03 June 2016
Designer Spotlight: Ari from Honeysuckle and Lime
visit storeHi, I am Ari from Honeysuckle and Lime. I live on the beautiful NSW Central Coast with the sea at the bottom of my garden, 3 crazy little kids, a tabby cat, 4 chickens and a very patient husband.
In my previous life (pre-children) I worked insanely long hours as a product development manager. After having children I realised that I needed to create a better work life balance and I wanted to do something small scale that focused on craftsmanship and quality. Over the years I have seen textile manufacturing gradually move offshore and the Australian mills and workrooms close down. Volumes have gotten bigger and the production lines have gotten longer and the celebration of craftsmanship, unique pieces and the personal touches got lost along the way. So my goal with Honeysuckle and Lime is to be as personal and flexible as possible, and to create beautiful individual items that are beautifully made.
My studio is currently at the top of our house where I have multiple desks; a scruffy one for printing, a clean one for sewing, and a chaotic one with all my work in progress designs and computer. During the busy times I creep down until every available surface in the house is covered in fabric.
I love to research and keep up to date on design trends, but I find for kids’ designs I am much more guided by the little people around me – their interests, activities and imagination. When it comes to Christmas, I love the simple elegance of Scandinavian design. I am a self-confessed Christmas tragic, so developing a range of Christmas designs was a no-brainer for me. I love the traditions and magic of Christmas and I love the thought that each Santa Sack and Stocking that I make will hopefully form part of another family’s Christmas tradition.
My interest in designing and making started very young. My grandmother was a dressmaker by professio, and an artist and screen printer in later life, and both my mother and father can turn their hands to just about anything. From a young age my mum taught me to sew, knit, crochet, spin, and do a whole range of other awesome things. Growing up, her first thought whenever we needed anything was “can we make it ourselves?” You can imagine how much she loves Pinterest now!
Having come from a homewares background, my first project was a little range of fun outdoor cushions.
I then used the off-cuts make beach bags and, to my surprise, it was the beach bags that sold.
This then lead me to work on other styles of bags.
I really wanted to create my own unique textile designs supporting local suppliers, so I began screen printing some designs for children and from there I created a range of screen printed Santa Sacks, which are now the backbone of my business. My latest project is bean bags which I am really excited about. My kids love just them and they are really fun to make.
The most unexpected, but incredible, aspect of this handmade adventure has been the people I have met along the way.
The Made It community is truly amazing. There are so many inspiring, creative people who support, inspire and celebrate each other. I love it when a customer takes the time to send a thankyou message, or a fellow Made It maker posts a nice comment on social media – it makes it all worth it!
Visit Ari’s Store to find unique and personalised children’s products: Honeysuckleandlime