Like many great collaborations, Cheeky Reubens was founded by a husband and wife team, Pete and Cassie. The pair bring a background in engineering and visual art to the table, creating beautiful, handmade lighting products for the home. Read on to discover more about this Sydney based label.
Tell us about your label Cheeky Reubens and what the concept is behind it?
For a long time we had been talking about creating a label that was able to bind together our different design strengths. Pete is an engineer with an incredible mind for details and making sure things are built to perfection. Cass has a keen artistic eye and is a genius in all things creative. We also wanted to represent our fun, playful characteristics in what we design.
We took a leap of faith and decided that lighting was an area that was lacking in creative, modern options that are affordable and simple to use. The uniqueness of our lights is that they are made to simply plug in to any power point taking away the hassle of having an electrician wire them in. Then, fast forward a few months of waiting and working through the legal side of things and Cheeky Reubens became a reality.
Who are the team behind Cheeky Reubens and what are their roles?
Cheeky Reubens is a husband and wife team from Cronulla in southeast Sydney. Cassie is a high school art teacher who loves working with kids and assisting them in channelling their creative flair. Cass has a knack for Interior Design and has many ideas about creating new designs to ensure the perfect style to suit your home. Pete is a structural engineer by day and a light fitter/electrician by night. He steers the business around the legalities of ensuring all Cheeky Reubens products are tested and safe for your home. He is an ideas man himself and helps to make Cassie’s designs a reality. Both Cass and Pete hand pack and send your products to your door with love and care.
Image credit: first image in grouping by Little Dwellings.
What do you love about working with lighting and what keeps you creatively motivated?
Cass had been searching high and low for the perfect bedside lamp with no luck. So instead of settling for the next best thing she decided to make her own. We love that we can be creative and try out different ideas with our pendant lights. The best invention so far has been our experimentation with concrete. We have loved testing different shapes and colours of concrete and creating the definitive ‘marbled’ concrete pendant light.
Being an art teacher and an engineer, we are constantly being challenged creatively in our day-to-day lives so it is only natural that this creative motivation would spill out into our Cheeky Reubens designs. Cheeky Reubens want to stay fresh and continue to bring you high quality lighting products.
What is your work space like and what is your creative process?
The creative process is undertaken in our own home. One of us might think of a new idea and then we work together to figure out how to make it a reality. Our garage has been transformed into a warehouse and a workspace. However sometimes it’s more comfortable working in the lounge room, particularly in Winter!
What challenges have you faced starting your own label? What are some things you love about it?
We wanted to make sure we did everything right from the beginning and when your main products have an electrical component, this meant things took a very long time to get started. We worked tirelessly putting together our prototypes and developing different documents to ensure that the Department of Fair Trading were willing to endorse our product. After much waiting and uncertainty, we received the tick of approval. T he other challenge is that it is quite laborious and time consuming to put each light together. Each concrete pendant is hand made and takes a number of days to set. Sometimes the concrete doesn’t set right and the process must start again.
It has been a great adventure. We have met so many wonderful small business owners and it’s great to be able to support each other and collaborate on different projects. We have wonderful customers who love their lights and are super thankful. We love providing a product that people love and that they are happy to display in their home, office, shop etc.
What aspirations do you have for your label in the future?
We would love to keep designing different styles and colours of pendant lights and push the creative limits in the process. We’re also considering branching out into designing unique home wares to go with our lighting collection.