Monday, December 19, 2011

interview made in australia - Robert Gordon

At  the time of year when it's all about family. Todays interview is with Kate Gordon from Robert Gordon. 3 generations of the same family have worked in this business. Can you imagine the cacophony of ideas when they are all together! it would be lovely to see the evolution of pieces

 We were thrilled when our postie was used in the robert gordon display at the trade fair.... more design crush.  

Why did you decide on australian made initially?
My parents, Robert and Barbara Gordon, started the pottery in 1979. Dad's mum, June Dyson, was a potter. We are three generations of potters, with a heritage that goes for over 60 years. We have always made pots in Australia.

Did you look into manufacturing overseas also?
About eight years ago the Australian market became very tough. Australians were no longer supporting local manufacturing. The gift industry became all about the dollar and in order to compete we started manufacturing overseas. We continue to work with factories in China and
Vietnam, developing quality products.  We are very proud of our imported product. My family and I all work very closely with the factories overseas, designing and developing the products. It is a very hands-on process.

We are pleased that today there is a shift and more and more customers are supporting our Australian made.

Can you describe the process of idea to first samples? Was the learning
curve steep
Ideas for our products come from all sorts of places - our history, my grandma's pottery, my mum's heritage (she is English), what our customers want or need and so on. There have been some hits and some misses over the years. We try not to dwell on anything and to learn from our mistakes.

What would you do differently if you did it again?
We are learning to follow our instincts better, and not necessarily follow trends.

The best thing about australian made?
The quality and the people who make it.

What do you hope for australian manufacturing in the future?
I hope that Australians continue to support Australian made products. There has been a big return to buying quality local made products. People are looking for things that they love and that have a history. We are so very proud of our product and of our factory in Pakenham. Our
staff are hard working. Supporting our Australian made supports them.