How would you describe the aesthetic and inspiration of your brand / new collection?
Our aesthetic is very clean, practical, useful & beautiful. Because we do quite a lot in our creative business, we have the amazing Natasha Mead helping us to pull it all together. We are very inspired by Japanese design and especially for flowers, the ikebana style of ‘not too much’ but just enough — simple and peaceful. I treat my floral arrangements more like a sculpture than typical floristry, Its my little art form. Our candles are inspired by the seasons, especially the flowers in those seasons, they are very personal to us and are often a nostalgic smell we have re created.
How did the two of you meet / become business partners
Mark and I first met at design school, where he was studying furniture design and I jewellery, we were great friends even then, all those years ago, he was always teasing me, harassing me and generally being quite annoying! I went off to study floristry design, and Mark architecture. He then tracked me down, stalked me really. He would turn up in the morning at the French door near the bathroom, holding a coffee and a brioche till I exited the shower, it was lucky I quickly fell in love with him otherwise I might have called the cops. Then we just naturally started creating things together and organically started our pride and joy Mark Antonia Ltd, named quite simply, as well, it’s us and we are so involved in everything we make and we love working together, it’s probably quite a hard thing for a lot of partners to work together but Mark and I have a true respect for one another, we communicate, are open and appreciate each other so we never fight, well unless its over the last chip!
Describe a typical day for you.
We head into the warehouse each morning, which is a stone throw from our home in Kingsland, in summer it’s nice to walk in. We try to anyway! When we are at work, Mark and I often are working on seperate projects, Mark his design work and me my floral work, Mark is a stickler for an ordinary day but he has a hard task keeping me on track haha! Then Mark and I come together when our soy wax has melted to temperature and start pouring our seasonal candles. We have fun at work though, as although it is a business its also creative and changes daily, we love what we get to do everyday, we are pretty lucky to be able to make a living, making what we love. Its not lost on us how this is a rare thing.
What do you do to unwind after a busy day?
Often Mark and I are working quite late, till around 11pm or even later, as it’s just us making and running the show but if it’s still light out we have a ritual of as soon as we get home, to head to our garden and water the herbs and vegetables together, followed always by our two Scottish folds (cats just like tay tay yes), its our daily family procession. The neighbours probably think how hilarious we all look. But it’s a lovely way to unwind, take your shoes off and feel the grass, run after the cats and see the mint over taking the basil… and then a to a well earn’t glass of wine!
Mark and I have quite similar taste in food…. We love fresh flavourful food and we are also vegetarian so it is often the case that we have lots of vegetables. My guilty love crush is the chip, any way, anywhere, no chip gets left behind! Mark even proposed to me over chips! The way to my heart! Must be potato though — I hate the Kumara! So so much, it’s trying too hard to be a potato! Not on my watch!
What is your favourite piece from your current collection?
My favourite candle that we have burning in our studio and home is the Summer candle, it’s so fresh and it suits this lovely weather we have been having but honestly I love them all and change my mind constantly! Often it’s the Winter candle for cooler days.
And my favourite piece from Superette… well there are so many beautiful pieces in the latest collection, I am often saying I dress like a 15 year old boy…. So I love all of the separates this season but my absolute favourite (that ahem I also hope turn up in my stocking this Christmas) would have to be the Superette Laced-Up Shorts, I love jersey shorts and I just die for the lacing in these! Mark take note xx
What is one thing most people don’t know about you.
Now this is a hard one because I am a terribly open person and I’m not a very serious person, often to my detriment, my sense of humour offends people because I do take the mickey out of me, myself and everyone… some people can’t handle that hahaha! I can’t lie very well, so it’s pretty easy to know or ask me anything. One thing most people don’t know about me is that I cry constantly in trailers over the dumbest movies, I find the trailers to movies always get me, most recently it was the new star wars movie but there are many — Transformers, Planet of the Apes, James Bond ….. But never in the actual movie, just the bloody trailer and most unreasonable trailers too!
What is the last thing you googled?
The last thing I googled well, I’ve been obsessed with ‘the Crown’ the Netflix show, Prince Phillip steals the show, so the last thing I googled was, Prince Phillip’s amazing gaffs , I think he and I would get on, our sense of humour seems very similar. He sure is a handful!