Sue Hennessy - Love Friday
Life Instyle sat down with Love Friday co-creator, Sue Hennessy to talk lunch boxes, accessories and fabrics.
What was the spark that inspired you to start your own business?
Love Friday started with a conversation between myself and my neighbour Kim, with our mutual love of textiles and homewares, in a market saturated with mass-produced products.
What were those first steps you took to launch? And what would you say was the scariest part/your biggest fear?
Love Friday started as a pop up on my verandah. With Kim’s move to Hong Kong,we could source interesting fabrics in limited supply, which enabled us to design and create homewares. As successful as the popups were, we soon realised they had one stand out product. We looked at Life Instyle to take us to the next step, retail. The scariest moment was being accepted into Life Instyle, Australia’s premier trade show. Fortunately, our fears were soon forgotten, being embraced by many lovely stockists and supported by other exhibitors.
Tell us a bit about how you design/ make your product. Who/where/how/why etc.
Our multipurpose bags started their life as lunch bags for our kids, with a growing demand from friends we soon realised the versatility of our simple design. The multipurpose bag was born and is now sold as the everything and anything bag, from lunch to laptop, wine to wet bathers, from coffee mums to clutches on a night out. It has become the go-to bag with its Thermo lining and insulation to stop lipsticks from melting and lunches from wilting.
Our bags were originally hand-made in small quantities with 12 per design, using the end of run fabrics and Kim on the sewing machine. As demand grew we were unable to continue this practice. We began designing our own fabrics and outsourcing manufacturing. Although we still hand-make some of our tassels we now have the bulk made by a lovely family in Java, Indonesia. Versatility is important to Love Friday hence our bags have a variety of straps and tassels, options to dress them up or down depending on the customer’s desire.
Our stockists are as diverse as our customers, we have a strong country representation. Our multi-use product was embraced wholeheartedly by those in the country towns. We have a great love for this country and couldn’t be more grateful to be represented in small towns.
What is it that you think your customers love about your brand/ product?
Our customers love that our bags are not only beautiful but incredibly useful and more importantly versatile. We have a simple design ethos coupled with a desire to promote sustainability.
How do you/ your team stay inspired and authentic?
It’s easy to find inspiration when we both share a mutual love of the road less travelled, with colour and textiles fundamental to our design. Our choices in fabrics can be described as classic, we believe good design shouldn’t be based on trends. With the addition of a strap or tassel to each bag (18 in total), they come to life with an injection of colour and texture. Our accessories are somewhat like jewellery, adding an intensity and they complete the bag. The accessories constantly evolve as we take inspiration from our travels, most recently to Morocco.
Who would be your dream collaborator?
Patricia Urquiola not surprisingly with my influence as an interior designer and Kim’s love of styling and design.
What path led you to Life Instyle and what is it about the show that makes it a great fit for you?
Life Instyle offered us a platform to exhibit our product in a fabulous location to a broad customer base. We were both completely naive at our first Life Instyle in 2017 but were given great support from the organisers and the many creative people we met at the trade show. We now both look forward to the twice-yearly events where we have been able to not only grow our business but collaborate with other creative talents.
Can you share any spoilers on what we can expect from your new collection at Life Instyle Sydney?
Texture is a key feature of our 2 latest designs being released in Sydney at Life Instyle. We have a rich quilted velvet and a moody, black moleskin, perfect for those long winter months.
Who are some of the other brands at Life Instyle who you love/admire?
Dan300. Beautiful products exquisitely packaged and styled.
We always look forward to seeing what is on offer at First Instyle, seeing new products in their infancy.
Can you share one of your proudest moments in business so far?
Helping “buy from the bush’ to increase sales in remote drought-affected areas. Seeing our bags posted on Instagram by a stockist or someone other than family sporting one of our bags.
What is the best piece of business advice you have been given?
The key to success is to “start before you are ready” Marie Forleo
“Do it because you want to not because you know how” Olivia Buggins
What advice would you give someone else thinking of starting out?
“Just do it”
What exciting things are on the horizon for 2020 and beyond?
India and block printing
When you’re not busy with the business, what’s your ideal way to unwind and give yourself a little bit of self-care?
We are always busy being working Mums. An early morning walk up Carrick Hill, in Adelaide followed by a coffee.
JUST FOR FUN!
Karaoke song of choice?
I Did it My Way
Haighs Chocolate Almonds
Next holiday location?