Q&A WITH LAUREN STELLER – FOUNDER AND DESIGNER
What inspired you to start your business? How did you go about it?
Starting my own business was a natural progression after taking on side projects as an architectural designer. Over the years I formed an interest in human play, and designing products was a way to explore these ideas. My business and knowledge has grown around these ideas and giving my little inventions a shot in the world. It has always been important to me to make objects with interesting content. It’s an evolving process.
Was there a turning point when you knew you were onto a good thing?
People’s engagement in the products, especially the Rhombus Trivets. The way that play ticks people over into wonder and creation – I feel it is a great success every time I see it. Hearing feedback and seeing people interact with my products has been really satisfying and educational. Aside from earnings, I see response and feedback as valuable currency as a designer.
What do you find to be the most rewarding part of your business?
Probably flexibility. It’s not easy trying to distinguish what I do or how I fit in as a creative practitioner. My business weaves into my life, and my life weaves into my business. As I grow, my business does too. It’s important for me to use my experiences to influence the designs I make, so I like to keep pretty light-footed and try to throw myself into new places whenever I can.
What sort of person buys your products?
Good characters I hope – clever, resourceful and playful people.
What makes your product different? Why do you think it has succeeded?
The Rhombus Trivets have been a happy collision between a good material, simple playful geometry and practical use. It is an original product that is authentic to its intent. It succeeded because we are all innately playful in one way or another. It taps into a common behavioural thread that allows us to be creative or maybe sometimes a little obsessive. Utilising recycled rubber, it’s an original material for a classic design.
Have you identified any design and/or business trends you have had to address in the last year?
Yes and no. It’s all a bit of a vague wash and I try not to pay too much attention. I am always suspicious of trend. I like to ask why it is popular or becoming so – and those reasons are good to follow (or not follow) indirectly. I always feel a bit sad when something I like has become trendy.