September 16, 2009
aura's tracie ellis
I could talk design inspiration for hours. I always find it interesting where creatives share their ideas and how they produce a range. That was one of the reasons it was fascinating to meet Tracie Ellis, designer and founder of Aura recently. She told stories about travelling across Morocco, and how the design motifs of that country influenced some of the ranges. How she derived the animal print design on a bedspread. And what her relationship was like with the women in Thailand, where her products are made.
Which five words best describe you? Persistent, creative, romantic, loyal and loving.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? After failing to be a checkout chick at Safeway I made ceramic worms for plant nurseries! Various school and uni jobs later I worked for Country Road designing my first bedlinen, then I've worked in the buying office for Myer, designed socks for Red Robin and Country Road, knitting yarn and patterns for Paton's, then I created the Domis homewares brand at Austin Group and in 2000 I started Aura.
What’s your proudest achievement? Having my own brand and business – Aura will be 10 years old this year. Oh, and making it to Machu Picchu on the Inca trail for my honeymoon.
What’s been your best decision? To do what everyone said not to – become a designer – I love my work – when work is also your favourite hobby you know you have done something right. I have a very dedicated small team who are just as passionate as me – it’s very inspiring.
Who inspires you? My team, my family and Donna Karan.
What are you passionate about? Colour and design, my renovation – mid-century architecture, my Mini, my schnauzer and my new husband – not in that order.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? To think before I speak – but it’s still a lesson in progress.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? It’s a toss up – between favourite designers: Donna Karan, Tom Ford, Calvin Klein, to actor Christopher Walken and Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear – I know! But I am a car freak.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Making Aura an international brand. And also lots of travel dreams - Alaska, Antarctica and revisiting and seeing more of my friends in India.
What are you reading? I have to admit that I have so many home magazines I rarely have time for anything else – next to my bed is the latest copies of Elle Decoration, Living etc, Belle and Jamie Oliver all waiting.
images courtesy of aura