FK chats to Ryan & Jo of inspiring & adventurous kid’s label Such Great Heights! We are super excited to have Great Heights debut, at the upcoming Sydney Markets!
Tell us about your label Such Great Heights and what the concept is behind it?
Such Great Heights was borne out of a desire to create beautiful things for our children that appeal to their senses and encourage rich imaginary play. Seems to us that creative kids grow up to become interesting, resourceful adults, so allowing children the opportunity to be in an inspiring environment is an important investment. We launched a small range in mid 2012, have had a pearler of a year and haven’t looked back!
What are your creative backgrounds and how did it lead you to where you are today?
Between us we have a vast and varied skill set in disciplines such as filmmaking (Ryan studied Screen Production at the Queensland College of Art), photography, advertising, woodworking, fashion design (Jo sold her own women’s fashion range to boutiques nationally) and paediatrics. When we started a family, we turned our creative focus inwards and began making play things, furniture and clothing for our girls. It seems that all roads have led to the creation of Such Great Heights. We’ve found our calling!
What inspires your work? And what keeps you motivated creatively?
As clichéd as it sounds, we are inspired by the world around us, especially seeing it through our children’s eyes. We are pinching ourselves that we are in a position to collaborate with some amazing creative talent. We currently have projects on the go with artisans who we really admire from Spain, Sweden, Norway, USA & Australia This cultural and creative melting pot is hugely inspirational for us!
What is your workspace like? And what is your creative process?
We live in a 100 year old bluestone villa near the beach in Adelaide. They built them bigger back then, so we are blessed with huge rooms and lofty ceilings – plenty of space for our sewing table and photography studio. The industrial woodwork machines are kept in a shed at the rear of the property and Ryan loves to disappear in there for hours at a time! The creative flow differs between products. Our favourite part of the design process is the pairing of raw materials and experimenting with function, form, colours, and tactility.
What challenges have you faced starting your own label, and what are some things you love about it?
The biggest challenge we’ve encountered was launching a business whilst raising a young family and working day jobs. There is just so much to learn and it is easy to get bogged down in paperwork & logistics. We still have to work hard to prioritise time for product development, amongst all of the other commitments. There are lots of things we love about it… Most importantly, we love that it has brought creative practice into our everyday life. Knowing that our children are seeing us earning a living from this is incredibly rewarding.
What can we expect to see from Such Great Heights at the upcoming Sydney Markets?
Lots of beautiful Wonder Tents including a new limited edition canopy from Australian textile designers, Umbrella Prints. Our luscious new colour dipped Clothes Racks, a beautiful selection of Adventure Capes and Merit Badges, and all going to plan, we will be launching a stunning new product in collaboration with Swedish artist, Camilla Engman. Do drop by & say hi!