Jewellery is not something I'd expect industrial designers to turn to as a career path. (I used to work for an industrial/product design company in London - and it was very male and very much about male-type toys.) But that's what Maja Rose and Tess Lloyd have done. They met over ten years ago at the University of Technology Sydney and have since formed Polli, which uses many of the principles of industrial design - and just applied it to fashion and homewares.
Which five words best describe you? Busy, happy, busy, creative… busy.
What was your first career/job and what path have you taken since? Out of uni we were both working in competing design consultancies. Polli was very much just a hobby we started so that we could still work on something together. We never anticipated it would become a business. It took about six years for us to realise that our little baby had grown into a demanding child – wanting more time, energy and attention!
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? The beauty and benefits of a well balanced business partnership.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Opening our own studio – it’s a beautiful converted ginger beer factory with lots of salvaged timber, natural light and high ceilings. We look onto a wisteria filled courtyard at the front and a beautiful gum tree at the back. It’s a very inspiring place to work.
What’s been your best decision? To take the leap to work full time on our own business. We’ve never looked back!
Who inspires you? People around us – our parents were all designers and big influences in our lives. But also our husbands and friends.
What are you passionate about? Sustainability, our growing families, great food and good design. Also Maja is a passionate knitter – creating beautiful clothes for all the babies we know.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? We’re big fans of the paper cut artist Robert Ryan – his work holds sweet messages.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? We’d love to export to more countries and really enjoy travelling together to promote our brand. We’ve been to Europe, the UK, and the US regularly but we’d like to see Polli in Japan.
What are you reading? Tess - Ten Frogs by Quentin Blake, it’s a book of cardboard pages and pictures I read to my daughter each day. Maja – Baby Love, Save our Sleep… about half a dozen books about babies. [Maja has just had her first baby!].
images courtesy of polli