This month we had a chat to Rachel, founder and director of Style Revolutionary who’s beautiful collections we represent in the ACT.
Rachel has been in the design industry for over a decade with a love and strong focus on textiles. This has led her on the path of pulling together some of her fave designers and distributing their textile designs nationally.
Check out the interview below for a little about Rachel’s life, creative inspirations and hot Brissy business!
Tell us a little about your background – what did you study and what path led you to what you are doing today?
I’ve grown up around textiles my whole life, learning to sew and doing other crafty bits since I was a kid. During high school I always thought I wanted to be an interior decorator, and after moving to Brisbane in 2000 I got a job with a small interiors studio where I spent just under 12 months helping with soft furnishings and being PA to the interiors team. It was here that I got to experience the amazing interiors textiles on offer from the wholesale showrooms…..I never knew anything like that existed!! A job became available with one of the textile wholesalers and that’s where my journey started; I spent a total of 11 years managing two different textile showrooms in Brisbane that sold mid to high-end lines in fabric, wallpaper and trimmings.
In mid 2013 I injured my knee and had to have surgery which lead to a few complications and I ended up being off my feet and unable to work for just over 8 months. During this downtime the whole experience after having surgery totally shifted everything for me and I knew I wanted a change in my career… this is when I started Style Revolutionary. I studied a small business management course whilst writing my business plan, and started out with a few boutique brands (Quercus & Co and our trimmings collection) and it’s grown from there. Three and a half years in and we now house over 30 boutique brands.
How would you describe your own personal design style(s)?
I find this really hard to answer, my personal design style is definitely an eclectic mix. I’m a huge lover of natural fibres, especially linen, is there anything better than crushed linen?! I love pattern and colour; I really love more decorative accents and love curtains for both their decorative and practical aspects. My overall starting base in my home is more neutral and textural, with added colour in art, accessories and soft furnishings. I guess it’s more earthy with mixes of old and new and added colour and layered texture in both art, textiles and furniture pieces.
What have been one or two favourite recent projects/products?
Hmmm that’s hard to narrow down! I’m really in love with our hand-painted Ramuk Midnight fabric by Melbourne based Slower Dawn, I can just imagine using it on everything! The free hand nature and large scale of this pattern has me very excited and is certainly a new favourite.
I’m also working on a collaborative project at the moment with a talented Brisbane interior designer that will be in the form of textiles and rugs……. it has me VERY excited! It’s one of those annoying “can’t say anything but watch this space” kind of things but I’m very inspired by the patterns and colours that will come into play with the line and can’t wait to share it!
Tell us about your own collection of rugs?
It was never on my to do list to start my own rug collection, however I was searching for a rug for myself and really couldn’t find anything out there that I liked. I wanted a little pattern/colour but not a lot, but was also after something simple and textural as well. A third generation Indian rug weaving company had gotten in touch with me and it all started from there. I had a few pieces made up and to my surprise it’s had a great reaction. I love a little bit of sparkle too so I was excited to incorporate some metallics without it being over the top.
Can you list for us your top resources that you turn to when you’re in a need of creative inspiration?
- Social media wise, Instagram is my solid fave. The addition of stories is great too as it provides a whole other avenue of inspiration and insight in the creatives you follow.
- I love The World of Interiors magazine, I also have a stash of discontinued magazines that I LOVE and flick through often, including Australian Style, a very short lived Australian mag maybe 3 or 4 issues from about 16 years ago, it is insanely good and leafing through it now it still feels so relative and fresh, Fallen magazine another great Aussie mag no longer in print that featured Australian creatives. And my old stash of Anthology (no longer in print) are always close to hand, I love the mix of creatives and interiors they featured.
- When I want to get out and about for inspiration I love going to QAGOMA as there is always something there to inspire, whether it’s new exhibitions or looking through the archives in the QAG.
- Local markets are always great for finding some new and local talent too.
Which other Australian designers, artists or creative people are you loving at the moment?
I’m really loving the work of Madeline Young, an artist based in Orange, NSW. I love her style, colour combinations and her interpretation on Australian natives. Her paintings are a very abstract take on natives with unexpected colours in mainly clear bright hues.