After a little break from Magnolia Square mid year, Asha & Keir, the design duo from Angus & Celeste are back for the next two shows. If like me you adore their work then you'll be excited to hear there is lots of lovely new pieces in the range.
Tell us how A&C first started
Tell us how A&C first started
After we both finished university, we were looking for something small scale that we could make together while living in a tiny terrace in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne. We started making decorative pendants from bone china in the 2x2 meter laundry that we transformed into a workshop. We both enjoyed it and we have been expanding ever since.
Your success and the expansion of your brand has been pretty amazing. Describe how that has been.
The past few years have been incredibly busy. We have put so much energy, and time into the growth of our business and this can be pretty stressful when coupled with the usual daily grind that comes with just making a business function. We constantly chatter, argue, plan and dream. We think the longer you do something the easier it becomes. Systems and an ability to know when to switch off are a necessity.
How does a typical day unfold at the A&C studio?
We usually start the day with the emails, (we both spend way to much time on the computer these days!) then we set onto packing orders from our website and for our stockists. We have both now expert skills in the art of packing a fragile product! A trip to the post office usually follows. Once these tasks are done we feel more clear headed to start the day with bigger picture stuff. The general tasks vary, and are usually production based. We both enjoy unpacking the kiln. It is satisfying but can also be heartbreaking when things don't work! We both put a lot of energy into co ordinating the folks that help us with our manufacture. We call it our guerilla work force. The wonderful women who help us achieve our final product are just great and we would be lost without them.
You have such a strong “signature” aesthetic. How do you remain so true to that yet manage to evolve so seamlessly?
It is hard to answer but we think we owe a lot to our fine art training which has a strong focus on developing a distinctly individual aesthetic and then refining it. We are also aware that we cant do everything, Ceramics and illustration is our core and we try and push these two elements as far as we can within the commercial reality of making and selling a product to earn a living. Understanding this balance is pretty important.
What has been a best selling product for you?
Our rings are a constant favourite which is why we do over 50 different patterns and colours! We try to have one to suit everyone. Our bracelets are also a silent achiever, they are very tricky to make but we think the end result is something quite special and timeless. They are something that will not go out of fashion. Our botanic bottles and vases have also been great. People have really responded to these which is great as we enjoy making them.
What new product are you most excited about?
We are pretty excited about our new hanging gardens. They took a long time to develop. We had initially made some for our selves and had them hanging on our own verandah. We both love growing things. It took a while but we eventually got them up and running as a product. We hope that people get the same enjoyment out of them as we have had. We also hope that they are a product we can continue to evolve.
5 tips for a creative person starting their own adventure …
2.) Planning. As well as remembering that Rome wasn't built in a day.
3.) A general love and interest in what you do
4.) Don't compare your self to others- just be yourself and do your own thing.
5.) The most significant of all is persistence. Without this you are doomed!
What does the next 12 months hold for A&C ?
Carve out more time to enjoy the creative side of the business. At the moment this is our biggest most concrete goal for 2012.
where do you hope to be in 5 years?
We hope in five years we are still able to be making items which we and other people love and desire. We also hope to have the time to make more one-off creations that don't need to be repeated. Managing production with strict consistency is pretty hard work! We hope to have more creative freedom in 5 years.
Last of all, dream holiday location?
We live in the Dandenong Ranges in outer Melbourne. This year has been so wet, rainy and cold! Our dream holiday location at the moment would be anywhere that is warm and dry with blue sky! We are planning some jaunts to the North of Australia. Darwin is currently at the top of our list. Also WA is meant to be amazing in spring when all the wildflowers are in bloom.