Nikki from paperscissorsrock and Maree from little branch have joined forces to create the most beautiful magazine for those with a passion for paper. ( see 2011 is the year of collaboration)
Paper Runway is packed full of inspiration, clever people, ideas to create and a tutorial or two as well. i am thinking 6 issues a year may not be enough? the cover features a dress so beautiful you want to frame it... I could go on but you should check it out yourself
Our lovely letters make an appearance too.
whilst not technically a stockist little branch uses fiona kate posties & boxes to display beautiful cards, books paper and much more at markets & trade shows.... oh and I really love maree & annas work and know you will be inspired by them also. What a lovely gorgeous & colourful way to start the week...
we have a sneak peek preview of the latest range
How did you come to start your business?
We were designing books together and Maree was always collecting cards. I wanted to take a break from writing books and make more art. Little Branch was a nick name I gave myself when writing love letters to someone special. I drew the lemon branch on Maree's study floor, she designed our logo using a vintage French font and we began to conceive a recycled paper line with all original art and design. Our very first lines were sourced from the book "Savvy Chic" which Maree designed the template for. Subsequent designs were inspired by fallen leaves, origami paper, 60s children's books and vintage fabric. Maree designs and I draw all in the same room, sometimes I feel like we are separate lobes of the same brain. Often we get the same idea at the same time, this is especially true of colour. We are "feeling" monochrome now after a pretty heavy love affair with indigo blue.
How long has your business been running?
We registered in April last year and started selling to retailers in October 2010, we are gathering new stockists everyday.
Can you describe your average day
Get up at 7.45, wiggle toes, pack lunch for my son, stagger around looking for school socks, run the school run, I walk home from my son's school along streets that are heavy with trees, branches, flowering plants so I think all of that filters into my creative image bank ... When I get home (usually with a granny trolley full of food and a few choice fallen branches) I draw, make food, do laundry and call clients and enjoy the silence of an empty house and on the three days Maree and I work together we just do everything: look at designs, shape collections, map our sales, look at art books, drink tea, listen to Maree's favourite RED HOT CHILLI PEPPERS album, write copy, update our blog, map markets and trade fairs and get turned on by blogs. At the moment there is no real life/work balance. I am not that sure there ever will be but neither of us regret working for ourselves. By 4pm most days I am rushing back to my son's school always wondering how he is feeling. He has just started kindy and is not that enamoured with structure and authority figures. I spend the afternoon trying to control his consumption of sugar and cartoons. Usually after 8pm I share dinner with my love and then I will work (night is great for drawing and gathering material ideas) but some sneaky nights I go to an art opening (got to support my friends) or watch some obscure corny European film in bed. If I am in a tormented mood I like to watch Asia Argento going mad in the nude. It makes me feel better about the question of life/work balance and balance in general. Does balance exist in a creative life? I think everyone at the end of the day makes a list in their head of where they shined and where they stumbled. If I see a vast Titian cloud, or taste a good black plum, or laugh with my son or make a drawing that Maree likes, it was a good day.
Take whatever I do and double it for Maree because she has three kids under three and her house is also the operational nerve center of our business. The Little Branch dispatch is a garage packed with delicious paper and props for our stalls and trade fairs. Maree rises at 6am to care for her twin boys and daughter Jasmin and when they go down at 7pm often works late into the night because we are finishing our new collections and new catalogue right now. Even with the ventilation of primary school and two days of childcare it is intense for us. Maree describes her average day as solid Little Branch and mothering and that's awesomely true but sometimes she sneaks into her pool for a moonlight swim.
What is your favourite part about little branch?
That we get an idea and we can make it into a living thing, that we are Australian made, that we make recycled and up-cycled materials more mainstream, and that as mothers Maree and I are working for ourselves. There is no such thing as work life utopia but seeing a drawing of your son or daughter in an artwork comes close to it.
Maree says she loves designing exactly what she wants and meeting cool like minded people who have an understanding and respect for what we are doing.
Your least favourite task?
No whinging allowed at LITTLE BRANCH...so no comment. But I would say Maree needs radically less hours and I need to learn to....drive.
Do you have story about a day or customer you would like to share?
At last year's FINDER'S KEEPERS market a lady bought a boxed set of our cards called "Dress up Box". She framed each card in one big frame and wrote the name of each of her girlfriend's matching the outfit to the personality. We also have a lady in the Byron shire who collects our original artworks. we love these romantic whimsical types, they make what we do worthwhile.
Where is your favourite spot to sit during your work day?
At the old zinc table that is covered in ink in my living room. Maree is in front of a huge, huge screen... she says if there is hot fresh coffee on the table then anywhere is somewhere good.
The two main muses for the new Little Branch children’s collection are our eldest kids: Marcello and Jasmin. Marcello is a gnarly little pirate who really does want to know what a whale’s belly looks like from the inside, whilst sporting an eye patch to the breakfast table and Jasmin never lets a day go past in the same dress. Oh that Miss Jasmin just loves her clothes but she is also very sensitive to the weather and the natural world. We tried to imagine her tripping through the seasons like that scene in “Notting Hill” where the seasons change from stall to stall, with snow and petals and autumn leaves all lapping each other. Random? Perhaps. But fun.http://www.littlebranch.com.au/