Meet the Maker | Marble Basics
There is no doubt that most of you would have heard of Marble Basics, or even more likely that you have seen (or drooled over) their beautifully classic and minimal marble products. Melbourne based sister duo Bliss and Bonnie Adams have gone from creating a concept that the homewares market was definitely missing, and 3 years later are leading the way for other aspiring Australian makers and designers. Today co-founder Bonnie shares with us their journey so far, where they are today and the exciting things to come!
Marble Basics with Co-founder Bonnie Adams
Marble Basics Blanc Neo Vase, Gem Box, Big Basic Round Tray, Elemental Milk Jug and Basic Hexagonal Coasters pictured here. Photo supplied by Marble Basics.
Tell us about yourselves and how you came to be a maker / owner of Marble Basics. What inspired you to be where you are now?
Bliss, my sister and business partner/co-designer, was working in TV Production and I was just finishing uni doing a bachelor of Visual Arts. We are both creative and really wanted a career that fostered this. I was on my way to working in either commercial art or museums, and Bliss wasn't feeling thrilled in TV Production, as it wasn't as hands on as she had hoped, so she started a degree in Interior Decorating. When we had our first product idea, the Basic Pot, which is our Marble planter. It was then that we noticed Marble products were not available in the market. It was really the perfect collision of timing and training, where both of our studies and experience merged at exactly the right time. From there the response was so fantastic that our designs spiralled and by the start of 2014 we had a full collection of Basics.
The Keepsake Box, Moss Trinket Bowl, Baby Blush Base, Basic Rectangular Trivet, Baby Basic Canister, Moss Best Friends Vase and Quintessential Shape Set (Triangle) pictured here. Photo supplied by Marble Basics.
How long have you been working in this role and what do you love about it?
Marble Basics is nearly three years old! It is hard to believe, time has flown by which I think must be a good thing! Our favourite part of the business is when it all comes together on shoot day. All of the new collection is in our hands and we can really bring our vision for the season to light, and then the anticipation of launching the new collection is always exciting.
Tell us about your daily routine i.e. where is your business based, do you work within a team or individually, within an office or studio space?
We currently work from home, however, we are very flexible and can easily work out of one another's homes, or wherever suits us on the day. Much of our work is on the cloud so we are very lucky. We have our warehouse based about 25 minutes away from where we live, so it's really easy if we need to go do a warehouse day, however, we are really lucky to have a great team who pack all of our orders and deal with the logistics. A regular day will involve gym training in the morning, then shower and straight to the desk. We find we are much more effective early in the morning and our brains start to go a bit mushy in the afternoon around 3pm. I may do a little bit more work after dinner if I'm having a chat with our manufacturing team. Bliss has just had her first baby, a baby boy, so this year we will become even more flexible and see what works best for Bliss and Mac. It is really important that we foster an easy working environment with children, because we are so lucky to be working for ourselves, with our own hours, so we can make the right decisions for Mum and Baby.
The Produce Bowl, Luminous Salad Servers, Blanc Salt & Pepper Vessels, Salt and Pepper Spoon, Midnight Utility Tray and Moss Best Friends Vase pictured here. Photo supplied by Marble Basics.
What is the inspiration for your product range and what would be your favourite item in the collection?
Our inspiration for our latest collection 'Unearthed' was uncovering the links with other materials to marry with our core material Marble. We eased into this with complimentary materials like brass, iron and small elements of leather. Although, our roots are still firmly within our primary material of Marble we also want to encourage our customers to be bold with their design within their homes and comfortably mix and match to create a look that suits them. My favourite product from our collection is The Foldable Butlers Base. It is a luxurious shiny brass foldable base with a supple leather 'seat' to hold up to 9 of our products and create a side table. We love the fact that it is mobile and can easily and practically move from room to room, it's also great that the top Marble trays or trivets are not connected, so it allows for a very personal choice in what kind of side table suits each customer, and we like that sense of individuality.
At P+P we feel very passionate about supporting other local designers and makers in all aspects of their business. What is one piece of advice you would give other creatives when considering their own start up?
I would say, don't overthink things. Much of the time making small mistakes along the way is how you work out what the best way to do things is. I also think it is important to hear advice and constructive criticism about elements of your work or your products, however, it is really wise not to take everything on board and be very critical about such advice, this is how you learn to stay true to your own view for your business. The last thing I would say, particularly in relation to homewares which can be a very competitive industry, is keep in the loop with your contemporaries, but always look ahead this will keep you genuine to your own design vision.
What was the biggest challenge that you came across when starting your creative business and how did you overcome this hurdle?
The biggest challenge for us was having a heavy product! It sounds rather silly in the scheme of things, but it makes things logistically hard when considering other markets. At this stage though, this little hurdle has made us really focus strongly on our local market where our products have had a wonderful response.
There are so many beautiful Australian made products being released at the moment. Are there any particular designers, product collections or bloggers that you love and why?
There are a few other creatives we really love, one is Maison Balzac who we worked on a collaborative candle with in one of our Marble Vessels, called La Nature. Elise's scents are truly beautiful and we love her simple design aesthetic combined with her creative stories around each scent. Another is Ivy Muse, who create beautiful botanical accessories and we admire their love of greenery. We always look to The Design Files because we love having a sticky beak in creative's homes.
Are there any creatives that you would love to collaborate with and why?
It would be amazing to collaborate with another brand in a different realm to us, for example someone in fashion or beauty, this would be really exciting seeing the design process.
What exciting things are you working on at the moment and what are your aspirations for 2017?
At the moment we are putting the finishing touches on our Spring/Summer Collection and are just about to launch our Autumn/Winter 17 collection in the coming weeks. This year our focus in on the customer, being our retailers and the endpoint at the customer in-store. Our first priority is fulfilling our customer's design dreams and making sure we have all of the products that they could hope for as an extension of their diverse lifestyles.