When emerging homewares brand One Another approached its second collection they changed their approach slightly. The Sydney-based husband and wife duo of Rick and Annette Carter decided to focus less on what was on trend, and more on timeless design that celebrated the artisanal qualities of their products. “Once that mind set changed I think the design and aesthetic of our product matched the compelling ethical story, and we knew that we had a product that was both beautiful and meaningful,” Rick says. The couple engage women from countries such as India and Africa to create homewares using their traditional skills. One Another is a finalist for the best ethical brand at the Gift and Life Instyle Awards (GALA), and will be exhibiting their next collection at Life Instyle on February 19. 

Which five words best describe you? Optimistic, determined, traveller, creative, happy.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I studied advertising in Sydney and worked as a graphic designer here before travelling and working in London. I was addicted to travelling and during this time my passion for photography developed. I returned to Sydney and studied photography before launching my own design and photography business nine years ago called Jimmy Too. I mainly work with not-for-profit companies and it was with Opportunity International that I travelled to the Philippines and India to document women working their way out of poverty. On these trips we met so many inspiring women using amazing skills to support their families. However, as much as we loved the colourful designs they created, Annette and I felt they didn’t really translate to our home back in Australia. This sparked the idea to start our own label with a vision to create a collection that brought together their traditional artisan techniques with a modern aesthetic.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? It’s a saying that goes back to my Grandpa that my Mum passed on to me, never say CAN’T - cross off the T and you can.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Apart from now being stocked in some of our favourite stores we are a finalist for best Ethical Brand at the Gift and Life Instyle Awards (GALA). We are also proud to be launching our new collection Intersect at Life Instyle on February 19 with some exciting new products that we have been working on with the women, including woven bowls, clutch bags and amazing woven pendants.

What’s been your best decision? To start my own business.

Who inspires you? My wife, Annette and our son, Zach. Though it’s the women we work with in India and Africa that are the biggest inspiration. Starting a business is challenging and if they were not at the heart of what we did I think I would have thrown in the towel.

What are you passionate about? I guess, ultimately, I am passionate about people and the belief that all people deserve the same opportunities that I have been able to have living in Australia. It’s a bit Miss World of me but ending poverty in my lifetime.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Robin Williams.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? It would be great to increase the impact we are having by working with more and more groups of women. The big dream is to eventually open a One Another store that will showcase some of our favourite ethical brands from around the world and be a place where consumers will know every purchase makes a difference.

What are you reading? I am reading Half the sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn. It is a very sobering book about the struggle for equality for women. These heartbreaking and inspiring stories all point to women being the solution to how we change the world. 

images courtesy of one another; styling bettina mcilwaith