If you don't know her already, we are sure you'll know her work; Seen in the pages of Habitat by Resene, Remix, Homestyle and more. We are working with Amber on our AW18 campaign (watch this space!) and couldn't help but be inspired by her relaxed yet considered approach to style.
Art director, stylist, homeware designer, print maker, (so does that make you a photo-taker too?)… Generally speaking everything you touch turns to a wee piece of magic! Which practice resonates the closest and can you tell our reader exactly what it is that you do….
Well I started my career as a graphic designer and then moved more into styling and art direction. I love all of it, mostly I love the variation and the freedom to transition between each practice. Realistically it is a similar creative process for each, come up with an idea, work out how you can pull it together and then make it happen.
Let’s back it up one step to before all this, can you give us a quick low down on your back ground? I studied a Bachelor of Design at CPIT, then worked for a few years at homestyle magazine in Christchurch, moved to London for a few years - then moved back to find an opening back at my old job. After the earthquake in Christchurch the magazine moved up to Auckland and I was wanting to move back home too - so it was perfect timing.
How did you take the step into flying solo? After 8 years working at Homestyle magazine, it was time to take the plunge and go solo. I had made a few contacts along the way and locked in some regular work straight away, so I found the transition relatively smooth. I also worked from the dining room for the first year so keeping my overheads low took the pressure off.
Was it scary/easy/challenging/rewarding? It was all of those things
Pros’/Cons of freelance? Cons - Doing your accounts, no one likes chasing overdue invoices but it’s also just part of business. Pros’ - It’s awesome, I work hard when there is a lot of work and I can take a break when things are a bit quieter, you also reap the benefits of the energy you put in and get to steer the business in whatever way interests you.
I also get to collaborate with so many other amazing creatives and businesses - like Saben.
Is there a turn point or influential moment you could share with us that you feel has shaped your career thus far? Not really one moment, I think learning to back myself and what I am capable of has been huge. Also moving into a beautiful office space full of other creatives that are killing it in their fields has been a massive game changer.
What have been some of the biggest learning curves? Running the business (invoicing, meetings and accounts) is just as important, as doing the creative work! You have got to keep all the plates spinning at the same time which can be a juggle but once you find your rhythm it all balances out.
In your experience, is there a difference between working with big clients and small ones? Which do you enjoy more? Why? They are both great and offer different things, sometimes with smaller brands and smaller budgets you are pushed to be more creative with the limited resources (which is great) and then with the bigger brands I get to do things on a bigger scale (which is also great)
What are you working on right now, what are you in the process of dreaming up? I am always working on a variety of projects and shoots, from editorial (I regularly shoot for Remix magazine and a few home titles) to collaborating with brands like Resene, various homeware brands and starting to branch off more into fashion - (like a very fun shoot I did with a special handbag brand) haha. I also have a few personal projects ticking over in the background, maybe a new range of art prints, a little style renovation to my little house.
I’m always thinking up new ideas - it’s just part of the process.
What is your ‘OMG I might die of excitement’ project? I have always wanted to design a textile fabric for Marimekko or collaborate on a homewares range.
Thank you for sharing your home with us, do you work quite a lot from here? Or prefer your office space? (AND what does your ideal work space have to have) I have the best of both worlds, the office is amazing buzzing with ideas and other creatives and then home it also nice to be able to work at home with the sunshine and the quiet - so I do both. I also use home to do a few smaller styling shoots with a makeshift studio utilizing natural light.
Outside of work… what are your interests? What do you do to relax and recharge? I love being out in nature (walking and sometimes taking photos) either the beach or the bush. There is also nothing better than jumping in the car, grabbing a coffee and going on a little road trip to somewhere new.
Any Morning rituals or night routines?
I can’t do anything until I have my first coffee
Made on a little stovetop espresso and always in my petal pink Budgie cup (from my old ceramics range)
In three words how would you describe your home style: relaxed, evolving, considered
Does this differ to your work space? If so – hit me with three more words: I didn’t design our office, but I would say it is all of these things too!
How would you describe your personal style? Simple silhouettes with a pop of colour
What you look for in a handbag? Function and fun
Do you change them out per-occasion or are you an all-in-one kind of girl: I have my “work” bag and then a few fun and colourful going out bags
What current Saben style are you thrashing: The Go Tote, easy to throw everything in and (as the name suggests) go
Which one are you lusting after: I love a mini bag for summer when you want something to throw in your beach bag - the Indie Pouch in Porcelain would be perfect!
We LOVE the Big Sis Tilly on you! (How great is the brushstroke textured leather?) What drew you to this style? It’s the perfect size for heading out and I can also throw it in my bigger tote (full of all my work stuff, laptop etc) It’s so functional, (the size, all the pockets and looks good with any outfit) and then also fun - with the brushstrokes, and texture.
YA CAWFEE: Flat white or Long Black - Currently trying to change from a flat white to a long black
YA COLOUR: Pale or Punchy - Pale wall colours and punchy lipstick
YA JAM: Jay Z or James Blake - Jay Z
YA BAG: Carry-all or Cross-body - carry all
YA BOY: Brains or Brawn - still trialling
Claybird Ceramics are recognizable for their distinct organic quirks and perfectly imperfect personality. All the pieces are designed and handmade by founder / creator Yon Kavvas, a process that requires patience and perseverance, a true labour of love.
We catch up with Yon in her Takapuna based studio to talk life, design and style.
Ceramic artist, business owner, mother of three, travel enthusiast and foodie!
Sounds like a bit of juggling, how do you keep all the balls in the air? Oh man, it can be so ridiculously busy, especially with 3 school age kids. I have to be very organised with my planning otherwise the wheels fall off. This has happened a few times, and we do learn from these mistakes very quickly!
What key pieces of advice (creative or business wise) were you given at the start of your career? Have a business plan - keep updating it when you meet goals, add to it as you go. Keep your ideas to yourself. Get an accountant.
Thank you for sharing your studio with us!! So… this is where the magic happens? Yes the magic happens here. Also mess. Lots of mess. I cleaned the studio before you arrived! ha ha!!
Can you talk us through the design and making process? I have to say I get inspired by the places I visit. Sometimes I will notice something about a place and start drawing. Drawings turn into doodles which turn into more elaborate doodles. Once I have a good direction I will start to break it down and simplify it again. (and again and again) It does take time to get to a place where I’m happy. Then I’ll start to paint the designs on greenware (which is raw/dry clay) and fire the ones I am happy with. Ceramics is a labour of love - literally.
Each individual piece gets handled up to 15 times before it is finished and ready for sale.
How do you manage custom work on top of your existing production? I have no idea how?!! But I work super hard to meet deadlines for retail orders and work in custom work around these.
Perks of the job? I always have ceramics on hand for entertaining and an endless supply of gifts. Friends seem to find that rather good too for their own shopping priorities and last minute gifts.
Where can our readers find your work? At some cool retailers across NZ, markets or online
Favourite way to unwind? Popcorn and beer
NZ brands you love and love to wear: Twenty Seven Names
How would you describe your personal style: free and easy, relaxed with a pop of cool
What do you look for in a handbag? I love to wear one across my body, and one that not too many things can get stuffed into it, otherwise it becomes a Mary Poppins bottomless bag!
Do you change them out per-occasion or are you an all-in-one kind of girl: Yes - love to change depending on my mood or occasion.
What current Saben style are you thrashing: I have a fav Saben clutch which is my go to for going out. Simple, elegant, easy.
Which one are you lusting after: Ooooh so many! The Gita Croc really gets me going tho…
We love the Baby Frankie with perforated detail! What drew you to this style? I’m a texture girl so anything that has a bit of texture or even layers of it is what I really love.
ya cawfee: flat white or long black - flat white
ya cheese: blue or brie - blue
ya cocktail: mojito or dark & stormy - mojito
ya bag: carry-all or cross-body - cross body
ya boy: brains or brawn - brains
Mark your diary and set your alarms, the infamous workroom sale is back!
SECONDS | SAMPLES | END OF SEASON
7.30AM - 4PM | THREE DAYS ONLY
Friday 1 December
Saturday 2 December
Sunday 3 December
Hosted by The Tannery Cafe in New Lynn, 44B Portage Rd
NZ Blogger Ash Owens is styled in Amber Whitecliffe, shoes by Reb Footwear, headpieces from Lottie and Lola paired with styles from Saben to get you race day ready!
Immerse yourself in holiday-style living from the comfort of your own home with a fantastic summer prize pack valued at $NZD2095
This fabulous prize includes an outdoor bean bag ottoman from Lujo, a Bella Blue tote from Saben, a pair of Céline sunglasses from Sisters & Co, a Roundie towel from The Beach People, a $250 voucher from Chaos & Harmony and a Segment Tray from Citta.
- Head to the Lujo Instagram giveaway post
- Follow us and the Lujo prize partners listed in the Instagram post
- Tag 3 friends you’d invite on your Summer Staycation in the comments section and you’re in the draw to win. (3 tags per comment = one entry)
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
- This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or associated with Instagram.
- Competition is worldwide and ends at 11 pm on 15 December 2017 NZST.
- Winner will be announced on 18th December on Instagram
- By entering the competition or promotion each entrant will be deemed to have accepted these terms and conditions and to have agreed to be bound by them.
- To enter this competition the entrants must follow the official Instagram accounts of Lujo and our four prize partners, comment on the Lujo post and tag three friends (during the promotional period)
- One winner will be drawn on 18 December 2017 to receive the items listed above, worth approximately $NZD2095
- Bean filling will be provided for the Lujo ottoman for the prize winner if they live in New Zealand, Australia or USA. If the prize winner lives elsewhere, they will need to source bean filling independently
- Competition entry is open to all countries. Import duty and taxes (if applicable) will be payable by winner if outside of US, Australia or New Zealand
- Winners will be notified via Instagram and will have 30 days following notification to claim their prize
- Employees of Lujo and their immediate families are not eligible to enter.
- If the prize is not claimed within 30 days the winner will forfeit the prize with no right of compensation
- By entering the competition winners agree to their names being published for publicity purposes
- The prize is not transferable or exchangeable, and cannot be redeemed for cash.
- The decision of judges in relation to any aspect of the competition is final and no correspondence will be entered into
- Under the Privacy Act 1993, all individuals have the right to access and correct their personal information by contacting Lujo in writing to email@example.com