I’m a firm believer that a cup of tea tastes so much nicer in a cup and saucer – and perfect if it’s vintage inspired, beautiful, fine bone china. Like all of these pretty welovekaoru pieces, right before your eyes :)
Kaoru Parry established welovekaoru after graduating from Central St Martins College in London. She owns Shoreditch collective boutique Luna and Curious “offering a cornucopia of finely rendered objects and clothing” as well as stocking her own full collection of tableware.
The ethos of welovekaoru is to preserve the traditional values of real craftsmanship and work closely with small independent family run potteries to produce their pieces exclusively in the United Kingdom.
I had a little chat with Kaoru recently….
What did you study at Central St Martins and would you recommend college if you want to become a designer ?
I studied BA Ceramic Design at Central St Martins. The course has great contacts with the industry and puts a lot of energy into preparing you for the real world. It also houses a great team of technicians and facilities to assist in the practical aspects of design and manufacture. Now that you have to pay so much for further education, I would make sure that the course is definitely right for you. Even look to other European countries as their fees are often lower.
Where do you get your inspiration from for your designs ?
Anything old inspire my designs. I like the way beautifully crafted objects were often made to an industrial scale yet each one by hand and by highly skilled artisans.
I first spotted your teacups in Liberty London – did it take long before you were asked to stock in lots of prestigious stores ?
I was discovered by Liberty at my first trade show in 2009. They have been stocking my designs since.
Would you say your work is influenced by Japan ….. having been born there ?
Sometimes. The Take range ( green bamboo design ) was a direct influence from a beautiful antique kimono. But it’s probably more our company philosophy that’s been influenced most by Japan. Our values of excellent craftsmanship and quality.
Can you talk me through your process from your initial ideas to production ?
Lots of research and development followed by sketches and maquettes. I have great relationships with the small family run potteries in Stoke where we develop new products together. It may take years to finally get a new product into the market.
Do you have a signature design ?
Not really but my ABC tea cups and mugs continue to be one of my best sellers.
Can you offer some advice for anyone reading this wanting to start a new brand ?
Work hard, do your research, understand business especially pricing, production and marketing.
What are your welovekaoru’s plans for 2013 and beyond ?
I’m really excited about 2013 as I’m going to launch a new range of products that are not strictly tableware. I’m also looking forward to interesting collaborations and projects.
Don’t forget to enter my giveaway.. win a Janome Mega Tote Bag – it’s perfect for all of your sewing accessories !
Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx