I'm going to cover a range of topics every month on the subjects of textiles, art and design and include the makers, creators, shapers and facilitators. I will be posting this onto my Smitten Design Textiles Facebook page. However, If you would prefer to receive my quarterly newsletter with a link to the blogs then hit the subscribe button below.
To get the ball rolling I'm going to kick off the next few weeks with the theme Spaces and Places.
I want to share with you some of the unique spaces and places, bricks and mortar stores, that stock my textiles amongst other gorgeous products and dig a little deeper to find out what and who make these places so distinct.
This week, I'm starting with Lou Barker, from Blue Scarlet. www.bluescarlet.co.nz
Blue Scarlet sell bespoke furniture, soft furnishings, homewares, art, jewellery, and other selected colourful pieces. They also offer a full interior design service.
Lou is not afraid to celebrate colour, and seeing some of my cushions alongside Tiff Manuell clutches and a sofa (called Plum Saucy) made me feel in rather good company! You can follow Lou on Facebook to get a regular dose of eye candy. www.facebook.com/bluescarlet
This threesome have created a rather good looking treasure filled shop of gorgeous vibrant colours and textures, with a common thread between them of cherishing textiles. Bella Beans vintage clothing is hung in clusters of harmonious hues and each garment is a gem. Blue Scarlet displays bright pops of bespoke furniture, combined with her carefully curated colourful homewares and accessories. Little One's upcycled children's clothes cater for a range of ages with styles to melt the heart.
Where: Shop 3, The Tannery, Woolston, Christchurch.
Describe your business?
I am an Interior Designer with a passion for colour and that's what I sell - colour
Describe you shop in 3 words -
colourful, eclective, unique
Where do you find inspiration?
I am lucky to have a great group of creative friends so I draw inspiration from them, and from people in general really. People watching is a great source - looking at what people are wearing; the colours and styles they've put together - if and how it works. Ideas wise the good old internet is a great place but I never want to copy - you can't help but have similar tastes and ideas to someone but (to quote a reality tv cliché) - you have to make it your own
Where do you think the future of retail is heading?
I think that more people are beginning to understand the importance of buying and supporting local businesses, but in order to compete with the big guys in some cases we need to join forces - as myself, BellaBean Vintage and Little One have done - when you have a shared space you obviously share the associated costs. Physically I think retail will always exist as leaving the house, having a coffee and shopping is all part of the experience. But we also need to cater for on-line shopping too
Who are your favourite designers?
Interior Designer Alex Fulton pushes the boundaries and thinks outside the box - and I think is always successful - I think more kiwi designers need to create their own vibe and Alex certainly does this. I also think Glenn Jones Graphic Designer and Illustrator is very clever - his designs are more than just pictures - they're well thought out nostalgic salutes to Kiwiana.
It is a significant and impressive historical site that has been slowly and meticulously brought back to a new life with great perfection. The Tannery is home to a haven of design stores and cafes. The mix of retail experiences is a delight from beginning to end. Some of my favorite shops were Bolt of Cloth, The Fabric Store, Hapa, Teepee, Smiths Bookshop and of course , goes with out saying Lou's Shop!