“There is such a rich heritage of textile design and craftsmanship in Turkey that I find so inspiring,” says Verity Kizek, co-founder of Atolyia and Inartisan. It is a culture that she got to know quite well after living in Istanbul for three and a half years with her Turkish husband, Shenol. The couple moved there after having their first son, and the experience set Verity on a new path. Despite studying law and working as a solicitor in Australia, she was keen to delve into the world of art and design. The result was Atolyia, which derives from the Turkish word Atölye, meaning workshop or studio. It was founded with close friends Sena and Ozer Ozturk, who are still based in Istanbul, while Verity and Shenol are now based in Sydney.

When the couple returned to Australia, Verity (pictured above, right) also started the homewares business Inartisan with her sister Emily. “We knew that we wanted to do something creative together, so we put a range together and went from there,” Verity says. “We are continually creating and developing new ranges and designs – our favourite part of the job.” 

The two businesses, Atolyia and Inartisan, share the same showroom space at Precint 75, an emerging design hub in Sydney’s St Peters. They will both be exhibiting - side by side - at the upcoming Life Instyle event in Melbourne, 4-7 August. Register now to attend this trade only event at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton.

Also, Atolyia is one of the makers that features in Imprint House’s Everyday Essentials launch collection.

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 Daily Imprint possible. - NW.

Which five words best describe you? Thoughtful, caring, creative, family, honest.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I completed degrees in Law and International Politics, then worked as a solicitor before pursuing my true passion for art and design.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Trust my instincts.

What’s your proudest career achievement? I know as I head in to work each morning that I am doing what I love as I am always looking forward to the day ahead and seeing what it holds and what I can get done.

What’s been your best decision? To start! To stop talking about what I would like to do, and start doing it.

Who inspires you? Grace Bonney – editor of Design Sponge – for her thoughtful and considered commentary on design and her focus on the many amazing women in art, design and business.

What are you passionate about? The beauty of good design, excellent craftsmanship and natural materials.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Orhan Pamuk – novelist, academic and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature. He seems to understand and be able to express the complexities and soul of Istanbul and its clash of cultures like no other.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? Living on the Aegean coast of Turkey for a while with my boys.

What are you reading? The Architect’s Apprentice by Elif Shafak - an addictive and beautifully written historical fiction where the main protagonist, Jahan, becomes apprentice to the 16th century Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan.

images courtesy of atolyia and inartisan