Today we’re featuring an inspiring small business owner, the ethical- and eco-hearted Leslyn Parker of Jasper and Eve, a relatively new online store that she and husband Andy created.
What sparked the idea of Jasper and Eve?
“OK, long story but I’ll keep it short,” laughs Leslyn.
“A few years ago my husband and I redecorated our house and found it hard to source beautiful, handmade or ethically-made homewares to furnish our home — everything was trend-led, made in factories overseas and ending up in landfill six months after the trend finished.
“We had an issue with the injustices overseas just so we can buy a pillow for $5 and then throw it away.
“Both of us love interiors and thought why don’t we find a solution to this?
Jasper and Eve is all about fair trade (without having that typical ‘out of Africa’ look), supporting local makers and offering these at an affordable price.
How would you describe the style of Jasper and Eve?
“An extension of our quirky personalities,” laughs Leslyn, “we like things a bit left-of-centre.”
“We look for items that are bespoke, Australian-made or ethically-made.”
Being a buyer, Leslyn is always one step ahead of the trends. We wanted to get her top picks for homewares this year.
Cobalt blue, monochrome and muted hues are the key trends this season.
“A new trend that’s emerging is mixing raw materials with metals. I love the combination of brushed metal and raw timber,” says Leslyn.
“More than anything I encourage people to go for quality over quantity – investing in pieces that are beautifully made using quality materials means you will treasure them long after the ‘trend’ has passed.”
Not just an online store, Leslyn also offers e-styling packages.
“I’m really passionate about the e-styling side of the business and working closely with clients to help them overcome their particular interior challenges.
“Many people don’t have the budget for a fully-fledged interior design service and this is a great alternative while still offering expert advice.
“I consult with clients and then offer a solution to their problem, including a furniture plan, mood board and price list for the products.”
What are some of the main challenges you help people with and can you suggest tips to overcome them?
“The biggest challenge my clients face is generally feeling uninspired or overwhelmed by the process of designing and styling.
“I find bringing it back to basics and having a discussion about how you want to feel in the space and what you need the space to do is a good starting point.
“From there I can suggest a furniture plan to maximize the use of the space and build up a mood board of colours, furnishings, materials and products. Once people get something physical in front of them, it’s often easier to say ‘yes, love that’ or ‘no, not quite’, so we can refine the look until it’s just right.
“For people at home, I strongly recommend creating your own board of inspiration if you cannot use a professional styling service. If all the colours, materials and items work well at this small scale, they will also work in the room – just be aware of scale.
“Other common issues clients experience include working with a small space, dark rooms or insufficient storage. There are lots of design tricks to overcome these, for example in small rooms it’s best to go the opposite way and use larger pieces — small items in a small space just make it feel smaller.”
Leslyn is currently helping one of our readers who won the e-styling package as part of our Christmas giveaway. We hope to share the progress of that with you soon!