I don't know if you've caught the latest issue of real living (March 2009) but we feature the home of Dani Rosen. I was lucky enough to interview her for that feature and I got to pour over every pic. I'm absolutely in love with the turquoise fabric covering her stool which sits in front of the white desk. Gorgeous! (Actually I was pretty smitten with the whole apartment.) It's no surprise, then, that I'm also a fan of her colourful range of buttons and hair accessories. Too cute! Oh, and amongst all her many projects she's just started a blog too.
Which five words best describe you? Energetic, loyal, chatty, analytical, visual.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? Retail assistant - My first job out of uni was in a boutique in Double Bay many, many years ago. The owner took me under her wing and taught me the ropes of being a buyer for a gift store, and understanding the needs of her market. While I was working there I started DAN300 which at first was a gift/greeting card business, making handmade cards. Then it transformed into cushions and then everything. The one thing that has remained a staple in DAN300 is FABRIC. All my products have involved fabric... and at one stage a huge proportion of vintage textiles. My path has been uni, then having a dream to create something and selling it; retail gave me the knowledge of customers needs and an insight into the way people think. I worked out when people buy "things" a lot of the time it's simply that they like the look or smell, or feeling when they are with it or simply something that makes them happy in that moment. Most times people enter a store, wanting to buy something... I always say, "I want to make things that people love, they may not need it but they have the absolute urge to own it because in that moment they saw it, it brought them some kind of happiness." I think that this is a huge part of consumer society, and now it is about handmade things with a soul. I have waited a long time for this day as I always made products wholeheartedly in Australia. For a long time I was criticised for not making in China or elsewhere. I always said my things are made with love and they have been thought about... from beginning to end.
What’s your proudest achievement? Well a week ago it was getting in Art Express in my final year 12 art major work and having it displayed in the David Jones window (1992). But now its the real living article that just came out.
What’s been your best decision? Deciding to consolidate Dan300 (to the buttons) and start contracting and designing for other people... and styling. I'm now in my element.
Who inspires you? My friends and colleagues who I'm working with... we all work together and bounce off each other. I'm working with Leah Kress of Infancy (kids' stores) and kids clothing line, we have designed a new range called Bluebird & Honey... and it's the most amazing experience I have had design-wise, we both have this insane thirst to make cute things and we both work at a very fast pace... and we laugh a lot. My very close friend of many, many years is Cristina Re (stationery designer) - we too inspire each other, always sending things to each other as she is based in Melbourne. Sometimes it is a picture, emails, quotes or a book or advice, spiritual or business advice. And we too have an uncontrollable need to look at and be around beautiful things. I would love to say it was someone famous but the reality is it is the things around me each day that inspire me, food, flowers, nature, people and words.
What are you passionate about? Cooking, fabric, interiors, knowledge and the thinking mind. Oh the two loves of my life, my cats berry (Russian blue) & mousse (dark brown Burmese).
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? When to say no to things... and to stick to what you are good at and do it well... and commit to branding and not to jump onto bandwagons. Hmmm, that's 3 lessons. Oh my answer is "Follow my gut: It's always right" - that's my top pick.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Martha Stewart - she is one clever business woman... except for the stint in jail... I still think that was a witch hunt!!
What dream do you still want to fulfil? My cooking trip to Italy & Paris... next year... (I noticed you read Italian Joy recently... this book changed my life... I didn't expect it to but it did).
What are you reading? I always read two books at a time... it's strange but I always have. Usually two very different concepts, as they balance each other and don't curb my thinking in a sharp direction (I'm such a Libran). The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle, and Simplicity by Edward De Bono.
Images courtesy of Dan300 and real living