Thursday, 4 February 2016

INTERVIEW | CHLOE BROOKMAN OF OLLI ELLA








Chloe Brookman’s life experience has been a guiding light in her homewares business Olli Ella. She co-founded it with her sister Olivia after she wasn’t able to find a nursery chair when pregnant with her first child, son Tennyson, in 2009. At the time Chloe was based in London and the sisters, who were running an art gallery, decided to create a range of nursery furniture that wouldn’t be out of place in any modern family home. The business got off to a great start when within three months the chair was stocked by Harrods. Not one to stand still, Chloe moved to Australia with her young family and has continued to grow the business. At first, Olli Ella expanded to create bedding and more recently it has added storage baskets and a range of rugs, as well as other decor items, to its offering. The sisters design many of their wares themselves, and the pieces they source are from fair trade suppliers.

Olli Ella is about to exhibit at Life Instyle for the first time in Sydney. They showed at Melbourne last year. “We are rolling out a handful of new products in entirely new categories,” Chloe says. “I can't say too much but you can expect to see some new materials in use from macrame and jute to rattan and wool.”

Register now to attend the upcoming Life Instyle Sydney event that explores Happiness By Design. The trade event runs 18-21 February at the Royal Hall of Industries and Hordern Pavilion.

This post was sponsored by Life Instyle, an event I have attended many times over the years. All editorial content was produced independently. Thank you for supporting businesses that help to make this site possible. - NW 

What was behind the decision to start your brand? Olli Ella was started as a passion project by Olivia, my sister, and I. We were running an art gallery in London at the time and had long talked about started a creative project. We never could have imagined that five years later we would have offices in three countries and have an ever expanding range of homewares in the range!

How do you try to differentiate your products from others on the market? We try not to focus too much on what other companies are doing, which has been both a help and a hinderance in some respects but what's worked for us so far has just been to focus on what we love; designing effortless homewares, and not worrying to much about competition.

What has been completely unexpected since starting your business? How passionate our customers and partners have been about our products. We've loved the concept from the beginning, but the overwhelming response we have received from our friends, customers, and retail partners has been such a thrill.

What is something that people often don't realise about your wares? That they are all fair trade.

Where do you look to for design inspiration? Travel and the way we live and exist in our own homes.

What role do you want your products to play in a childhood? I love that so many of our baskets and storage have been embraced by parents and children for toy storage. I love the idea that these handmade, tactile woven baskets are the keepers of treasures and it's so wonderful to see how they have been used in children's spaces.

What was the last great children's book that you read?
The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt.

images courtesy of olli ella

No comments:

Post a comment