Happy reading folks! Meet Jem - our Design + Production Manager...
Featured: Fresno Swing Blouse, Clara Plum Blanket, Fresno Linen Quilt Cover, Berkeley Linen Pillowcase Set, Santa Monica Linen Fitted Sheet, Fresno Linen Flat Sheet, Lompoc Linen Pillowcase Set - Tumeric.
Can you explain how Goldie came to life from start to finish… Where does the design team even begin?
As with every collection, Phoebe puts together a mood board and this will be our starting point – this will often be quite eclectic with all different inspiration sources, but it gives us the beginning of a creative direction. At times, these images have a common thread in terms of colour palette; design elements; feel and mood. We spend a bit of time mulling through this mood board and then start with a colour palette. We try and keep our colour palettes quite concise with 14-20 colours – this helps in creating a collection with pattern clash and interest but with a colour foundation that ties it all together.
Once we have our palette, it’s time to start drawing! If you look very closely our collections often follow a similar formula… A few florals, a few geometrics, always a stripe or check and lots of unexpected pairings. This is front of mind when we begin our pattern repeats – we want to make sure each collection has our iconic “hand-writing”! Nutting out and finalising the pattern repeats takes quite a bit of brain power and time, but as with any creative process, it lulls and flows and we always get there in the end.
For Goldie, we wanted it to be a collection that longed for a feeling of abundance with lots of nods to our natural surroundings and how that makes us feel. We wanted Goldie to be warm, but bold; conjure feelings of contentment, but with unexpected elements of delight; and little strings of nostalgia throughout. With that in mind we looked to create patterns with citrus motifs, posy-like florals, retro geometrics and nods to vintage deckchairs.
Once we had our Goldie pattern repeats, we moved to designing the product itself… Colour, texture and hand-crafted elements are iconic to Sage x Clare and it’s this step that brings this alive. We constantly refer to our mood boards throughout the whole creative process, but also while designing product – we knew we wanted woven cottons; jute fibres; buttery soft linen to really hit home the feeling of texture and warmth.
Everyone has their own creative process, but what inspires you personally? What influences your designs?
Travel is big point of inspiration for me – unfortunately that has been fairly limited the last few years for obvious Covid reasons but also the addition of two young kids to our life. So, when physically travelling is hard, I try to digitally travel – it certainly doesn’t quite have the same satisfaction levels, but it works. I also love looking at Interiors and Fashion for little nuggets of inspiration.
Jem is veryyy excited that we've added some size 4 apparel pieces to the collection this season! Check out our dreamy new apparel here.
What do you love most about your job?
Aside from working alongside my sister every day, it’s the variation of it – so many design jobs are very prescriptive but designing for Sage x Clare feels free and open to the creative journey. I’m so lucky to have this! I also love the people – we have an amazing, eclectic and mostly hilarious bunch of people at Sage x Clare and it makes coming to work every day very enjoyable.
Tell us about your career journey, how did you get to be where you are now (the job of your dreams, designing collections with your twin sister and Emma)?
Out of school, I felt totally lost on what I wanted to do – I knew I wanted it to be creative, but I didn’t even know jobs like mine existed! So, I went to a year of Art School where we did only creative subjects – photography, ceramics, drawing, and the list goes on. From there I did a Bachelor of Communications but got to the end of that degree and felt a bit flat… Like actually flat – graphic design was a more or less digital process and I longed to physically touch something, to have tactility to what I was creating. And that’s when I found a Bachelor of Textile Design at RMIT. I was very lucky to be accepted as a late submission and I loved it! Majoring in print, I loved how I got paint on my jeans and came to the end of the process with something in my hands.
When I graduated, I moved to London and did a string of, to be honest, fairly crappy design jobs, before landing a job with Arcadia Group. They own TopShop and Miss Selfridge, along with a bunch of other brands, and I learnt a lot in my time there – some good and some bad – but the experience was invaluable… After a couple of years Pheebs had an idea of starting a homewares brand and asked me to join her on a trip to India… YES was my answer and we spent our first trip travelling throughout India and sourcing furniture and home textiles. It was a steep learning curve and a trip that totally changed my life – I met my now husband, Macca, in Jaipur and moved there not long after.
Living in Jaipur was amazing and challenging and one of the best things for my design career… Seeing firsthand how things are made – woven, printed, knitted – has informed my design and creative approach and given me a knowledge that I constantly refer to. While in Jaipur I worked for a lot of varied freelance clients all around the world, but when I moved back to Australia, Sage x Clare was at a size to provide me with a full-time dream job and the rest is history!
Featured: Minyama Woven Cushion - Tumeric, Los Altos Woven Cushion - Caraway, Mini Solana Sweater, Mini Solana Leggings, Hermosa Jacquard Robe, Brae Print Cushion - Bay Leaf, Gaviota Velvet Sham - Cayenne, Palo Alto Floor Cushion - Cayenne, Palo Alto Floor Cushion - Dahlia.
Featured: Minyama Woven Cushion - Tumeric, Los Altos Woven Cushion - Caraway, Mini Solana Sweater, Mini Solana Leggings, Hermosa Jacquard Robe, Brae Print Cushion - Bay Leaf, Gaviota Velvet Sham - Cayenne, Palo Alto Floor Cushion - Cayenne, Palo Alto Floor Cushion - Dahlia, Pasadena Punch Needle Cushion.
Featured: Minyama Woven Cushion - Tumeric, Los Altos Woven Cushion - Caraway, Mini Solana Sweater, Mini Solana Leggings, Brae Print Cushion - Bay Leaf, Gaviota Velvet Sham - Cayenne, Palo Alto Floor Cushion - Cayenne, Palo Alto Floor Cushion - Dahlia, Pasadena Punch Needle Cushion.
Sage x Clare turns 10 in November… that’s a lot of collections and thousands of products. How do you keep coming up with unique + new ideas?
I sometimes worry that I’ll get to the end of my creative brain and just not be able to come up with anything new, but thankfully, it hasn’t happened yet! At Sage x Clare, I work so collaboratively with Emma and Phoebe and that seems to really help in keeping the ideas coming – we bounce off each other a lot. But being creative is also a discipline – there are days when you’re just not feeling it, but you just need to keep working on it, to find a way to come up with something new and that just takes time and practice.
For those that are new to the Sage x Clare family - can you tell them a bit more about the artisanal journey of our products?
At Sage x Clare we’re a big fan of texture and we work with some amazing hand-crafted techniques to achieve that texture, warmth, and sense of layering… Some products have elements of hand embroidery like punch needle or soutache, other products are entirely hand woven like our wall hangings and rugs. This connection to the hand-made is something very close to our hearts and we really endeavour to work with manufactures that have the same ethos.
What’s the best piece of career advice you can give to budding Designers out there?
Always be nice, always be strict with deadlines and always deliver something that is your own!
What’s your fave Sage x Clare collection you’ve designed so far and why?
Ohhh, a close tie between Terra and Alegria… Both of those collections feel very “me”, and both came about easily with lots of creative flow! But if I really had to pick one, I think it would be Alegria… Sorry Terra!
Featured: Ceecee Strawberry Cushion, Tishy Cotton Fitted Sheet - Freesia, Brae Cotton Pillowcase - Perilla, Redondo Linen Pillowcase - Perilla, Palo Alto Linen Flat Sheet - Edamame, Mica Cotton Quilt Cover, Mae Round Rug - Perilla.
How would you describe your own interior style? Is it reflective of the Sage x Clare aesthetic?
My own interior style is probably a little more pared back than the iconic Sage x Clare pattern clash and colour explosion. Our home is built in the 70’s and I’ve tried to lean into that but with a few twists – pops of colour, ornaments and objects from travel and some beautiful mid-century furniture pieces. Our home is also quite small, so everything needs to practically problem-solve as well as fit in aesthetically.
Finally, outside of your job - what brings you the most joy?
Mr Pippy and Nelly, my kids…! They are both hilarious and amazingly good humans. Even if I say so myself. Oh, and good food, there is nothing better than eating something exceptional!
Shop the entire Goldie collection here.
With a whole lotta love. Xx