In Conversation with Rachel Donath
We had the pleasure of speaking with Rachel about the creative mindset, her latest collection and navigating unchartered territory
We’re excited to learn more about you and your journey thus far. Can you share with us your background and what makes up your world today?
I’m actually a marketing girl originally, having worked in the corporate sector for 10 years and then running my own agency for 7. It was only during covid and having a change in routine that I had a chance to really reflect on what I wanted my lifes work to look like and it was a no-brainer that I needed to give the interiors world a red hot go, it is where my heart has always been.
Your business has seen great success in the 3 short years since its inception. Can you share with us a little more about your business, who are your partners if any and what drives you creatively?
Im a design enthusiast and love collecting, curating and now designing pieces that are unique in that they are conceived through an artistic lens as well as a functional lens. I like to think that I am creating furniture as objects of art, sculptural pieces that are timeless. I consider the artisans I work with and my growing team to be my partners in that we share the same vision, passion and love of what we do, creating beautiful pieces for the home.
You have recently released a body of work entitled Forme, can you share your inspiration for this collection and where these pieces are crafted?
Forme was inspired by my travels last year to New Zealand during ski season, and the incredible landscapes and formations of nature. I wanted to create a collection of pieces that were informed by these shapes and play with natural materials and textures like burl, plaster and bamboo to bring these shapes to life.
What have you found to be the most challenging area of your business and how do you overcome this?
There have been lots of learning curves, running a product-based business for the first time. Logistics, and manufacturing, are all completely new territory to me and so I have had to learn as I go, often leaning on industry veterans and generous colleagues to guide me through uncharted waters.
What does a normal day look like for you?
I'm up at 5 am during the week and try to clear my inbox before heading to an exercise class. Once I’ve dropped my kids at school, it is back to my desk to manage the days tasks which range from supplier meetings, sampling new product, drawing up new design concepts, coordinating shipping, and briefing my team. The list is endless and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I am energised by the diversity of tasks and challenges I face daily - I honestly love what I do.
What are your key principles for balancing business, motherhood and your own rituals?
I'm a stickler for a schedule and thrive off having a to-do list which helps me to organise my time. There are certain pockets of time when I am not contactable as I’m with my kids and this is during the morning school run and after school until they are in bed. I make time for exercise and pay attention to what I eat and how I feel throughout the day, taking time out if I feel I need it. There is certainly no magic or one size fits all answer to the balance of parenting and business questions but I like to think that I'm working towards getting there, through setting boundaries and being present in where I am at any one point in time.
Where can we find your MARLOE MARLOE pieces in your home?
I love a piece with a story or a reference to someplace else and the new collection by MARLOE MARLOE is exactly that. I'm obsessed with the mug and bowl which are just so sculpturally beautiful and a lovely reference to the seaside which is always a happy place.
What is creativity consuming you at the moment and what is next for you?
I’m finding that the processes I am taking to grow my business are creatively fulfilling in their own right. I’m finding that in developing the business, there are many times when you need to think outside the box, pivoting when things don't go as planned and finding creative solutions to achieve the outcomes I’m hoping for. I never used to think of building a business as a creative pursuit but am finding more and more that to grow a business you really do need a creative mindset in order to problem solve, evolve and discover new ways to grow.
To explore Rachels' work visit www.racheldonath.com.au