Forever dreaming and conjuring up plans for what is next is Nerida Hansen, creative director and founder of Nerida Hansen Fabrics, which has led to the recent launch of her new business, Future Folk Designs.
For the last few months there have been very few stories of businesses expanding or starting-up in the creative space, in fact there have been more about doors closing and shutting up shop. Today Nerida reminds us to have hope and talks about taking a risk and embarking on a new venture in the midst of a global pandemic.
How many people have said that you are mad to launch a new business – now of all times?
A few, but when I truly believe in something, I go for it and that is what I am doing. I saw an opportunity to separate our label and room décor business that was tied to the fabric website and Future Folk was born.
Tell us about Future Folk, where did the idea come from?
Future Folk is the bringing together of my passion for unique and vibrant designs with the everlasting demand on both practical and decorative kids’ products.
Initially, we will be selling personalised iron-on and lunchbox labels, stickers, decals and wall prints and in the near future see fun t-shirts and accessories that have been designed by our team of independent artists. We are also excited to feature well known licenses such as the stunning, nostalgic art we have developed in collaboration with May Gibbs.
Most of these products we’ve been selling via Nerida Hansen Fabrics, but it was time to give them their own life on their own channel. With Future Folk our aim is to shine optimism on our little and big people with positive and healthy statements and team it with punchy artwork.
Our messaging will have a focus on sustainable matters, gender and racial equality, as well as physical and mental health. We will be aligning ourselves with businesses and campaigns related to these issues. Kids are very aware of what is happening around them and we want them to look forward to what’s ahead.
Will there be an opportunity for artists to receive royalties like they do with Nerida Hansen Fabrics?
Definitely! Every time someone buys a pack of stickers, decal or print designed by one of our independent artists, the artist is paid royalties.
The infringement of copyright of art is rife and it is not fair. Our connection and loyalty to our designers is a big priority. We want to protect them and their work and pay them what they deserve.
Talk us through a typical day.
My typical day is jam-packed. I am up early for a walk or a yoga session. Then I am madly rushing around to get the kids ready for a school. I sit down with my first coffee in our new warehouse, which I love and address my ridiculous number of emails.
I get different things thrown at me every single day. Much of my day is spent liaising with my staff and working on collaborations. If I can, I will squeeze in a surf at the end of the day.
Was there a time when you thought you would not make it through due to COVID-19?
In the early days it was scary and we did not know what to expect from day to day. I was not sure if our customers would be able to continue to support us, but thankfully they have and continue to do so. We would not be here otherwise.
When COVID-19 hit, my husband Mort and I were running Nerida Hansen Fabrics by ourselves. We were packing the orders and I think it was the happiest I’d been in a while. I was sleeping well and the kids were content because we were around. Now I have the challenge of maintaining that simple life alongside the growth of my businesses.
Regarding collaborations, who would you like to work with next?
It is challenging to identify who is next. Some artists find it hard to envision their work on other products in the market place. May Gibbs has been an incredible opportunity and shown me success with an iconic brand. The next big thing eludes me, but I really want it and it will happen. One thing I know is that I’ll love it. I never produce anything I do not love!
To explore more of what Future Folk offers visit www.futurefolk.com.au or follow us @wearefuturefolk. It’ll grab your attention for all the right reasons!
Words by Jacqui Taylor
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