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Queens of Colour

March 08, 2018
Queens of Colour

In celebration of International Women's Day 2018 we have interviewed five inspirational women who have revolutionised the kids interiors game.

Each of these women have wonderfully vibrant personalities which are reflected in their designs which are always full of colour.

In addition to running their amazing businesses, each of these women are also phenomenal Mums.

We hope these stories and words of wisdom inspire you.

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Image Credits: Julie Adams and Danielle Trovato

How was CASTLE born?

I’d had a really busy branding career before I settled down got married and had two children. I suddenly found myself at home alone with a very real urge to just ‘make things’. I fiddled around with embroidery, did a screen printing class at TAFE, started painting and finally when I had the space to do my own thing, discovered I had quite a lot to say and do. There was never a grand plan, never a plan of any kind at all really! I just started making things, had a little website made, drew up some bedlinen designs on a very rusty old version of Quark and had them made locally in Melbourne. I guess I had a LOT of experience in how to create a brand, and had to just let the creative process develop with a little bit of space, no timelines, no briefs, just making things for friends and family, and then eventually popping them online for sale to the general public

What is your brand’s philosophy?

Everything about the CASTLE brand needs to have a twinkle in the eye. This can be anything from a NUTS sweater which is super cheeky, to a mohair blanket with a big fun watermelon panel, to a painting with a big fat ribbon painted into the centre. It always has to have a little nod to our Australian sense of humour.

Your art is so distinctive. How did you develop your own style? Were there particular designers, artists or creative people who inspired you?

I grew up in a small country town in Victoria. As a teenager I watched Countdown and read Dolly and listened to Culture Club. So when it came time for me to be ‘creative’ this just all blurted out in a very organic way. I’ve started moving towards some quieter, but equally strong, colours lately, which is nice too. Except the other day I realised I actually painted something the colour of my old school uniform, this was NOT GOOD. I worked for many years at The Conran Shop before we started in branding, so I was influenced absolutely by the strong aesthetic of this iconic brand. There wasnt a certain style that influenced me, just the fire in the belly to make products for the home. I dont know where this comes from, really in the big scheme of things, maybe it relates to me being a chronic homebody.

Your range is full of positivity! What is one of your favourite mottos?

Im such a motto lover. But if I had to pick one it would be that good old chestnut about working hard and staying humble. I work as hard now as I ever had, the only way to get any traction is to just keep going like Dory does.

What are your tips for styling with colour in the home?

My one tip for home styling is to buy what YOU love. If you love it, chances are that your eye will guide you into a place where most things talk to each other. I only buy things I love, never stuff that ‘fits', having said that note to self I am desperately trying to talk my husband into two sofas he really does not like, probably because they’re pink, but which I LOVE. I gave up yesterday, but after writing this, Im picking up the ball again on it…. I know they’re good, I’ve got way better taste than him, I’m gonna go hard!

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How was Mustard Made born?

My sister Jess and I have always dreamed of starting a business together. Jess lives in London so came over to Australia to visit my new born baby Ellis and we spent a lot of time talking about ideas, where we wanted to be in life and how to make our dream a reality.  I’ve always had a thing for lockers and industrial design so this inspiration was the starting point. 

Why ‘Mustard’?

We knew the colours were going to be at the core of the brand so that’s really where the idea sprung from. We love that mustard is a bit of a refined taste, as a colour and as a condiment! We feel like our brand is a bit like that, it’s a different and not for everyone but that is what makes it so good! 

What is your design philosophy?

Our design process has been exciting as it’s really been a steep learning curve and about pushing the boundaries of what was possible whilst being led by what is practical. Lockers are an established concept but we wanted to reimagine it for the modern home. We added features that made them more functional and flexible. With a conceptual art degree behind me I often focus on the intention behind the design, I always aim to strip back, reduce the unnecessary and create a sense of balance. Aiming for high quality at every stage of the process from the logo to the product itself right through to the photography and website has been really important but also remembering that Mustard is an evolving creation and it’s more important to be moving forward than waiting for perfection before we proceed.

Tell us a bit about your design backgrounds.

Between us we have experience in jewellery design, handmade business, events, fashion and wedding buying, retail and art. This makes for a healthy creative and business foundation. We have loved working closely with a select few creatives to push the brand forward and take it above and beyond our individual abilities. As a tiny and new business I think it’s really important to understand and work to your strengths while allowing space for others to add their input and take you further.

We love the colours of the collection. Tell us a bit about the decision making process for selecting these shades.

There were some sleepless nights where we wondered we were making the right choices but we are so happy with the colour palette! The core of Mustard, Blush and Olive were there from the start although took time to find the perfect shades. Having done some surveys we knew that we needed some neutrals and White and a gorgeous Slate were added to cover that and to pair nicely with the bolder colours.. Navy was the curveball choice. It’s deep and rich and looks really beautiful! It’s set to be one of 2018’s colour trends and really adds to the range.

What are your favourite colour combinations in the home?

My personal favourite is Blush and Olive! We’ve had so much love for the dusty pink we chose and the Olive green is the perfect compliment. In my baby’s room he has two Mustard Skinnys for all his clothes and toys and my older son has the Navy Shorty which matches his navy blue wall.

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How was Siesta Home born?

I’ve always been drawn to colours and artistic expression – at school my best subjects were sport and art! I really got my teeth into making our renovated properties into stylish and comfortable homes that people want to live in – comfort and hominess starts with the bedroom as a space, so creating a bed linen seemed like the right product as a starting point and something I can do with the kids at home. As a mother of 2, I wanted to pursue my passion for interior styling and creating beautifully luxe, heart warming spaces after retiring from my Olympic career. A 7 month long passion project renovating our Melbourne family home got me inspired. I natural gravitated towards colours, patterns and prints led me to start designing my own unique bedding collections, with a plan to inspire people to have fun and experiment with their bedding too. Within 2 months of launching Siesta Home, my own home was featured in Real Living Magazine and the rest they say, is history.

What is your design philosophy?

My designs are not driven by trend. They are inspired by art, colours, patterns and life itself.

You recall being the most colourful snowboarder during the 2006 & 2010 Winter Olympics. What is your fondest memory of this time?

It all really feels like a life time ago, but it was the most amazing experience traveling the world training and racing in some different countries each week and meeting and making wondering lifetime friends. But the fondest memory was meeting Josh (my husband) for the first time at the World Championships.

Your family home in Melbourne is wonderfully modern and vibrant. During your renovation project, what design elements were most important to you and how did you achieve these?

We are lucky enough that Josh my husband in in the glass industry so our biggest design element and most important element was to have as much glass as we possibly could in the house to let a lot of natural light in. And we have definitely achieved that.

What are your top tips for styling with colour?

I am a lover of mixing different colours in bedding. It can be easy to change and rearrange to your own liking. I suggest introducing your main colour(s) first like the colour blocking technique (solid colour over pattern and texture). My tip would be to plan your use of colour before making your purchase. You can take inspiration for colour from a painting or a piece of furniture you already have in your bedroom and use that colour in your duvet. Now you have your solid colour you can now layer with different tones of those colours or texture by adding velvet pillowcases, and or linen pillowcases to the mix.

They say there is a colour for every mood! Which colour makes you most happy?

Oh that would have to be Pink of coarse any and every shade of pink, makes me sooooo happy.

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How was Electric Confetti born?

It was born from a true love of vintage signs, especially neon! I was raised behind the counter of my dad’s antique shop in New Zealand, so was constantly exposed to vintage advertising in the form of packaging and signage.

What is your design philosophy?

I don’t tend to follow ‘trends’ just what I think would look cool in neon! We love to keep it fun and always retain a sense of humour. It’s also client driven – we have some pretty creative customers who entrust us to execute their ideas.

Tell us a bit about the first LED neon light you made.

The first sample I did was the ice-cream style (blue heaven) we well to this day. I spent a while on it, even though the design is fairly simple. It’s also been a firm favourite with the customers.

What are your tips for styling with Neon Lights in the home?

They compliment other art easily as they’re an art piece as well as serving a function. If it’s a text base sign you can select out a colour from the print/artwork to sit alongside the neon. If you’re creating a custom piece with us, we guide you on the style of typography to go for if you have a piece you’re matching it to. So generally speaking, they’re simple to match up with and if not we can create something wall-specific.

They say there is a colour for every mood. What is your happy colour?

Can I say holographic?! Lol. If not, then green is my go-to!

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Image Credit: Jo Kim Photography

How did ‘You Give Me Grace’ begin?

You Give Me Grace came to life shortly after my daughter was born. I needed a way to stay creative while being a stay at home mum. I would describe myself before as an Art Director, turned mum, turned sweat pants stylist.

I team up with Jo Kim Photography for all my styled shoots, as she brings a skill behind the camera that is well beyond mine.  

Tell us a little about your background. Have you always been a product stylist?

No, I was a graphic designer for 5 years and then an Art Director for 4 when I fell pregnant with Grace. After becoming a mum I knew I was ready for a new challenge and started styling focusing on children’s products.    

How would you describe your aesthetic in your own home? How does this compare with the aesthetic you bring to your commercial styling work?

Before Grace I would have said my style at home was minimalistic black and white. How quickly that changed once Grace came along. Now our home has had a massive injection of colour, starting in her room and making its way down the hallway. Even our bedroom has a neon pink light and love heart vase hanging above our bed. (sorry hubby)   My work style is would be described as colourful, quirky and fun and certainly emulates my home now.  

Which designers, artists or creative people are you inspired by?

  • Rachel Castle
  • Florence Broadhurst
  • Anna Bond
  • Gemma Obrien
  • Kip and Co
  • Meri Meri
  • Merrilee Liddiard
  • Roxy Marj
  • James Jean  

Which colour combination is your go to?

Pink, yellow and blue. These colours may vary in shades from season to season but I find they always work well together.   

And finally, everyone has a happy colour! What is yours?

Pink - It just makes me smile.


We hope you enjoyed these interviews. If you are ready to start building your wishlist of products, then be sure and check out our Kids Decor & Furniture product range.


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