This NSW Small Business Month, we're highlighting some of our amazing local brands that are integral to our unique and stunning offering here at Life.
With thirteen years in business since their founding in 2010, Bonnie and Neil are famously known for their vibrant and bold designs that celebrate colour and pattern.
Their extensive range of unique screen-printed homewares and accent furniture pieces is truly incredible, and we are so proud to have Bonnie and Neil as part of the Life family.
We chat to design lead and one creative half of the Melbourne-based duo, Bonnie Ashley of Bonnie and Neil about the design influences behind the brand and her best advice for starting a small business…
What are the main design influences behind Bonnie and Neil and where do you find your inspiration?
All of our prints feature my own original drawings and paintings which are influenced by objects I’ve seen in nature. With that in mind, I also look to locations that I’ve visited - or would like to visit - for ideas. Our most recent collection, Waikiki, takes its inspiration from the Hawaiian archipelago which is known for its sparkling turquoise waters, lush foliage amongst pristine rainforests, tropical fruits and heavenly hibiscus flowers. I’m also heavily inspired by colour. A single colour can inspire a specific pattern or be the common thread that ties a collection together.
With the end of the year approaching, what’s next for Bonnie and Neil?
We’re always looking for different ways to evolve our range and offer new products for our customers. Right now we’re in the thick of product development and sampling for next year, as well as working on design elements for future collections. In the meantime we are looking forward to the festive season, and can’t want to see our new tufted shag style rugs arriving in store at the end of the year!
What’s one piece of advice you can give to someone looking to start a small business?
Surround yourself with a great team and support crew. Whether you're intending on starting out solo or hiring from day one, you'll always need resources to offer their expertise, from product development feedback, to marketing, to financial advice. There are plenty of tools and information out there, as well as other small businesses you can learn from.
Shop the full collection from Bonnie and Neil below!
Love, Life x