You may recognise En Gold from your Instagram feed. With an elevated and understated, yet stand out, disposition ~ their interior pieces offer a vintage inspired minimalism that can be found in the homes of tastemakers across Australia. We chatted to founder, Steff, to unearth more on her creative process, what her day looks like & the rituals that help her function at her best. Join us in conversation with Steff...
Tell us about En Gold and how it came to life?
En Gold came to life when I was on maternity leave after having my first child. The journey started with buying and reselling vintage finds from our beachside cottage. Every corner of our home was stacked to the ceiling with furniture I was selling and I would spend my days emptying my living room to photograph pieces for the two weekly drops or driving around Melbourne with my baby in tow. It was shortly after that I designed our first collection, focusing on offering well crafted, natural stone pieces that were not readily available within the Australian market. My mission was always to adorn peoples homes with beautiful pieces that would be cherished for a lifetime.
We’d love to know, what does a normal day looks like for you as the director?
My day as a Director always begins with a strong coffee and a check in with my team. Walking into our office is my first opportunity to pause after the fluster of getting the kids out the door. Our new head office is a beautifully calm space, so I really enjoy coming to work and I absolutely love our team, we are a close little family. No two days are the same, once I get tucked into work I will usually get whisked away either emailing, styling photoshoots, planning content, supporting and Directing my team in their respective roles, jumping on zoom meetings with my manufacturers or designing new products.
How have you transitioned into running a business? What are your key principles to balancing business, family and your own rituals?
I am an Aries, so running my own business has been a very welcome transition for the natural leader in me. The juggle of Director, Wife, Mum, Daughter and Friend has taken a long time to adjust to. I think the biggest challenge has been to grow the business to a point where it allows me to set boundaries, so I can prioritize the time to be a mum and wife too. I have learnt the importance of self care and how imperative it is for me to carve out 1 hour in my day to wake up before everyone else in the house and exercise (I have grown a steady addiction to Peleton!) and also 30mins at bedtime to wind down and mediate for a calm and good nights sleep (otherwise I am writing emails in my dreams!). I have also grown an appreciation for a glass of pinot grigio with a hot bath and netflix, for a bit of ‘me’ time.
We’d love to learn more about your design process and what inspires your collections?
The design process usually starts with a brainstorming conversation with Matt (my husband) we will randomly bounce designs off one another until we think we have something to work with, it’s usually the most exciting part. I will then hand sketch the designs in my notebook followed by refining the details using AutoCAD. I then work closely with my manufacturers until we have the final product. My collections are inspired by the materials we work with and the craftsmanship involved in creating these pieces.
Where are your pieces produced and would you like to share anything about this process that is personal to you?
Our pieces are produced in the Philippines, China, India and Australia, we also stock makers and brands from Indonesia, China, Philippines, Denmark, USA and Australia. I feel particularly passionate to represent craftsmanship from all around Asia within the contemporary interiors world. This is something very close to my heart as I come from a Filipino heritage and feel incredibly proud and connected to this mission. My mums side of the family come from generations of rice farmers from the provinces, I have a big family and have spent time living in the provinces where I learnt a lot about my heritage and culture.
At En Gold, we are best known for our Fossil Stone furniture, this is a craft that is unique to the Philippines and one that I am incredibly proud to support and sustain. We are always sharing this crafting story with our audience because I truly believe that it is so special and I want our customers to also know how valuable their piece is, so that they may cherish it for many years to come . Our craftsman are an extension of our family, I have found so much fulfillment seeing the positive impact our business has made in generating jobs and sustaining income for these families. This has fuelled a personal mission of mine to continue to discover, represent and support Filipino craftsmanship at En Gold, with this we have some very exciting new projects to come in 2022.
Tell us about your studio, your styling inspiration and what makes it such a special space?
Our studio was originally an automotive vinyl wrap workshop! It would have been difficult for most people to see past the oil stain floors and refrigerator panel walls. When I viewed it for the first time I bonded with the owners who had grown their business over the past 20+ years within the space, they believed that the building has “good luck” in it’s walls. It was a big project but now it’s the most calming and tonal space, the inspiration was very true to the En Gold style- a balance of contemporary and nostalgic style, a tonal oasis to showcase our furniture and wares. We are tucked away in a humble industrial community of small businesses, I just love being in a location that is unpredictable and offbeat for a furniture brand. We definitely stand out amongst our neighbouring buildings!
Where can we find your MARLOE MARLOE pieces in your home?
I have my beautiful Stevie and Bobby vases sitting in my office on my En Gold Frida Buffet. They are such a beautiful accompaniment along side our furniture pieces.
Finally, 2020 and 2021 were challenging years ~ what’s on your agenda for 2022?
We have some really exciting endeavours coming into action during 2022 that will see En Gold expand internationally as well as some beautiful new collections in new materials and craftsmanship.