Lumiere Art + Co.
Q&A WITH EMMA CLEINE
How did you come up with your business name?
Lumiere Art + Co, affectionally known as LA+Co. came from the idea of creating a light art company. A company that is anti 'high art' and anti ‘cookie-cutter, manufactured, boring, commercial art'. I wanted to make items with an art context for the everyday that stood out as being artistic. Lumiere Art + Co’s sister company, KEEP RESIN’s name comes from its founder, Alice Keep. Alice’s surname was perfect for the brand. We love the name Keep as it references the brand’s values; to carefully hold on to our objects, they are to be heirlooms and treasured.
Describe how you felt when you started to get your first customers. How has your relationship with your customers grown / changed since then?
Lumiere Art + Co. started its relationship with stockists 8 years ago and lot of them are still selling our work today. We prefer fewer stockists than many, we like to talk to them and explain the story behind each piece. In 2017 Lumiere Art + Co. took over KEEP RESIN, a fellow Mornington Peninsula based business. We now have a lovely cross over with Lumiere and Keep and have doubled our wholesale distribution. Both brands hold their own style values and attract different clients, however, we find our best sales come from stockists who have a close relationship with us and know the story and identity of both brands. We have a consolidated following of stockists for both brands, however, we are looking into moving more towards ‘gifting’ and with this transition, we welcome new stores and clients.
How do you keep your business fresh and exciting? Do you have any new, upcoming products in the works that you can tell us about?
Always trying new ideas and products and gradually introducing the idea behind the product to my audience before committing to large quantities keeps my business exciting. It’s so exciting when you ‘birth’ a product! Especially when you’re capturing it through photography and styling it for the first time. There are big let downs though, along with the exciting parts. I have learnt to slowly immerse myself into a new design or development instead of just going for it and making large quantities. I’m the first to admit I’ve made a few rash mistakes with products, however, with each mistake I have learnt a lesson and can take something from the journey. When I do make a mistake, I don’t just give up, I just try another way and try and market in an alternative way. This keeps what I’m doing fresh and exciting. Never having an end game, allowing what I do to be fluid, change form and organically develop. I’ve learnt to only hold on to what sells well and not just always put my energy into ‘brand moments.’ Brand moments are great and tick the creative box, however, in this market, they don’t pay the bills!
Where do you think your area of design is headed in 2019/2020? Are there any subtle or big design / business trends that you’ve identified? Have they affected the direction of your business?
Lumiere Art + Co. offers workshops and teaching as part of its brand story. This opportunity to share and integrate technique and skill that ties back into our wholesale offering sets us apart from other brands. We don’t want to just another brand that makes stuff. We want our consumers to be part of learning with us and feel that they have the ideas and skill to design, make artworks and decorate their surroundings along with us. My vision to include workshops and teaching into KEEP RESIN’s brand is through offering dried flowers and foliage into the range. I would like to extend the name ‘KEEP’ into all aspects of the brand and push the concept of alchemy made from botanicals alongside vessels, and kitchen objects and flowers dried. Evolving brands in this current retail environment is vital. My background in Fine Arts and keeps what we do interesting.