Brigitte May is a Sydney-based illustrator, and the creative genius behind the stunning illustrations that decorate Nest the Label's fine bone china teacups and saucers. We had the opportunity to speak briefly with her about her brand.
1. Give us your elevator pitch:
Nest is about adding a touch of creative sparkle to everyday things that might otherwise be overlooked.
2. What did you do before starting Nest?
We began Nest just after Audrey and I had both graduated from Fashion Design at the Whitehouse Insitute. After three years of intense sewing and clothing focus, we each needed a break from that scene.
3. What made you start this business here and now?
Nest was conceived in a business class at school. And we just loved the idea! Our business teacher, who is now our business mentor, gave us so much encouragement and motivation; she really spurred us to turn the dream into reality. I also think being fresh out of uni is a great time to launch yourself into the industry. You're fearless.
4. What are the key elements that go into creating Nest's unique vibe?
Nest will always be artistically based. Whether it's my own artwork or Audrey's calligraphy and graphic design, illustration is a key element in the aesthetic. We also love golden, silver and copper accents. Maybe this is a phase, but I know we aren't ready to lose that child-like love of precious metals for a while yet.
5. What do you love most about running your own creative businesses?
I love the freedom that comes with the role; not being dictated by some higher body. I'm also really grateful to be a part of such a supportive creative community and being able to pursue collaborations with like-minded makers.
6. If you could go back in time to tell your younger, inexperienced self one thing about starting a creative business, what would it be?
Time manage, and only take on what you can physically get done within the time frames. Not that I would have listened! I have a terrible habit of being unable to say no. It has earned me so many all-nighters (but also lots of incredible opportunities).
7. Give us three awesome tools that simplify your workflow as a creative and entrepreneur:
+ Focus- Until recently, I'd let myself be immersed in up to ten various projects each day. It was unproductive and really made my mind chaotic. I now only work on one thing at a time- sometimes this one thing may take days and I appear slack in keeping up with emails or keeping in touch with clients. But in the end, it's more time efficient and achieves the best result.
+ Lists- I write lists upon lists. I always have my notebook at the ready as I feel it's so important in ensuring work flows in the right direction. I'll jot down potential collaborations, ideal financial situations, the bigger picture, and what I have already succeeded in. This last one is of particular importance. We need to nurture our own spirit and celebrate every little success.
+ Social Media- Being present and authentic in my social media accounts ensures that the people who reach out to me are aligned with my morals and approach to design. Fortunately, this means that I build beautiful relationships with my clients, and don't have to worry about sorting through which jobs I do and don't wish to take on. They're all up my alley!
8. Which other design / creative brands inspire you?
I'm inspired by Blacklist, Spell and Zulu and Zephyr- labels who have strong, confident branding and achieve cult-like followings because of it.
9. What’s the first website you load when you wake up in the morning?
My emails. Boring, I know! I always check though, in case my client has had any changes of mind in the project I'll be working on that day.
10. What's your favourite hashtag?
11. Do you feel optimistic about the local handmade / #shopsmall scene? Why or why not?
I definitely do. I'm not sure whether I just associate with similar people.. But I see a huge shift in consumerism. People want to know the story behind the product they're buying, and they want to support friends and friends of friends who have begun their own brand. There's still a long way to go in growing awareness and mindfulness of ethical shopping, but I see it gathering momentum in the years to come.
12. How do you like to recharge creatively?
I go to the garden, the ocean, the bush. I think the best way to recharge creatively is to ground yourself in nature and let that natural energy seep into you.