Inkster Maken

Foxfire pendant by Inkster Maken // Australia - available online // as featured on Studio Home : Creative Talent from the Lands Down UnderThere is certainly no shortage of beautiful product design emerging from down under at the moment and the latest from Melbourne based Inkster Maken would be lingering around the very top of that great pile!!
We first took a look at the lighting design of Hugh Altschwager here about a year ago. Since then he has expanded his collection, largely made of South Australian Limestone to include the new Foxfire pendant, clean lined Matchstick lamp and super slick Eclipse Wall Light.

Go for a browse and take in the serious quality and craftsmanship of these products!

Foxfire pendant by Inkster Maken // Australia - available online // as featured on Studio Home : Creative Talent from the Lands Down Under Foxfire pendant by Inkster Maken // Australia - available online // as featured on Studio Home : Creative Talent from the Lands Down Under Eclipse wall light by Inkster Maken // Australia - available online // as featured on Studio Home : Creative Talent from the Lands Down Under Eclipse wall light by Inkster Maken // Australia - available online // as featured on Studio Home : Creative Talent from the Lands Down Under Matchstick Lamp by Inkster Maken // Australia - available online // as featured on Studio Home : Creative Talent from the Lands Down Under Matchstick Lamp by Inkster Maken // Australia - available online // as featured on Studio Home : Creative Talent from the Lands Down UnderImages courtesy of Inkster Maken
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Posted in australia, emerging designer, for the home, product design | Leave a comment

Kip + Co : Bean Bag Collaboration

Kip and Co. : Art Series collaboration project // available online // Photography by Nikole Ramsay // as debuted on Studio Home Those great girls over at Kip and Co. have been reaching out into the creative community to offer an opportunity to collaborate and shine a light on some new talent! The result is a super cool, graphic and vibrant capsule collection – as if we expected anything else!

Out of hundreds of entries and many hours spent painstakingly pouring over them, the team arrived to their final four winning submissions which  you can see now applied to the first ever Kip + Co Art Series Beanbags!

Just listed today, simply click through to see the cotton canvas beanbags by Rawaan Alkhatib + Devinder Kaur + Letitia Green + Mr Smudge !

Kip and Co. : Art Series collaboration project // available online // Photography by Nikole Ramsay // as debuted on Studio Home eop5ixjrqgOf_Ku2ay3FbbFxz-RKsD6qxk7M4snQTBYKip and Co. : Art Series collaboration project // available online // Photography by Nikole Ramsay // as debuted on Studio Home Kip and Co. : Art Series collaboration project // available online // Photography by Nikole Ramsay // as debuted on Studio Home Kip and Co. : Art Series collaboration project // available online // Photography by Nikole Ramsay // as debuted on Studio Home

Imagery courtesy of Kip + Co.
Photography by Nikole Ramsay
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You can explore more of the winning designers work here
Rawaan Alkhatib
Letitia Green
Mr Smudge
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Posted in australia, collaborations, for the home, graphic design | Leave a comment

Links + tips for the at home picture taker

New partnership between me (Studio Home!) and Fujifilm New Zealand - non pro photographers can take pics too! // Auckland, New Zealand // Photo by Sarah Allen for Studio HomeOkay – I’ll admit that I woke up feeling a little nervous when I realised I had ambitiously declared I would deliver you some demystifying photography advice! I mean ….. its unlikely I know much more than you BUT if there’s one thing I do know how to do, its use the internet to find out the answers to everything and I have some favourite spots to share with you.

The questions below are ones that I have wondered myself and not been all that willing to ask!
I also share my own process which is by no means the “right” way but I really want to communicate that its not all as mysterious as we think!

To interrupt the text I have scattered pics from a dreamy getaway to the Coromandel with good friends last weekend.

Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1

SHOULD I PLAY WITH THE DIALS ON MY CAMERA?

A purist would scoff at this heading but seriously – sometimes I wonder why you would when I look at the terrific results my compact but meaty old camera used to achieve on largely automatic settings!
I’ve just got to a point in my thinking that if you don’t want to play with settings and would like the camera to take care of most of the decision making, then there are SO many awesome, high quality compact options out there for you ….. eg. you DO NOT need to go buy some great big hefty model!

If, like me, you were getting a little curious and had an idea of the type of imagery that you want to create then YES! Its time my friend!
I opted to go for a mirrorless camera in the form of the XT1. Much smaller and lighter than their larger DSLR cousins, they are packed with technology and MORE than enough of it for my use.  I attempted to diligently read the manual and it all dragged me swiftly back to high school maths and a rising anxiety. It really sounded like cracking the code of ISO and aperture was only for fanatics.
Fast forward to 30 minutes with Joseph Michael and everything changed. In fact my whole entire photo taking process altered. I am not going to attempt to explain how to use your camera on manual here BUT I will say it was less about the terms and so much more about understanding the effect the dials had on each other and understanding where to start them to begin framing up a shot.
From there it was simply all practice and excepting that taking shots take longer for me now as I have dials to deal with BUT I am finding that I am doing much less time editing on the other end….which I find interesting!

On writing this I realise that perhaps I need to herd in an expert to give you all the basics in manual camera operation but in the mean time check out this massive well of knowledge called Pinterest and YouTube (links to pre loaded searches!)

Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1 Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1

WHAT ON EARTH IS A RAW FILE + WHY SHOOT IN THAT RATHER THAN JPEG?

Essentially your camera will save an image as a JPEG file or a RAW file.
JPEG’s are smaller, all ready to go, can be downloaded from you camera to computer and viewed immediately, edited, emailed on or printed.

A RAW file can be downloaded to your computer but cannot be viewed or printed until it has been “processed” by another programme (like Photoshop or Lightroom) This sounds pointless right? But the beauty of a RAW file is that it is highly editable, acting much like a digital negative – if you are interested in bringing out the best in your photos, these are the files that let you have ALL the fun!

RAW files are big so do take up a lot of room on your computer – you’ll want to get an external harddrive to store and handle them. (Once you have processed and edited you then save them as JPEGS ending up with a RAW and edited version of one image.)
JPEG files of course are much smaller and much less high maintenance in many respects. You can still play around with them in Photoshop and to a lesser degree sort out any issues you might have had with brightness etc.

I’ve read about the “types” of people that might want to stick to JPEG instead of RAW (parents, bloggers…???) and think its kind of MORE about if you want to roll up your sleeves and get creative! It is time consuming but better than watching TV!

I found this article today which I think is BRILLIANT and goes into more detail on each of these file types.
Click here for “A Beginners Guide to Start Shooting in RAW – The Easy Way” by Christina Greve

Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1 Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1

DO I NEED TO EDIT MY PHOTOS?

Of course not! Camera’s are so awesome these days. You can shoot in full auto and get great clear results!
BUT I’ve got to tell you – editing is super fun and not nearly as hard as you might think! Its such an effortless form of creativity that you can pick up and put down at any time. No mess, no stress, no commitment, just you fiddling round and experimenting with sliders, actions and more.

I started by shooting in RAW then opening images in Photoshop (it has a built in program called Camera RAW that pops up to allow you to tweak exposure, contrast, sharpness etc with the file first then on to the main screen)
I’ve always been drawn to imagery that has a subtle film-like quality. The world of ultra high definition has always felt a bit jarring and “real time” as I like images that look like thay are a memory or frame from a movie. SO my lack of experience with Photoshop meant that I really needed somewhere to start the editing process and that port of call was the beautiful collection of actions by Wellington based photographer; Peta Mazey.  You can browse them here – my favourite is the Schoolyard set and from time spent experimenting with the opacity and contrast sliders I slowly created the vibe I wanted.

In the last few months, with my new foray into shooting in full manual mode (!) on the Fuji XT1, I decided to throw caution to the wind and begin using Lightroom to process my images instead. This has been mostly under the guidance of my pro photographer heroes and I’ll admit, has not all been smooth sailing! Its not that Lightroom is harder, in fact all those using it claim its photo organising ability, batch processing etc is far more efficient and I’m enjoying experimenting with the VSCOcam presets I have downloaded ….but I just really miss my Photoshop opacity slider :(
ANYWAY I am very determined to go down this road and have actually found YouTube tutorials to be insanely helpful! It took a while but I have quite enjoyed the ones by American photographer, Anothony Morganti. His results are a little more saturated and full on then I am trying to achieve but he clearly explains and guides you through the million functions available!

How do you “get” Photoshop and/or Lightroom? 
Well I bit the bullet this year and now subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud and for about $11 per month I have access to the very latest updates in the Photography Plan. I’ve got to say it is brilliant and means my programs are always at the front of the new technology.

What are “actions” and “presets” ? 
Effectively they are prepared sets of tweaks and effects combined to be applied to an image. Its like using Edmonds pikelet mix instead of starting completely from scratch but of course allows much interpretation by the editor/cook!
Actions are for Photoshop and Presets are for Lightroom.

Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1 Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1

INSTANT GRATIFICATION: CAMERA’S THAT TALK TO PHONES!

For an instagram enthusiast ( I know I am not alone!) I have LOVED the fact that my camera can connect with wireless tech to my phone! This means that I can select a shot in real time that I would like to share, convert the RAW file to a JPEG on the camera, turn on the wireless function, locate and join to that on my phone then using the Fuji app I can simply download that ready to then open in an editing app or post/emailing directly …. no chords or cards or anything!
This has been surprisingly handy and for anyone using social media as a business channel, it allows you to always be presenting topnotch images without too much fuss!

I stitched together a really basic little view of how this all works below.

Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1

EDITING PICS TAKEN ON/OR SENT TO MY PHONE

When snapping moments on my iPhone to share on instagram I always use the inbuilt camera (eg. don’t take the photo using the camera in instagram or any other external app.)

I then open and upload that image to an “external ” (eg. not instagram) photo editing app. (This is also where my process would start with the images sent directly from my camera as in the vid above)
Up until recently I have solely used After Light but have just started experimenting with VSCO cam.  With both of these you have a lot of options for tweaking brightness/contrast, sharpness and then applying filters. I have found over time that I tend to wind down the “opacity/strength” of any filters I use to about 50% or less. I also tend to stick to one or two max to achieve a cohesive vibe between my pictures. Just looks nicer!

Once you have finished editing in the app then you simply opt to publish to instagram and off you go with your editing done!

Another popular editing app that I know some of the insta super stars use is Snapseed.
I believe that all of these are available on Android too!

Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1 Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home
Shot on Fuji XT1
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I hope this has been a little enlightening for some of you. Please don’t hesitate to leave any questions in the comments below and I will do my very best to point you in the right direction!!

Posted in new zealand, photography, studio home | 1 Comment

Fujifilm and Studio Home

New partnership between me (Studio Home!) and Fujifilm New Zealand - non pro photographers can take pics too! // Auckland, New Zealand // Photo by Sarah Allen for Studio Home

I discovered my love of taking photos purely by accident and entirely out of necessity.
When I began wanting to interview and share stories with you, I found myself in the rather boring position of simply having to take the pics myself – there was no budget floating around to hire a pro. It was pure bloody luck that I actually loved the photography the most (and that you guys seemed to like it too?!) and armed with a basic 15 min editing lesson from Camilla I began experimenting. I learnt that shooting in RAW meant I could rescue many of the muck ups  I’d made with exposure etc in Photoshop and then tweak “actions” to suit my taste (which is still changing!).
This process is probably one of the most creative things I have done consistently since leaving school!

I’ve also found out what it is to be someone really interested in photography but be generally intimidated by the industry itself which can feel very techy, full of jargon and imply that it might be a maths equation to get the shot (and camera!)
I have watched many an eyebrow shoot up in surprise when arriving with my small compact camera to take photos for my website – to be honest, this actually felt good and kind of released me from the pressures of people assuming I was a “real pro” photographer! With this in mind, while I felt ready to move to something with a more manual set up (as I was advised when pointing out pictures that I really wanted to achieve!) there was no way I was willing to take on board the physical/mental/emotional burden of a full scale DSLR kit.

No wayyyyyyyy!

New partnership between me (Studio Home!) and Fujifilm New Zealand - non pro photographers can take pics too! // Auckland, New Zealand // Photo by Sarah Allen for Studio Home

FujiFilm, much like me, has in recent years steered clear of the producing largescale DSLR cameras and instead concentrated on leading the way in digital devices that all level of photographers can use!
This couldn’t have been more evident when I visited their Auckland HQ to discuss what it was that I actually needed. They coped well with my chat about wanting something light, cool (of course!), basic in its set up so I didn’t get lost in the upgrade and when it came to lenses I just said “What would be the equivalent to an all mountain ski?”. Having a view finder, full manual control AND lens options felt intimidating enough!

New partnership between me (Studio Home!) and Fujifilm New Zealand - non pro photographers can take pics too! // Auckland, New Zealand // Photo by Sarah Allen for Studio Home

The result is what I feel is a magical and manageable set up!
Fuji have been seriously mastering the mirrorless revolution and I jumped right on board with the XT1 – nice looking in a slightly retro way with a XF 16 – 55mm lens. When the lens is locked into the XT1 , it seals to create a robust water resistant unit!
I’ve had the last 3 months to get my head around this beautiful upgrade, stealing 30 mins from Joseph Michael to learn the fundamentals of shooting in manual, lots of photo taking of seagulls and my cat followed by the download of Lightroom CC and some hours watching editing tutorials on YouTube!!

New partnership between me (Studio Home!) and Fujifilm New Zealand - non pro photographers can take pics too! // Auckland, New Zealand // Photo by Sarah Allen for Studio Home

There IS a reason I am sharing all this with you. Yes, hopefully you’ll enjoy an improvement in pics going forward BUT most of all I know that many of you out there would love to record your life and get creative with technology that isn’t just the latest smart phone release. I also know many of you might be reading this with a guilt knowing that you haven’t touched that enormous DSLR that you bought with the best intentions 2 years ago…but seriously…so BIG!

Tomorrow I am going to share with you all the little things that I personally have gleaned and discovered on my own search to be a great and happy photo taker without being an overtly expensive professional one! This will include some breakdowns of techy jargon (eg. what is RAW and why no Jpeg?), editing tools, programs, tutorials and some of the super futuresque features I am loving about the XT1. Yes, this thing talks directly to my phone..!

New partnership between me (Studio Home!) and Fujifilm New Zealand - non pro photographers can take pics too! // Auckland, New Zealand // Photo by Sarah Allen for Studio Home

Below I am sharing travelling, family and general life photos from two recent stints I have had based in the South Island. I think this is what having a camera is about, snapping whatever seems to be cropping up each day and I wanted to spend some time recording whatever that may be instead of an organised shoot (like the pics above as taken by super sidekick, Sarah Allen!)

All are shot with the same camera and lens set up, downloaded as RAW files and edited in Lightroom. I am only just mastering this programme and have also been playing around with some VSCO cam presets. You will notice this perhaps in the inconsistencies of the pics but hey! learning in public here!

DOWN SOUTH WITH THE FAM

Horangi Atkinson - South Korean escapee living in New Zealand with long suffering family ;) // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home I spent some time creeping around documenting the hard renovation work being completed by my sister and brother in law in their sweet little workers cottage in Christchurch. Bike riding aside, they worked away diligently – even with drinks in hand by car headlight!

I was also reunited with that huge feline who took great pleasure in pretending he’d never met me in his life. No loyalty.

Home renovations - Addington, Christchurch New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Home renovations - Addington, Christchurch New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Home renovations - Addington, Christchurch New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeSister - Canterbury, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeSister - Canterbury,  New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Sister - Canterbury, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Sister - Canterbury,  New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Home renovations - Addington, Christchurch New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Home renovations - Addington, Christchurch New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeHorangi Atkinson - South Korean escapee living in New Zealand with long suffering family ;) // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

I then bounced north to Ashley to spend some time with the folks. The autumn Canterbury light was so beautiful and even made Mum doing her animal jobs look romantic! I also got to watch her zip around at Rangiora One Day Event.

Mum on the farm, Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Mum on the farm, Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Mum and Didi, Rangiora One Day Event 2015 , North Canterbury, New Zealand // Photo by Studio Home on Fuji XT1DSCF9218On ANZAC day we gathered to follow Mum and a legion of 99 other horse and riders complete a historic ride to commemorate the horses that went to WW1. It was an amazing event to witness ! Much tea was consumed in Francesca the caravan as we followed the progress of the march until the terrific and emotional ceremony at the Waikari War Memorial.

Francesca the caravan - ANZAC Day 2015 , North Canterbury, New Zealand // photo by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home // Fuji XT1Mum on Didi for the 100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home  100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home 100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home 100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home  100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home 100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home  100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeBro in law - in Francesca the Caravan, Canterbury,  New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeFrancesca the caravan - ANZAC Day 2015 , North Canterbury, New Zealand // photo by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home // Fuji XT1Francesca the caravan - ANZAC Day 2015 , North Canterbury, New Zealand // photo by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home // Fuji XT1100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeMum on Didi for the 100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home  100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeThen, on managing to thieve a car from the family I dashed to Wanaka for a long weekend of birthday surprises, catch ups, ski boot finding and most importantly some time at my special place, Lake Pukaki at the foot of Aoraki-Mt Cook. I stopped to suck up  the goodness on the way down and way back and had two distinctly different experiences as you can see!

Lake Pukaki, South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeMe at Lake Pukaki, South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeMe at Lake Pukaki, South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeLake Pukaki, South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeAll photos by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home
Shot on Fuji XT1
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I hope I see your here tomorrow!
If you have any questions at all that are amateur photo taking/camera wrangling related please feel free to ask in the comments below. If I don’t know the answer I will certainly endeavour to find out for you!

Posted in new zealand, photography, studio home | 6 Comments

La Luna Rose

An interview with Rosie Shelton of La Luna Rose jewellery // Bali 2014 // photography by Julia Atkinson fro Studio HomeRosie Shelton and I first met through mutual friends in Auckland. I vividly remember the sparky, tanned little human glowing in a white dress and a vibrant, beaded statement necklace …. she was a breath of fresh air in the sea of black on Ponsonby Road! We chatted a lot that night about her jewellery brand La Luna Rose and continued that chat over months before suddenly (it felt like suddenly!) we were face to face again but this time in her Bali villa!

Over the 3 weeks I was knocking around in Canggu I spent a lot of time with Rosie, gaining an insight into her La Luna Rose world. There was plenty of sunshine, amazing food, scooter adventures (not for the faint hearted!), sunset drinks and did I mention the food? But contrary to belief and the level of distraction, there was a hell of a lot of work being done too. Still “on the clock” myself, I would often scoot over to the La Luna / Salt Gypsy HQ, assume position on a sofa, give Squeak the cat a couple of squeezes then get down to the nitty gritty of daily business. Sure everyone powering their own enterprise has a greater incentive to put in the hours but what I saw over that time were a collection of people grabbing the opportunity they had created with both hands and throwing themselves in with a level of gusto that was new to me!

On one particular day, I put my scooting skills to the test and followed Rosie on her emerald green Vespa way way wayyyy across Denpasar to visit her silversmiths. Her lipstick pink helmet was like my shining beacon in the chaos and there was NO way I was losing sight of it!
I loitered around watching her jewellery being bought to life while Rosie met with her team to discuss orders and some new samples. Following this she was off to another corner of the sprawling city to sit down with her beading artisans while I opted to retrace my route and zip back to the relative calm of Canggu.
She strapped on her helmet, gunned her scooter to life and whipped out the gates like any young woman on a mission to boost her business should! I remember thinking at the time how outrageously different her life looked at this moment compared to just even 5 years earlier as a young school leaver in Christchurch, NZ. To be honest – I kind of raised an eyebrow at my own unexpected life moment as I pretty much held my breath for 45 minutes back through traffic mayhem!

I’ve since spent a lot of time with the young La Luna Rose in both Auckland and Christchurch before she headed back on over to work on her next gorgeous collection. She is unwavering in her focus on producing quality jewellery for the zesty, colour loving girls out there and I cannot wait to see what she has been simmering up ready for September!

Rosie has shared an awesome insight into the beginnings of her brand and life in Bali below.

An interview with Rosie Shelton of La Luna Rose jewellery // Bali 2014 // photography by Julia Atkinson fro Studio Home An interview with Rosie Shelton of La Luna Rose jewellery // Bali 2014 // photography by Julia Atkinson fro Studio Home An interview with Rosie Shelton of La Luna Rose jewellery // Bali 2014 // photography by Julia Atkinson fro Studio Home An interview with Rosie Shelton of La Luna Rose jewellery // Bali 2014 // photography by Julia Atkinson fro Studio Home An interview with Rosie Shelton of La Luna Rose jewellery // Bali 2014 // photography by Julia Atkinson fro Studio Home An interview with Rosie Shelton of La Luna Rose jewellery // Bali 2014 // photography by Julia Atkinson fro Studio HomeAn interview with Rosie Shelton of La Luna Rose jewellery // Bali 2014 // photography by Julia Atkinson fro Studio HomeAn interview with Rosie Shelton of La Luna Rose jewellery // Bali 2014 // photography by Julia Atkinson fro Studio Home An interview with Rosie Shelton of La Luna Rose jewellery // Bali 2014 // photography by Julia Atkinson fro Studio Home An interview with Rosie Shelton of La Luna Rose jewellery // Bali 2014 // photography by Julia Atkinson fro Studio Home

Where were you and what stage in your life were you at when the seed for your business first sprouted in your brain ?

I was living and working in Torquay (just south of Melbourne) for a global surf company in the Men’s Design department, semi-actively seeking my next challenge. I was open to anything really as I loved working there but there was limited career progression. As a true believer in that everything happens for a reason and post putting these ‘vibes’ out into the atmosphere, things started snowballing into action! I went back to New Zealand for Christmas and was completely motivated and inspired by all the awesome talent coming out of there. I had also recently been on a game show (!) and won some money with my best friend and we promised that we would get ourselves some jewellery as a memory of the (totally random!) experience.
That began the search for something that I couldn’t find – a ring that was good quality sterling silver but mixed with something bright, some colour! I didn’t want crystals or semi precious stones and then I just thought BAM!!, there is a market here and this gap needs to be filled…
I headed straight back to our holiday house we were staying in and started sketching my designs and ideas. And then it began….

What was it about Bali that attracted you to its shore’s to follow your dream ? 

During my time working for the surf company I had begun surfing which I completely fell in love with. In fact many lunchtimes we were basically booted out of the office to go and get in the ocean! With that said, I was adamant my next step was not going to take me away from the beach! The previous year I had been on holiday to Bali with a couple of girlfriends and we all fell in love with the place. The people, the culture, food, energy, beaches and general island vibes. I was also blown away with insane amount of craftsmanship here on the island and the creativity all around. From stone carvings, to beautifully carved wooden doors, to their tiling, paintings and silversmith work. In Bali you are constantly surrounded by the creative energy of the locals and it can’t help but feed back into your own creative flow, so it seemed like a no-brainer next step to start up La Luna Rose based there! (Not to mention my love of travel and Bali’s location to explore the rest of Asia from!)

Of course there is no such thing as a typical work week but what would some of the tasks, jobs, activities be that you might experience over a week ?

Running a business out of Bali, a developing country, throws a few more curve balls into a general day than when I am based back in NZ or Australia. Therefore, a ‘typical day’ is not a sentence that I think I would ever hear someone mention here in Bali as everything is so scrambled and always very different!
One day you will have the best day of your life and things going smoothly with suppliers, catching up with friends in the sunshine, a great yoga class and finishing the day with an epic sunset….and then the next day could contain all the same activities only the yoga class was cancelled, your supplier didn’t show up just because, your food took 2 hours to arrive at lunch when you had a million other places to be, the power is out for 12 hours in your area and the closest internet is a 30 minute scoot ride away. Oh and throw in some torrential rain….
But obviously the good outweighs the bad of course – its just a constant up/down battle that you have to learn to find the medium pulse in the middle !

Generally I wake up and do some exercise to set the mind in a good headspace for the day, post on social media and I am at my computer by 9am. This can entail anything form doing accounts, marketing strategies, sales to stores, organizing any orders I have received the night before, planning the next week/month in advance, researching and organizing photoshoots, researching new pathways and working on new collaborations. Then in the afternoon I will go and visit suppliers or pick up stock, organize packaging/orders, organize FEDEX for the day (a seriously time-consuming process!) jump on social media, general household admin and its almost time for a sunset coconut!
I design my new ranges for about 6 weeks of the year, so when that time comes around, all the other stuff gets put on the back burner…which is nice ;)

If you could share some advice with anyone else looking to kickstart their own small business what would it be…?

Talk!
Talk to people, network with others who have already done it, meet up with people you look up to, research everything and anyone and then just DO IT! If you have the determination and passion for it, it won’t fail. There will be cross roads and hardships but nothing that you can’t get through if you have the strength to push on and not let others get you down!
That and be prepared to be poor.
For a number of years.
Building your own empire (unless you have large financial backing) is hard slog and no matter what you think it will cost you, triple it! Or do as I have done and lived off $2 warung meals most days for the past 2 years! I am not complaining at all, just be prepared!

Some secret, off the beaten track spots in Bali that you love and why

Just go and get lost!
The coolest things I have come across have been in random little villages on my travels around the island, which I can’t even tell you where because I don’t even know! Bali is getting very populated with tourism in many main spots but if you just get on a scooter or hire a car and drive North/West I promise you wont be disappointed! For those less inclined for that… I love Geger beach at low tide for a beautiful cave-like golden sand dip (that’s where our ‘Sticks and Stones’ range was shot!) and also the cute Ashram up in Candi Dasa. Situated right on the beach, yoga twice a day and delicious vegetarian meals included! Mmmm, I’m hungry thinking about that place.

La Luna Rose jewellery // available online // Photography by  Sophia Chan Andreassand // as featiured on Studio Home : Creative Talent from the Lands Down UnderLa Luna Rose jewellery // available online // Photography by  Gabi Mulder // as featiured on Studio Home : Creative Talent from the Lands Down Under La Luna Rose jewellery // available online // Photography by  Sophia Chan Andreassand // as featiured on Studio Home : Creative Talent from the Lands Down Under La Luna Rose jewellery // available online // Photography by  Gabi Mulder // as featiured on Studio Home : Creative Talent from the Lands Down UnderLa Luna Rose jewellery // available online // Photography by  Gabi Mulder // as featiured on Studio Home : Creative Talent from the Lands Down Under La Luna Rose jewellery // available online // Photography by  Sophia Chan Andreassand // as featiured on Studio Home : Creative Talent from the Lands Down Under La Luna Rose jewellery // available online // Photography by  Gabi Mulder // as featiured on Studio Home : Creative Talent from the Lands Down UnderImagery courtesy of La Luna Rose
Flat lays by Sophie Chan Andreassend
Campaign shots by Gabi Mulder
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WHAT I LEARNT FROM ROSIE SHELTON:

If you are going to give your dream a good go – then commit to giving it 110% of your time, energy, assets and brainpower.
Don’t let it slide away just because you haven’t been strategic or brave enough.

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Read more of our Fly the Coop : Bali series here.

Check out Bali Under the Radar here.

Posted in emerging designer, fly the coop, jewellery, new zealand | Leave a comment

Salt Gypsy

Danielle Clayton - Salt Gypsy // photographed in Bali by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

Danielle Clayton is a kiwi girl who spotted, then filled the gap for a female focused surf blog providing a spotlight on independent surf brands for girls that rip! Since her launch in 2011 she has inadvertently found herself running a thriving indie label herself, harbouring a work ethic you would relate to someone executing their life long business dreams!

Danny has this terrific energy around her – you know, one of those people that you hope you might be able to rein into your circle of friends!
Over my 3 weeks in Bali we swapped many stories about our own weaving paths that led us to businesses that weren’t even close to being on our radar when we left school (or in Danny’s case – post a design degree!). But what really caught my attention was her very real business and strategy focused curiosity. She had buckets of it and as much to share in return!
This might sound dry (trust me the convo was far from it) but when you are absorbed up to your eyeballs in an enterprise that you have long since passed the point of no return … you rightfully should become super interested in the ideas and practice of others!
I learnt a lot from Danny (and the rest of her Canggu based “Fresh Folk” expat crew who included La Luna Rose, Indosole, Rue Stiic, Seawolf, BNVVT among just a few ) and it was all about sharing opinions, networks, knowledge and skills making for what I can only call their own little Bali incubator! Yes, I took home some actual tips on organising my inbox, email templates and a ton about the challenges of production in Bali but ultimately I walked away with an entirely new attitude on the sharing and movement of knowledge. That being open and transparent on everything (as bloody scary that can be!) actually empowers a business and industry.

You may scoff but this was learnt from a girl who created a brand as a direct result of her OWN surfing needs, grew from made-to-order operating on an empty bank account to being directly copied by one of the biggest surf brands in the world (and watched them back down after such a public backlash in her favour!) AND be courted to now produce exclusive lines for Urban Outfitters.
Not bad for a waterbaby from Auckland with a heart condition, the humblest of attitudes, widest of smiles and savviest of brains to shape her business exactly how she wants it to be.

Danny shares some golden insights in her Q+A below – I highly recommend taking some time to read it and click on through to explore the female online surf mecca that is Salt Gypsy!

Danielle Clayton - Salt Gypsy // photographed in Bali by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Danielle Clayton - Salt Gypsy // photographed in Bali by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Danielle Clayton - Salt Gypsy // photographed in Bali by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Danielle Clayton - Salt Gypsy // photographed in Bali by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Danielle Clayton - Salt Gypsy // photographed in Bali by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Danielle Clayton - Salt Gypsy // photographed in Bali by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Danielle Clayton - Salt Gypsy // photographed in Bali by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeDanielle Clayton - Salt Gypsy // photographed in Bali by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Danielle Clayton - Salt Gypsy // photographed in Bali by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomePhotography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home
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Where were you and what stage in your life were you at when the seed for your business first sprouted in your brain ?

I began a personal blog, Salt Gypsy, in 2012 which was my third year living and working as a surf guide in the Maldives. I wanted to create a platform that had two main goals:

1) to showcase women’s indie surf labels who made slick surf gear (rash guards, surf bikinis etc) that me and my friends wanted to wear in the surf (as opposed to the stale status quo of the global mainstream brands at that time)

2) to connect with like-minded female surfers around the world and share their story of how they live their surf-centric lifestyles.

Halfway through that year, I had some lycra leggings made for myself to wear in the surf and cover up from the sun. Simply put – there was nothing on the market that either suited my taste or was within my surf guide budget. In fact, there were only two surf companies that had 1 product each categorised as a surf legging and neither had any marketing behind their products.

In July of 2012, after testing my samples in the surf for a month and blogging the images we were shooting, there were 2 boat loads of female surfers hanging around the same region I was in. Of course, everyone was getting fried by the sun in their bikinis within the first couple of days.What really planted the seed was a comment from one of the girls in the surf: “If you had stock on board you’d be sold out – we’re all sunburnt!”

Exactly.

A couple of months later, through my blog and Facebook page, I generated about 20 orders for customised surf leggings. I was paid upfront, made my way to Bali, had the designs made, shipped them out a month later and voila – here I am today as a fully self-funded indie start up exporting surf leggings predominantly to the US, but also Dubai, UK, Australia, and Japan. I’m pretty stoked (though a little burnt out!) considering this time two years ago I was literally broke and stuck in Bali (long story ;) without enough money to afford a flight home.

There is nothing like not knowing how you are going to pay next month’s rent, or feed yourself – to light a fire under your ass, think outside the box, and HUSTLE.
What was it about Bali that attracted you to its shore’s to follow your dream ?

My first surf trip to Bali in 2006 surprised me – it wasn’t so much the waves that captured my attention (though they were epic) – it was the energy of the place. It felt like anything was possible and, as a maker of things, the inspiration and accessibility to create and make tangible products here really blew me away.

Fast forward several years and being personally in the market for some surf leggings, I was able to have a couple of sample pairs made in Bali to my design and the rest is history. Boutique manufacturing (though not smooth sailing at the best of times!) is definitely the advantage to producing in Bali and I would not have been able to get myself (almost literally) off the ground with zero capital and have the indie label I have today, were it not for the ease of bespoke production and low minimums.
That, and the waves are pretty sick.
And it’s warm!

These days, there is a great creative hub in the area of Canggu where we live. I have met some really awesome, talented and driven humans in the same boat as me which is so reassuring when you have, “When are you coming home and getting a real job?” echoing across the oceans.

Of course there is no such thing as a typical work week but what would some of the tasks, jobs, activities be that you might experience over a week ?

Managing production sucks up the majority of my time! I started selling bespoke surf leggings with everything made-to-order then suddenly found myself with a growing wholesale business as the Salt Gypsy brand has evolved from my personal blog to a full-blown indie surf wear label. So the transition from selling direct to online customers, to creating a range and selling wholesale has been a long work-in-progress for me as I chip away at building capital through my sales. I visit my boutique production teams up to several times a week and organise the packing & shipping of all wholesale and direct online orders.

Currently, I design everything (swing tags, care labels, product line, POS, lookbooks etc), do all my own social media marketing, organise photoshoots, pay bills, invoice accounts, surf test new gear, product development, meeting up with crew in Bali (networking !)
I wear all the hats and each week continues to be pretty hectic! Aside from managing the production in person, everything else I do is manageable online so now I can be on the boat visiting my fiancé in the Maldives and doing some product R & D and still have things ticking over. All of which is pretty rad!

If you could share some advice with anyone else looking to kickstart their own small business what would it be…?

Be authentic.
Be prepared to work your ass off.
The pace is relentless and you have to be tenacious.
And importantly – you must really know what value you are offering to the world. What differentiates you from the competition? I mean, seriously, there really is so much stuff in this world.
Tell your story, do it well, and always think outside the box.
Be of service to your customers/audience.
Focus on the product.
Read The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.

And in the words of Robert Collis:
“Work with legends and don’t get drained by the kooks.”
That’s been my mantra for the month.

Some secret, off the beaten track spots in Bali that you love and why

The beach between Padang Padang and Uluwatu. No-one there, it’s gold ;)

Danielle Clayton of Salt Gypsy by  Carly BrownDanielle Clayton by Carly Brown
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Danielle Clayton of Salt Gypsy by  Carly Brown Danielle Clayton of Salt Gypsy by  Carly Brown Salty sea maidens wear Salt Gypsy // photo by Carlos Ehlert on a female surf trip on Carpe Diem in Indonesia: http://saltgypsy.com/2014/10/04/east-indonesia-boat-trip/ Salty sea maidens wear Salt Gypsy
Photo by Carlos Ehlert on a female surf trip on Carpe Diem in Indonesia
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Danielle Clayton of Salt Gypsy by  Richard Kotch

Danielle Clayton by Richard Kotch
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Danielle Clayton of Salt Gypsy by  Richard Kotch Danielle Clayton by Richard Kotch
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Female surfers in the Mentawais wearing Salt Gypsy by  Richard Kotch salt_gypsy-36Jessica Rosheen x Salt Gypsy collaboration
Photography : Will Hartl
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Flavia Eberhard wearing Salt Gypsy by Pepe ArcosFreediver : Flavia Eberhard
Photography : Pepe Arcos
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WHAT I LEARNT FROM DANIELLE CLAYTON:

A passion really can become a business, but be prepared for things to change from IT nourishing you to YOU nourishing it.

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Check out more Bali based businesses and our off the beaten guide to Bali here. 

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Posted in emerging designer, fashion, fly the coop, new zealand | 3 Comments