Coffee with Age of Reason Studios + giveaway
Ali from Age of Reason studios - is one of those ladies that whatever she touches she turns into pure gold ! - Her fun designs are one of my all time favorite - Besides being an amazing artist- through her designs she also helps and supports local communities - from Orkney Farmers to fair trade- when you buy one of Age of Reason studios cushions - you can be sure that not only you are buys a UK made luxury and well made product - but though your purchase you are helping others ! - this Ladies and Gentlemen - is what Ali is all about
As mentioned above AORS cushions always bring a smile to my face and not only mine - whenever i see one of Ali's designs posted on someone else's Instagram - It always creates a storm-Which for me is no surprise ! Hey even Claudia Schiffer - got Ali cushion in her pad !
It seems like forever since we planned this chat -but good things come to those who wait (or so the saying goes) we finally both got our act together- and i am mega exited to Introduce you to the one and only Ali -(ohh and if you look at the top picture - there are few more exiting designs coming very soon )
1) Can you tell our readers about yourself and your brand ?
I'm a British scarf, cushion and clothing designer who was born in Scotland, raised in Africa, and found her heart in London.
I used to work in TV production but wanted a change when I had my first daughter. I started Age of Reason, an ethical fashion and home print label in 2011 because I couldn’t find fun, colorful British Made scarves and cushions anywhere. At the time sustainable fashion and homeware was very worthy and beige. Gorgeous, sexy things were not necessarily made in a sweatshop-free environment. Even today a lot of things we buy are made by people living in poverty. That seems wrong to me. I want to make wonderful, delightful things in a way that empowers both the maker and the buyer.
2 .What piece are you most proud of , or one that has a significance to you?
I still really love the “I Will Never Surrender” pink cushion and scarf design. It features a disheveled pirate queen character against a turbulent seascape. She looks as though she’s aboard a mutinous ship after a battle. For me she signifies battling on no matter what life throws at you. She’s been bought by many women for their battle worn best friends and sisters. She sums up the resilience of women and their refusal to surrender.
3 Can you tell me some of your strengths that really helped you in your design journey ?
I don’t give up easily on an idea. I was raised in Lesotho, a small African country where people are hardy, smart and creative. I left home at 16 to come to the UK and study. Meanwhile a war broke out where my parents were living, meaning that no communication, or money could flow out of the country. Suddenly on my own, on the opposite side of the world to my family, I had to be resourceful and resilient, to get a job, pay my way and act like an adult. It was extremely tough, but I learned how to survive.
4. What would be your tips for anyone thinking of starting their own business in design?
Just start. I see so many friends battling with when to start, looking for the perfect time when everything will be ready. They’re looking for that time when there will be enough money, when their kids will be grown up enough, their house will be finished, or a family member will be well enough. That time doesn’t exist.. Life will always throw stuff at you. If you want to do it, start now
5. Can you tell me about your greatest high in your career ?
Hopefully I haven’t reached it yet! In my TV career I was once presented with an award by Tim Burton, but to be honest that was nothing compared with the joy I get from completing a collection or seeing a happy customer use my product.
6 .What was your greatest failure and what did you learn from that?
Oh goodness, their have been so many errors and bad judgement calls, I don’t know where to begin! You get very used to rejection in the fashion and homeware industry. I’m always devastated when I get rejected by my favorite department stores.
8. Who is your design or style icon?
I really love Iris Apfel. I think her maximalist personal style is just beautiful. She makes it work with her minimalist silhouette. Maximalist/ minimalist- take a look next time you see a photo of her, I think you’ll see what I mean; it’s a balance thing. Linda Rodin does it very well too in fashion.
9 What do you think has been your brands super power?
Still being around after 6 years is the super power. One day we’ll be known as the brand that wouldn’t go away.
10 Were you artistic as a child?
Yes, all I wanted to do was draw, which was why I loved bible studies when I was about 6. You got to listen to an interesting story full of wonderful characters, have a nap and draw a picture. I had no inkling about the meaning of it all, I just loved drawing people in rainbow coats, angels and babies floating down rivers in baskets. Even as a teenager I got into trouble for drawing mermaids with huge boobs in my Geography book. I still think they were pretty cool.
11. Since Style Squeeze is all about small spaces - how would you squeeze most of small square footage (your tips suggestions )?
Storage is a must. I like furniture with hidden storage so that you can hide stuff away. I also think massive clear outs are super important, I love a clear out. Once I’ve decluttered, I look for a focal point like a piece of art. I think even the smallest room comes to life if you know where you’re meant to look. I’d also ban huge TVs from small rooms. Nobody needs their home to look like a 3 star hotel room on the M25.
12 .What do you do in your spare time?
I don’t think I have any spare time. Family and business exist pretty harmoniously, but kids are full on. I’ve got a 12 month old and an 8 year old, so their needs are very different, and very intense. When I’m not working we like walking, rock pooling, exploring new places and reading. Eating is a big pass time of mine too.
13 Do you put limitations on the work in terms of brave and bold or is there no fucks given?
Always brave and bold.
Quick Fire questions :
14 - design or functionality- Both
15 What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?- I once tried to bake cookies on a plastic tray. It didn’t end well.
16. Which bad habits of other people drive you crazy? Moaning about their spouse, or using the term “daddy daycare” whatever that means.
17. favorite dinosaur ;) Stegosaurus
18. What was the worst job you have ever had?- Chopping lettuce for 8 hours a day in a burger van at Hampton Court Flower Show, for the entire show. Second worst, handing out flyers at an IT festival.
19 . would you rather Kiss a jellyfish or step on a crab? Kiss a jellyfish obviously!
20. Got any hidden talents ? ( what are they) None apart from that I can open any fridge in the world and create a passable meal from the contents. I’m like a walking Ready Steady Cook.
21. coffee or tea? Coffee, what do you take me for!!?
22. What is the one thing, you can’t live without? Quiet time. Shh
23. In " Alternative universe if you could be any piece of furniture what would you be ? An AGA so I could be admired and do nothing.
24. What was your worst decor faux -pass? – I once rag rolled a room in two shades of terracotta. Or was it salmon?
25 .who would be your idea client to work with? – I’d love to design a cushion collection specifically for Liberty London.
now -the fun part !
Ali from Age of Reason studios donated a Large Love me tender cushion (design soon to be released ) So a winner will be the first person to own this amazing cushion! to be in the chance of winning please
- see my latest Instagram post and in comments tag as many friends as you can
- follow Age of Reason Studios
- follow me
- follow JT
- follow Nickie
competition will run till Sunday 3rd of September and winner will be picked at random and announced on Monday- Good luck everyone
- This post and a giveaway was made in collaboration with Age of Reason studios thank you so much for allowing us to run this giveaway
To find out more and purchase amazing products please visit https://www.age-of-reason-studios.com/