FK chats to husband and wife team, Mr & Mrs White from Sydney
Tell us about your lovely label, Mr and Mrs White.
Our label, Mr & Mrs White, is a furniture and textiles brand made entirely by us. Mr White makes the furniture and frames and I make the textiles. We are all about simple, honest, hand made pieces, and we design to create and fill a home that is always welcoming and forever evolving. We started our label earlier this year simply because we loved to create and we loved the ‘home’.
What are your individual backgrounds and how does it work as a husband & wife duo?
My background (Mrs White) is in graphic design. When finishing my studies at the end of 2008 I was inbetween jobs and so had a bit of free time. I bought a classic second hand sewing machine and started making cushions. Once I mastered the basics I played around with the design, adding hand-stitched illustrations such as the ‘ampersand’ and ‘unlikely treasures’. I fell in love with not just sewing, but the ability to create with your own hands. Nathan (Mr White) is a shipwright/boat builder by trade but now works doing what he loves – making furniture and working with wood. His love for this industry started from an early age when he and his grandfather made wood shoe-boxes together in the afternoons after school.
Our interest in the work we do naturally evolved as we came to the realisation that we could do this together as husband and wife. Working together just seemed to fit, both in our styles and our aims for the future. What works about us as a husband and wife duo is that we have our own separate skills that we both work really hard to improve and challenge. In this way, we don’t get in each others way (most of the time) and are able to support/critique each others work (most of the time).
What are your favourite materials to work with and why?
Anything natural and neutral. For me, I love working with linens and cottons and most recently I have been working with cow-hides. Nathan works with a variety of materials. Recycled timber would have to be one of his favourites as it has character you simply can’t make and therefore each piece is unique and has its own story to tell. He also loves working with plywood, metal and leather.
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
One of the biggest challenges for us has been finding the space to create our products. We currently make it all from our home but we can’t wait to have a space that will enable us to grow and take the business further. Another challenge, amongst many, has been trying to balance between working full time jobs and investing in the business.
What do you love about Sydney as a creative people?
Opportunity, variety, being inspired by other creative and like-minded creatives – people who make us feel sane and not completely nuts for doing what we do. The place we live has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world and everywhere we look we find inspiration… especially in nature.
What are you looking forward to in 2011?
Getting our online store and website up and running. Continuing to create, be inspired and working towards doing this as a full time job.