Why did you start Sage x Clare?
“After landing what I thought was my dream job, I was actually really unhappy in it and knew something had to change. We booked a spontaneous trip to India over Christmas and it was there that we hatched a plan to open a homewares business, Sage x Clare. Within 2 months of returning I quit my job, used a small amount of savings we had set aside for travel and flew back over to India to get started. It has always been about celebrating artisanal pieces with colour and this still remains at the heart of our brand.”
What is the inspiration behind this range?
“Travel is often the starting point for any range and our Rumah Collection is no different. A trip to Bali last year and some wonderful stays at inspiring villas was where it began. From there, we used vintage Batik and indigenous fabric design as the foundation, giving it a contemporary Sage x Clare twist! It embodies that amazing tropical Summer spirit… now we just need the weather to follow suit.”
Your campaign shoot (and those marigolds) in Bali is spellbinding, how did you bring it together?
“Well the range was inspired by Bali after all so it made sense to try and shoot there! Julia Green from Greenhouse Interiors and I put our heads together and decided Villa Wahah in Seminyak was the perfect shoot location. Lots of concepting by my team went into the shoot and the marigolds were a key element. Shooting in Bali was fabulous because the flowers and the tropical fruits and foliage were available in abundance. We brought in kilos and kilos of flowers!”
What is your fave piece in this range?
“It’s hard to choose but I would say the Pandawa Patchwork Bedcover. In addition to being sooooooo soft, it incorporates our seasonal prints through large abstract patchworks with hand embroidered stitching. It represents everything I love – clashing prints, a multitude of artisanal methods and that one-of-a-kind feel.”
Tell us a bit more about the Nudie Rudie Bath Mat…
“I cannot believe the success of this bathmat, it stuns me every single day! We cannot get enough of them – not even one of my team has one because they’re already sold out by the time they arrive! I have my son to thank for the idea – his name is Jude so “Nudie Judie” and “Judie Rudie” are common words in our house. I love that we can help bring some fun to bathrooms around the country and beyond.”
You get your goodies made in India, how did you start doing this?
“India has always been the place we’ve produced. The craftsmanship and artisanal skills are spell-binding, not to mention the colour. There is an amazing synergy with what they can do and what we design and produce. I love travelling there for work and it’s a place full of opportunity and flexibility. No matter how crazy our designs are, there are always artisans ready to accept the challenge and spend months working through how to do it. I love that and it’s in stark contrast to other high-volume producers in China for instance.”
“Of course, there are plenty of challenges to producing in India… It was initially very difficult as a woman on my own there. Not to mention that nothing happens in a hurry. Business is done in a very different manner and it seems very illogical compared to how we do things here in Australia. It’s taken me years to learn that no amount of organisation on my end is ever going to change that! Instead we design waaaaaaaaay ahead of time and have learnt to surrender to the process, whatever that means. I’d never sleep otherwise!”
What are your top Indian recommendations for eat, sleep and shop?
“Gosh it’s such a vast place, where do I even begin?! I’ll zoom in on Jaipur cos I need to narrow it down -otherwise you’ll be stuck reading this for hours!
Caffe Palladio, Jaipur
Diggi Palace, Jaipur
Samode Haveli, Jaipur
Narain Niwas Palace, Jaipur
How do you juggle having a family and a small business?
“Well it’s precisely that – a juggle! I carry around a permanent feeling of guilt – guilt that I’m not doing a better job as a Mum, guilt that I’m not doing a better job at Sage x Clare. I have a wonderful community of friends and family who help me thank goodness. But my mind is rarely rested – I’d like to say I start my day with meditation, a cup of hot lemon water followed by an hour of journalling. But in reality, I’m up at 6.30 getting Jude ready for the day, followed by Instagram and emails before racing to work, leaving in a hurry to pick Jude up at 4.30 (I’m that Mum that’s aaaalways late) and then back to Sage x Clare work in the evenings once he’s in bed. It’s never quiet, I rarely feel in control, but I kinda love it…”
What is your fave colour combo at the moment?
“I think I’ve been gripped by the Tobacco bug like the rest of us. Loving all forms of this earthy colour, along with moss and terracotta.”
Are you already working on the next range?
“We sure are! Just wrapping it up now… It’s inspired by the desert and that’s all I can say ;)”