When Jen and Bekka found themselves in between jobs and wondering where they wanted to take their corporate careers, they landed on a new business idea to start Jennifer + Smith.
“Somehow we landed on the idea to start creating cushions and just to make things tough for ourselves, we taught ourselves how to screen print and made them on our own,” laughs Bekka.
So you design all of the Jennifer + Smith cushions?
“Yes, we design everything ourselves.
“Our debut range was just indoor cushions and we screenprinted those but our outdoor range of cushions are digitally printed by a local supplier in Sydney.
We’ve noticed a real gap in the market for high quality, good looking outdoor cushions so that’s where we’re focusing on taking the business. All our outdoor cushions are water repellent, stain repellent and the printer we use ensures they retain their colour really well.
Tell us about your inspiration and design process.
“We get inspiration from just about everywhere — magazines, fashion, art exhibitions — and always have pictures on our walls but that’s not to say our designs will look anything like our moodboards!
Bright colours and bold, graphic designs have always featured heavily in our cushions.
“Because there are two of us collaborating on each design, it’s quite a slow process. Sometimes I’ll love a colour combo or print but Jen won’t and visa versa, and other times something will just click.”
What are your favourite designs in the collection?
“I’m very drawn to bright colours and prints but have all the monochrome cushions in my home,” laughs Bekka.
Are you planning on releasing another collection soon?
“We try not to follow seasons or trends — it’s important to us that our designs have longevity so when someone buys a Jennifer + Smith cushion they know they will own it for years.
“In saying that though, there are a few designs in the works and we aim to release new designs each year to keep things fresh for our customers and also for us.”
And what are your future plans for Jennifer + Smith?
“Outdoor cushions will definitely be our focus and we’re looking at possibly expanding our range of outdoor homewares.
“We like that we’re so hands on with the business — designing everything ourselves and working so closely with local suppliers — so while we’re always growing, we don’t want to grow too quickly that we lose that.”