The Final Pandemic Pivot Undertaking

It’d shock you to know that this story formally begins in 2009 at Stereosonic Music Competition. That’s the place Lara Fisher and Andy Kepitis, co founders of homewares enterprise P0LY Designs, first met! The couple have been relationship for 10 years, and dealing collectively on P0LY Designs for the final 18 months. And all of it type of occurred by chance, in a story as outdated as Melbourne’s lockdown.

‘At first of [the pandemic] I misplaced my job as a Model Strategist and was fairly misplaced. I used to be making use of for jobs all day from mattress and was feeling critically blue if I’m trustworthy’, admits Lara. Searching for a method to make use of her fingers and to ‘fill these grim lockdown days’, she had the concept to make a tiled plinth as a approach to show a few of Andy’s potted vegetation (he’s a horticulturalist by commerce and has amassed fairly the gathering).

‘Andy labored out how we may make one, and after discovering some actually lovely tiles we had a go’, says Lara. ‘It wasn’t excellent but it surely appeared actually cool, so I put an image on Instagram’. A pal noticed the piece and requested if the pair may make a bedside desk for her in an identical model, and all of it snowballed from there.

Since then, Lara and Andy have made round 450 tiled plinths from the yard of their Northcote share home for purchasers throughout Australia, amassed greater than 26,000 followers on Instagram, and have perfected their tiled facet tables and plinths. Every bit is made to order by Andy, whereas Lara takes care of the consultations, customer support, accounting and administration facet of the enterprise. The pair are dedicated to creating items which can be made to final, establishing significant relationships with suppliers, and growing absolutely customisable items to completely go well with the wants of their shoppers.

Lately, Lara and Andy have moved the P0LY Designs operation from the yard to an attractive new by-appointment retail, studio and work area in Fitzroy North, the place they’re working exhausting to broaden the P0LY universe.

Hey Lara and Andy!  P0LY has had such unimaginable success during the last 18 months, however neither of you guys have a background in design or homewares. What have been you doing earlier than, and the way did this carry you to P0LY?

Lara: I labored in Trend for 10+ years and have a Diploma in Trend/Merchandising. I labored for manufacturers like Scanlan Theodore, Josh Goot and Bassike. I like being inventive and suppose I’ve a reasonably good eye for design however I particularly liked connecting with my shoppers and seeing the product match into my shoppers life. While working in Trend I accomplished my Masters in Advertising and marketing and Journalism and was working as a Model Strategist till Covid hit.

Andy: I’m a horticulturist who spends nearly all of my spare time pottering across the backyard admiring my plant assortment. The backyard is my completely satisfied place the place I can get inventive and in addition spend time winding down from a protracted day of clear, straight strains of tiles. Alongside my work with P0LY I do a spread of backyard design, horticultural companies and inside plantscaping jobs to maintain my fingers soiled. I’ve completely liked changing into a tiler during the last 18 months and creating items for folks all throughout the nation. I’m an enormous fan of color so I like when shoppers ask for some fairly daring color mixtures – a particular thanks to these folks for preserving my days fascinating!

Did you go into p0ly with the intention of beginning a small enterprise, or was it only for a little bit of enjoyable?

Lara: P0LY was completely an unintentional child. After making a couple of items for mates somebody stated we should always make an Instagram account for them…and I laughed I’m fairly positive.

I keep in mind a pal taking a screenshot of our web page after we had 1 follower and stated you’ll need this picture once you’re ‘well-known’. We have been having a little bit of enjoyable – and we nonetheless are. It’s such an satisfying enterprise mannequin as a result of all the things we make is made to order so each piece is somewhat bit totally different.

We actually get to be our most inventive selves – constrained by the straight strains of tiles that’s.

How do you guys cut up up the workload of p0ly?

Lara: I do all of the logistics. I’m chatting with shoppers about bringing their imaginative and prescient to life, sourcing tiles, liaising with couriers in addition to the boring bits like accounting. I additionally assist with grouting however the perfection wanted for tiling just isn’t my factor.

Andy does all of the tiling and majority of grouting. He’s tremendous methodical and environment friendly – his strains are at all times excellent and he does all of it by eye!

Are you able to discuss us by way of the method of truly making one among your items?

Lara: We work with a grasp joiner who creates all our wonderful customized frames. He by no means says no to any of our concepts and is sort of critically a genius. I’ve additionally spent a very long time sourcing the highest quality supplies I can discover – our tile adhesive, tiles and grout all come from Italy and are Inexperienced Construct Licensed.

All of the pigments within the grout are naturally derived, I believe that’s one of many coolest issues for us. The wonderful colors are all discovered inside nature (for instance the white pigment is marble mud from quarries in Italy), which we love.

As soon as we now have the frames Andy will get onto tiling. The method must be completed over a couple of days with the drying instances or glues and grouts. After Andy lays the tiles we will get onto grouting, when the magic all comes collectively.

Inform us about your new retail and work area – what occurs there?

Lara: Till final month we had been making all our items (one thing like 450 up to now) in our yard of our rental share-house in Northcote. Rain, hail or shine we might be outdoors underneath our little umbrella making all the things after which storing them in our bed room. It was very impractical but it surely labored whereas it labored.

Our new studio on Nicholson Road has an enormous area for us to retailer all our tiles and frames, craft the items, have desk area and a store/window show. As soon as restrictions ease we will probably be open by appointment so shoppers can come view the items, choose tiles and go over design ideas in particular person.

It’s such a pleasure having our little studio and seeing folks strolling by admiring our window show. We get numerous folks knocking one the window telling us they already observe us on Instagram and discover us after strolling by.

What has been the most effective half about beginning p0ly collectively?

Lara: Having a shared imaginative and prescient. We each like working exhausting however now we get to do it for ourselves on one thing we’re actually happy with. We actually love the business, and have made some actually beautiful relationships with all our suppliers.

Andy: We’re free to create no matter we wish which makes the ‘job’ really feel much less like work and extra like a inventive pursuit.

And the toughest?

Lara: Switching off. Anybody who has began a small enterprise will inform you an identical factor I’m positive. We work…loads.

Andy: Tiles are heavy, that’s the opposite main grievance. A number of heavy lifting on this enterprise.

What’s in retailer for the way forward for p0ly?

Lara: Now we have a brand new thought each minute. We’re excited to proceed collaborating with different native artists/makers on new types (non-tiled!!) In addition to persevering with to evolve our designs.

We’re loving exploring new methods to incorporate storage choices (storage is king) in our designs – push to open drawers, cabinet doorways, cabinets and so on which is a enjoyable problem. We’re additionally doing a couple of thrilling store fit-outs which could be very enjoyable.

Electronic mail Lara at good [email protected] for all  enquiries, and observe together with the way forward for P0LY Designs on Insta!

P0LY Designs Showroom
Open by appointment (when restrictions raise)
730 Nicholson Road
Fitzroy North, Melbourne



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