ceramics, dried floral products, dried floral bouquets, my new collection of dried floral rings, wedding packages and figuring out how to press flowers onto the top of a surf board before it’s glassed over.

~

Oh and I guess I should explain the name. My Father, he champions my creativity, I design it he makes it. He is my business partner and before I could claim the name florist I could claim the name daughter. My Fathers florist yes is about joy and expressing grief but I can only do both of these because he first created an environment in which it was encouraged to do so.

 

You can buy Josie’s intricate wreaths (in extra-large through to miniature sizes),
sculptural ikebana arrangements and other floral artworks online at My Father’s Florist.
Follow Josie’s creative journey on her Instagram.

07.02.2019

Sunna Studios


Sunna Studios is a line of organic, ethical, all-natural clothing for little ones, created by twin sisters Brooke and Elise Ratima. The twins design each garment themselves, then have them ethically made using New Zealand merino and GOTS Certified organic cotton. Once sewn, the pieces come back to their rural north auckland home, where they hand dye each small garment in their backyard studio. They use natural dyes extracted from plants – from avocado stones, to leaves from local trees, to roots, bark and flowers from their garden, to sustainable natural powders sourced online. With every new dye bath, Brooke and Elise create a unique garment, made special for a little someone. It’s a small, slow operation, producing limited numbers of truly beautiful little basics.

The Sunna aesthetic is based on thoughtful simplicity, with an emphasis on texture and earthy tones. The pieces are designed to be well-worn and well-loved basics, that can mix and match seamlessly into the wardrobe – helping to encourage better fashion habits.

Remember when natural, consciously-made products were hiiiideous looking? But now, we get to choose things that are not only design-led and beautiful to look at, but are also good for us, and good for the planet. Not only that, but we get to support other people with our choices – their dreams, their values and their families (like local women and mums, building their own businesses). What a time to be alive, right?

Sunna Studios Collection 01 is online now, with Collection 02 coming very soon.

Sunna Studios online store  /  Instagram

 

22.01.2019

Salad Days


Photography Saskia Wilson; Styling Alicia Scibberas

 

Before we get started here, can we take a moment to appreciate the name Salad Days for a ceramic brand? Best name! It gives me such happy, nostalgic vibes.

Lucy Coote’s story in ceramics started 6 years ago. She’d studied fashion and business, and then got a ‘real job’ in an office, but found herself needing a creative outlet, so signed up for a pottery night class. She fell in love with it, joined a potter’s association, and after a couple of years spending most of her spare time in the studio, she started selling pieces to friends and family… then to a few stockists… and then through her own online store. By this time, she was working in film production, but nights and weekends weren’t enough to keep up with demand. She had to choose: grow her career in the film industry, or make ceramics full-time? When she asked herself which she couldn’t live without, it ended up being an easy decision.

She left her job and committed to Salad Days, but soon after discovered she was pregnant (with twin girls! – Margaux and Daisy who are now 19 months old). To say Lucy’s not really had oodles of time to focus on her ceramics would be an understatement. The juggle is real. But – thankfully for those of us who want to buy ALL her things – Lucy and husband Mark have just moved home to Wellington. Here at home, they have the family support to allow Lucy to work more flexibly, and they can actually achieve their dream of buying a home – something with a studio, or potential for one. While they house-hunt, Lucy’s working from fellow pottery pal Wundaire’s studio.

(Why do I tell you all this stuff? Because The New’s not just about aesthetically beautiful things. Yeah, yeah, it mainly is, but not just. It’s also about the real people behind these aesthetically beautiful things. And it’s also about pursuing your creative passions, and what it takes to do that.)

Salad Days pieces are timelessly simple and refined. Lucy designs beautiful silhouettes and her own glazes for a contemporary yet classic look, but as she’s creating, she’s thinking about function just as much as form. She imagines what you’ll use your bowl/mug/jug for… what would be the best size and shape for that… what shaped handle would make it feel best. She’s making something to be loved for a lifetime, for all your Salad Days. I’ll take one of everything please.

Salad Days Website

Salad Days Instagram (ceramics and cute bebs!)

 

17.10.2018

For Sun Chasers


Designer Zoe Horner has spent the last few years travelling overseas, visiting far-flung sun traps, and working as a textile and graphic designer along the way. In one of her most recent roles as a display artist for Anthropologie, she fell in love with the art installations she’d create for the brand, and when she moved back home to New Zealand this year, decided to create a platform for herself to continue this creative work. The Dust Co was born.

A home and lifestyle brand, The Dust Co. aesthetic is inspired by travel, laidback living and sun chasing – and Zoe’s designed each piece to bring that slow, summer holiday feel into a space.

My favourites from the collection are The Dust Co’s huge stained glass sun-catchers. Zoe painstakingly chose the glass types and colours to a specific palette, inspired by a place she’s travelled to. (The Marrakech piece uses the pinks, greens and earthy tones that reference the colours of that city, and the Island piece is inspired by the sun, sea and sand tones of the Balearic Islands). They’re all handmade to order – over many many hours – by Zoe’s mum, who has been working with stained glass for over 30 years.

Also on my wishlist is one of the brass wall pieces. Inspired by motifs found in far-flung sun traps, they’re designed to add a sense of those golden holiday vibes to any room in which they’re placed and are hand polished and finished by Zoe herself. There’s also beautiful silk scarves to elevate your everyday  – all printed and made in New Zealand, too.

The Dust Co. online store  /   Instagram

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