5 Minutes With...
Owners: Sarah Brooke & Grant Brooke
Years exhibiting with Reed Gift Fairs: 2 years
Your brand/business in one word: Fun
Where do you look for inspiration for your products?
We don't have a set source that we get inspiration from, rather a collaborative approach within our design team to explore colours, patterns, textures, and scale and look to complement current trends with our ideas.
Visualisation is a major part of our inspiration. We love imagining our ideal interior settings and then consider other products that may fit within these spaces. This allows us to complement our designs with different interior styles.
Whether it be designing for a brief from a client, designing a new collection or even having some creative fun by designing pieces we would want for our own houses, we always take the time to visualise how we can impact a space with refined design solutions.
Any advice for getting over a creative block?
In my experience I have always tried to explore and experiment with multiple concepts. I always bring it back to basics when in concept stage, don't try to nail the design in one go, take the pressure off yourself. Allow ideas to flow and seek feedback with multiple ideas rather than being fixated on one. This is easier said than done!
Also, I am lucky enough to be surrounded by a talented team who we bounce ideas off and everyone's creative input is very important and of high value to the final outcome as our studio is a team environment.
What does a typical working day look like?
Often my day starts off with an hour commute to the studio with a tea in hand and a good podcast. I would join my team and get stuck into emails, often for hours on end until I come up for air for a coffee break. My role is very diverse, I wear many hats and will rarely find myself doing just the one task for the day.
Over the years designing has become a smaller part of my role, however still I work closely with our talented team developing new products for our in-house collections and for clients.
I work closely with suppliers and customers, I may be inspecting and packing product in the warehouse and you will also find me in the studio painting for our next collection.
The diversity in my role is widespread however, it's what I love about my job including my daily interaction with our team and watching our products come to life.
Customers love your business because...
We are a family business that has been in the wall art and home decor industry for over 50+ years. Our business over the years has spanned across 3 generations in various forms.
We are proud of our family history in the industry, and we believe we have grown and evolved with our customers as the years go on. With this comes loyalty, trust, strong relationships, and experience in what we do.
Drawing on that experience to design and source considered products is always at the forefront of what we set out to achieve for our customers but most of all celebrating creativity is our signature.
What feedback are your customers giving you right now about retail?
It's been a tough 2 years for retailers, we have heard they are relieved to have their physical doors open and to be trading again. The future is bright, over the last few years many customers have missed out on the true in store 'bricks and mortar experience. Nothing can replace that feeling of being surrounded by beautiful quality products, exploring a store in person and to be fully immersed in the overall shopping experience.
What is the beauty of aligning your business with trade events like Reed Gift Fairs?
We look forward to exhibiting at Gift Fairs every year. We believe it's important to have opportunities to meet existing and new customers to continue to build new and existing relationships. At fairs we are surrounded by so many amazing like-minded businesses and it's a great opportunity to meet new people and network with others in the industry. Gift fairs are also a great time to showcase our products in a way that we are proud of to share with everyone, it's important for our customers to understand scale, texture, and quality.
What's one piece of business advice you'd give to yourself 10 years ago?
Never get stuck in the day-today tasks and delegate more often, however this is something I still haven't mastered.
What do the next 12 months look like for you?
After the last few years of uncertainty with restrictions and knock-on effects from the pandemic we are excited to settle into the 'new normal and to sink our teeth into projects such as updating software, refining processes with a real emphasis to continually develop new and exciting products for future collections.
Tell us about your #1 bestselling product.
One of our best product ranges would have to be our in-house designed and locally made framed prints behind glass. We are proud to produce the majority of our framed prints in Melbourne.
Which product/range are you most excited about right now/what can we see from you in Melbourne?
We are excited to showcase new and some existing products that haven't been exhibited over the last few years. Our customers will a mix of our mirrors, prints behind glass, along with highly textured paintings, canvases, cushions, and ceramics. We can't wait to share with everyone what we have been working on. Our team is looking forward to seeing you in August!