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Meet the maker – Lauren Skye Studio

One of the best parts of our job is meeting the makers and designers behind all the products in our store. We get a kick out of hearing about their creative processes. So, who better to write the latest meet the maker blog post about that our very own Lauren. Lauren is our in-house designer and she brings her endless creativity with her to work each day. We sat down and chatted about what makes her tick…

So, Lauren, tell us about how you became a designer...

I have always been a creative soul and interested in all aspects of design. Over the past 20 years I have worked as a Fashion Designer, Textile Designer and Interior Designer, as well as dabbling in graphic design so this current role is really a culmination of all of that. I was always more interested in working for myself and so after having my first child I took the plunge and haven’t looked back.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Due to my background in fashion, I am inspired by colour and fabric. Nature is also a big source of inspiration for me and the textures and colour combinations found in nature never cease to amaze me. 

What is the most difficult part of your work and the part you love the most?

The hardest pert is overcoming a creative block. It can be tricky pushing through. But, I find it is best to not force it and I just wait for inspiration to strike. Then when it does I’m known to stay up half the night getting my ideas out! 

The best part of my job is that I get to do what I love. I get a buzz from creating something out of nothing. I particularly enjoy seeing photos from my customers of my cushions in their homes. I seriously have the loveliest customers!

 

What advice would you give to anyone starting out in a career in design?

Be prepared to work hard and never stop learning! Don’t limit yourself to one design discipline as I find my skills transfer between different fields of design. Also, do not ignore technology! I cannot even imagine how much time and money I have saved by being able to build and maintain my own website.  Of course if you are an absolute beginner and you want to know if you can unlock your creative side, what better place to start than one of our workshops! 

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Gift Giving Dilemmas

Mindful Gifting this Festive Season

Like the vast majority of people I know, giving a well chosen gift to a loved one is a joyful thing to do. But, as the festive season gathers pace and we are bombarded with so many ads about all things shopping and spending, it can feel like there’s pressure to buy things just for the sake of it. There are so many massive companies with marketing budgets to match who are doing their best to get us to part with our cash without a second thought. However, many of the people I talk to about this pressure to spend spend spend are actively trying to move away from mindless consumerism. Personally I think that’s a great thing…..

Now I’m not necessarily suggesting that we forgo gift giving altogether (well I would say that right?!?!) I’m just advocating a more mindful approach to gifting.  We’ve noticed that our customers like to be more informed about where their products come from and how they are made. Here at Find + Form we are huge fans of that approach to shopping and gifting at all times of the year.  We know the names of the makers and designers of all our products. We know everything we stock is made or designed by an Australian creative and we know everything we stock is made with love and care. Plus, we are pretty sure someone somewhere in Australia does a little happy dance each time one of their products finds a new home.

For us, it was important to avoid the mass produced and disposable (dare I say junk). Of course we realise that our aesthetic is not for everyone, but what we do know for sure is that everything we stock has a story, it’s made to be treasured and it was carefully chosen by us to form part of a curated collection of gifts and homewares.
If that resonates with you, but you’re not sure how to go about selecting something special for someone special, we’ve put together a few collections which might inspire you.

Of course you may want to avoid giving “stuff” altogether and perhaps you’ve decided to focus on giving experiences this year. Well, we can help with that too. We will be hosting small workshops in our Roseville store, starting with a Sew Your Own Tote Bag workshop in January. We have many other creative workshops planned for the new year too. Such as, water colour, flower arranging and jewellery making to name a few. Keep an eye on our website for new workshop dates or sign up to our newsletter to hear about what’s new in store.

We hope that the our curated collection of gifts and homewares will delight the recipients and we know for a fact that every time you come in to our shop we are delighted to see you, so pop in and say Hi any time.

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So Sew Good

Our inaugural sewing workshop was such a great learning experience for Find + Form as well as our wonderful workshoppers.

We started with a choice of fabrics in our spring/summer season colours. Everyone chose a unique combination of lining and outer fabrics. So, as a result each tote bag created was a little bit different and special.

Many of our workshop participants hadn’t touched a sewing machine since leaving school.  Although, we are quite sure it wasn’t that long ago based on how young and glamorous they all look!

Never the less, having not used a sewing machine for a while it can be quite intimidating to get started. But after a few practice seams on our user friendly Singer machines, everyone quickly gained in confidence. So it was time to start pinning + sewing our tote bags…

Skip forward 2 hours and we had lots of totes-amazing tote bags all with coordinating straps, boxed out bottoms and fully reversible too.

We all finished with smiles on our faces and feeling a sense of satisfaction at having made something beautiful and practical. I know that the bags have been admired all over Sydney’s North Shore too!

If you would like to learn some sewing skills or refresh the ones you learnt a while ago, sign up to our newsletter + look out for the workshops coming soon.

We’ve been very busy planning lots of other workshops for you, but we are always happy to hear from you and take your suggestions for new workshops, so…..don’t hesitate to contact us any time to tell us your thoughts about future workshops

Work with us
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Meet the maker series

Meet the maker Juno + Ace

Meeting the makers and seeing how they create the beautiful things they do is one of the most interesting parts of our job. We recently had the pleasure of visiting the divine Sacha Jacobsen in her sunny northern beaches studio. Sacha is the creative force behind Juno + Ace. She designs and makes beautiful brass wall hangings and mobiles. We were keen to find out a little bit more about Sacha so we asked her a few questions….

So, Sacha tell us us about your journey to becoming a designer and maker....

I started making jewellery when I was pregnant with my first baby (I now have 3). That was back in the UK 8 years ago now! Phew! I did a jewellery making course on my maternity leave and it slowly grew from there into a business. Then after a few years and another baby, my Aussie husband sold his business and we decided to move over here to Sydney. I was pregnant with my 3rd bubs at the time and with 2 small pre-school kids in tow I didn’t expect to start making again so soon. But, after a trip to the Finders Keepers just before Asa was born in 2016 I was so inspired it didn’t take long for us all to settle into aussie life as a family of 5 and for me to pick up my tools again. Juno + Ace was born in early 2017 and I was mostly making jewellery, as I always had, but with such strong competition out there in such an overly saturated market, I decided to make a few changes and launch a range of brass wall hangings as well. These used my existing skills and gave me a point of difference from the jewellery crowd. From these I started making mobiles as well and now you will find Juno + Ace is doing all 3!  

Juno + Ace maker in action

Where do you find your inspiration?

Shiny Pretty Things

I love the simplicity and impact of geometric shapes, especially those with a feminine feel, circles, ovals and arches. I don’t often gravitate towards edgy shapes in the same way. I also love modern art. I grew up in St.Ives, Cornwall and there is such an amazing art scene there. I was surrounded by Barbara Hepworth sculptures and paintings by Terry Frost as a child. They built a Tate Gallery there when I was about 8 I think and I remember being taken there on a school trip and I just loved it! The building itself is all round curves and set right on our busiest surf beach (although its often too cold to surf)

What are you working on at the moment and what's the inspiration behind it?

At the moment I am playing catch up after a very busy trade show. I did my first trade show in August and the response was amazing. I’ve been working for several weeks now just catching up with the back log of orders I received. As soon as I’m caught up with these, I have all my Christmas markets to start prepping for as well as planning a few workshops too. And when I finally find some ‘spare time’ for research and development, I have a few ideas I’d love to get into, such as some table top sculptures and other homewares that could be made with a brass twist.

We also asked Sacha.......

If you won $10 million on the lottery would you still do what you do?

Yep, or if not this exactly, I would defiantly always be making things. I need to keep my hands busy and my creative mind well exercised other wise I get a little up tight!

Who are you following on social media at the moment?

Having recently changed product from jewellery to include homewares as well, I have started to follow a bunch of awesome interior designers and amazing stores. But another amazing person I’ve just found in a  totally different sector (food and travel) is @local_milk. She does the best podcasts for small creative businesses

Where do you like to shop?

I like to shop at the markets I take part in. I love doing trades with other creatives and I always want to look a little different so I find buying your clothes from small independents is the best way to do that.

What is your favourite restaurant?

My husband and I went on holiday to Biarritz in the south of France quite a few times before we had kids and there was this amazing seafood restaurant right on the cliff, but it was so rustic and down to earth. Just perfect. I don’t really get to eat out all that much now with 3 small humans to look after.

What advice would you give to anyone starting a creative career?

Don’t give up if it doesn’t all fall into place straight away. You have to keep trying and eventually you will find a way to get the ball rolling, and when it does you roll with it and learn as you go.

Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you?

Hmmm, I sometimes suffer with anxiety and have had PND and because of that my business gives $5 from every online sale to charity called PANDA -perinatal anxiety and depression Australia.

You can find out more about PANDA here

You can view Juno + Ace’s special products online now

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Finding + Forming

What a journey it has been so far. 

We have gone from dreaming about working for ourselves over a few glasses of wine to launching our new business Find + Form. After meeting at the school gate when our boys were in the same class we discovered that we had a fair amount in common, we both have 2 boys, we were both at the stage in life were the kids were settled in school so we had more time to focus on our own careers + we both wanted to work for ourselves. On top of all that, we were both planning renovations to our homes + through sharing design ideas + shopping for light fittings we found a shared love of making, creating, shopping + interiors. 

Oh + did I mention we are both married to blokes called Mark. (different Marks – we are NOT sister wives just for the record!)

Find and Form Lauren and Jo
Us enjoying this beautiful city we live in

It started wth a few casual chats when we talked about the fact there must be something we could do that would feed our creativity but also (hopefully) generate an income. As the chats became more frequent they also became more serious, we formed a few ideas, rolled them around + found the concept. 

Find + Form – A place where you can find beautiful Australian designed + formed products to fill your home. A place where you can find new creative skills and form something with your own hand.

After a few months of plotting and planning we told a few trusted friends + family members about our idea + most seemed to say go for it, or words to that effect. So we did go for it.  We started to source beautiful (in our opinion anyway) products made by talented Australian designers + makers. We started to come up with workshop ideas + even trialed a few workshops with some brave friends. We started to think about marketing, business plans, cash flow projections, and a million other things too. 

We have loved the process so far + I wont lie, its been a steep learning curve. No doubt  we will continue to learn along the way and we’d love to have you with us. So if you are looking for a creative outlet, if you want to learn a new skill, if you love discovering unique things for your home or to give as gifts or if you are a creative who wants to share your products or skills with other like minded people…..please come along for the ride.

Jo and Lauren

Find + Form