We chatted with designers Stuart Wilson and Chris Payne of WilsonPayne about Aussie icons, nostalgia and their new Australiana collection.
WilsonPayne produces contemporary homewares and gifts featuring Australia’s extraordinary wildlife as well as its unique landmarks, snacks and iconic creations. All their products are eco-friendly, and designed and produced in Australia.
Can you tell us about your inspiration behind the Australiana Collection? How did it all begin?
Our background is graphic design, and some time ago we produced a tea towel featuring Australian native flora and fauna as a special Christmas gift for all our clients – some being international. The feedback from that gift was so positive we were compelled, and excited, to explore the possibilities!
Your designs are colourful, nostalgic and fun. How did you go about choosing and illustrating them?
We focused on all that is uniquely Australian, and if it was cute and tugged at fond memories, we would then have to make a feature of it. We can’t tell you the amount of times customers would say that our products make them happy and smile! We love hearing that!
Your products are eco friendly and produced locally in Australia. Why is this important to you?
Given that we’re celebrating all that is Australian, to be authentic, it was essential to produce locally – in fact, if we couldn’t produce our designs in Australia we would’ve stopped at just the one tea towel gift! We’re proud to support local manufacturing and to know that we’re reducing our enviromental footprint by not importing products. This ethos resonates with customers choosing unique gifts, we know there’s a real appreciation for quality Australian made products when sending to loved ones overseas.
Do you have a favourite product or design?
That’s a difficult question – it’s kind of like asking parents to name their favourite child! However, if pressed, we’d probably lean toward our Kookaburra Socks, partly because he was our leading character from our first range and he still has so much ‘tude! – but don’t tell the others that… A close second would have to be our Aussie Snacks tea towel – this one conjures up so many fond memories.
What’s next on the cards for WilsonPayne?
For some time we’ve been asking customers to select their favourite Australian animal, food, flower or destination – whatever works for the customer. We’re looking forward to referring to this wealth of information for our next wave of inspiration!
Where do you love to travel to in Australia?
It would have to be anywhere with nature and wherever we can best hear the sounds and take in the smells that make Australia Australia! That’s a pretty broad response, sorry!