This week, Tinitrader speaks to the gorgeous Emma Patterson, owner and creator of kids décor and homewares brand, Homely Creatures.
Homely Creatures products are perfect for babies, children, new mothers or the young at heart. Handmade from the most natural materials, you can now choose to buy ethically made wares without sacrificing on style.
We asked Emma some questions and to find out about her inspirations and what she get’s up to in her spare time.
1. Where do you get your inspiration from?
All kinds of places! I get overwhelmed with inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram, but simply getting out and about and seeing new places does amazing things for the creative brain. I am inspired by Scandinavian and Japanese design, as well as Aussie designers (so many amazing Aussie designers) but often my ideas just come from noticing emerging trends and finishing the sentence “wouldn’t it be cool if ….”.
An example of how I once ended this sentence was “wouldn’t it be cool if… there were knitted cactus cushions in the world?” The answer was a very clear - yes! Kids stuff is such a fun and unrestricted industry to design for! Its harder to design what not to do.
2. How did Homely Creatures begin?
I spent many years (including a 5 year stint in the UK) designing things for the young or young at heart. I gained lots of experience working for successful product design companies, and I always wanted to have a product range of my own. I originally thought this would be a range of toys, however when I moved back to Australia I fell in love with interiors and homewares. The move gave me the time and opportunity to figure out what kind of range I wanted to design. I started a blog called ‘Homely Creatures’ with an aim to publicly explore my style and get feedback from the public. I ran some trial markets and spoke to some retailers and one year after starting the blog, I launched a range of about eight products. One and a half years later, I now have well over thirty!
3. What do you get up to in your spare time?
If I can find any spare time, I brunch with friends or hang with my hubby and kitten ‘Huey’. If everyone is busy I watch Ted Talks or read about self-development. I have a keen interest in people and how they work, as well as how I can better myself. I don’t watch a lot of TV but love a good movie. And if I had the time, money and freedom I would probably be travelling a whole lot more.
4. What is your guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?
Next to consuming entire bars of chocolate, my guiltiest pleasure is Instagram!! I love nothing more than seeing lovely photos of what other people are doing with my products. There are so many talented people out there with a keen eye for style, and Instagram is my window to my customers, and to feeling like I’m making progress in my business. It’s also an addictive source for inspiration. I didn’t need an excuse like ‘I’m working’ to encourage me to use Instagram!! It’s dangerous ;)
5. Are you a creature of habit? Explain.
Not particularly! I don’t enjoy routine, getting bored quite easily. It would probably make my life a whole lot easier if I was able to come up with and stick to a routine and form some good habits. I love changing things up and doing them differently each time around, which luckily suits my job role most of the time.
6. What is something that amazes you?
Life often amazes me. Just when I think I’ve got everything figured out (and boy do I try) life just comes along and reminds me that I have no idea whatsoever... That the only thing I can truly know is that I can never truly know anything.
7. What is your typical Sunday routine?
I love a lazy Sunday. The less routine the better! An amazing Sunday would be sleeping in (ideally to the sound of rain, which would make way for sunshine after I get out of bed) a delicious brunch somewhere with my mister or friends, time outside in fantastic weather, a little bit of house stuff and then maybe a roast for dinner and a movie on the coach. Nine times out of ten we won’t want the weekend to end so will accidentally have a late night on Sunday, making Monday all that much more difficult.
8. Whats one tip you can give to parents re decorating their kids bedrooms - your signature styling tip.
Only buy Homely Creatures… Just kidding!!! I would recommend working with your child. If they have a favourite item or toy, use it for style, theme and/or colour inspiration. Styling your child’s room together can be a super fun experience!
9. What is your secret to striking a work-life balance?
I don’t have one, as I’m always working on improving my work-life balance - it will always be an ongoing thing. It helps to be doing something that often doesn’t feel much like work!
10. Creatively, is there a particular theme you keep returning to or do you change based on your surroundings and product used?
I often can’t get away from ‘cute’ no matter how hard I try. Whenever I design something, even if I don’t intend for it to look naive, it will inevitably come out looking like something that is either for a child or made by one, ha ha. Obviously I decided to stop fighting this many years ago. Nowadays when I design for Homely Creatures the only ‘theme’ I keep to is the Homely Creatures brand, which is still forming so the requirements are not at all rigid.
11. Given the choice of anyone in the world who would you like as your dinner guest and why?
Richard Branson, because not only could I learn a lot from him but I can imagine he would be an entertaining guest as well.
12. Is there something you have dreamt of doing for a long time?
Having my own stunning warehouse space, shared with like-minded people who challenge, encourage and have fun together. It will happen one day!