Tuesday, 7 October 2014

An Interview with Nancybird's Emily Wright

One thing I am really passionate about is supporting Australian designers. Our homegrown talent is second to none, we have so many gems of creatives right here on our doorstep - why look elsewhere? 

I first came across Nancybird about six years ago. A beautiful and clever mix of incredible textiles melded with memorable design. A little bit of quirk worked back with some vintage inspiration, making it totally aspirational. It's the gentle combination of Australian flora prints, super soft leathers combined with the detail that makes Nancybird so unique. 

And then there was the time Nina from Offspring debuted the Nancybird quilt cover. AYE CARUMBA. I think it pretty well broke the interwebz when everyone went barmy looking for *that* quilt cover. 

So it was with great delight that I got to interview the brains and beauty behind Nancybird, Emily Wright, one of my generous supporters this Frocktober.


Describe Nancybird in 10 words

Australian, leather, pattern, art focused, friendly, quality, detail, Tim-Tam loving.

What was life before Nancybird?

Uni student studing printmaking living in Carlton

Where do you find inspiration?

Sarah (our fab textile designer) and I look everywhere - art books, Pinterest, photos taken bushwalking. 20th century textile design like the Wiener Werkstatte and the natural world are constant inspirations.

Design process for new collections?

Leather colours first, then an expanded palette for textiles, then Sarah creating the beautiful prints and me doing product design - then put it all together hopefully in a fun and beautiful manner! Then lots of sampling, redoing, culling and adding to get the right mix!

Favourite piece from the new Nancybird collection?

Best bit of your job?

Getting to walk down the road to our warehouse and design stuff and see it come to life and hang out with our lovely team. And getting to meet other ace designers and retailers - I've met and made friends with some excellent people through Nancybird.

Worst bit?

Realising we have a manufacturing fault in a product. Horrible.

Career highlight?

Getting an order from Anthropologie for our bed linen (should be available online in November)! And also when we get our new catalogue delivered each season - the culmination of months and months of hard work.

Have you always been creative? 

I think so. But I reckon all kids are to some degree. I always loved making things - I got my first sewing machine at 12 and made some pretty crazy stuff I used to wear - the worst of which was the fluffy raver gear of the early 90's… Ughh.

When you were at school, what was your dream job? (mine was lawyer and then I discovered it was 6 years at uni and I grew disinterested)

I know I always wanted to run my own business. I don't remember wanting to be anything other than an artist or a designer of some sort.

Favourite native flora?


Favourite song?

Favourite movie? 

The Muppets.

Early worm or night owl?

Both at the moment - I have a little baby and I really could be awake at any moment during the day or night at this stage.

Champagne or cocktails?

Definitely champagne. But it's been a while.

Social butterfly or homebody?


Where would we ordinarily find you on Sunday morning at 8am?

In bed with my partner Rob and Neive our little one, hopefully with a cup of tea and her smiling.

Last person you spoke to?

Jo, our operations manager. We're updating our computers, she's an IT whizz.

Stripes or spots?

Always stripes, but I'm coming around to spots. Not sure if that was a pregnancy side effect or what.

Where to next for Nancybird?

Bedding down our new ranges - we've added in shoes, clothing and home ranges over the past couple of years - I just want us to keep getting better and better at each area and design beautiful things. I like the size we are now, so no Grand Worldwide Takeovers planned. I feel very lucky to have people that enjoy our stuff for us to do it every day!


Special thanks goes to Nancybird and Emily for supporting me this Frocktober.

Shop Nancybird's new collection now.
Follow Nancybird on Facebook
Or get inspired with their Pinterest boards

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