With the launch of our brand new website, I’m feeling the pull to show up here on the blog a little more often and share more of the real story, and less of the highlight reel. For you, and also for me.

You see, in the opening days of this year, I started to feel into what 2018 could look like. What might come next, for this 2-and-a-half-year-old brand and business? As I always seem to do in those rare spaces between, I wandered my way back through my digital folders (and more folders) of photos from the year just passed. 2017 was BIG. I vividly remember it as a year full of leaping out of comfort zones, growing, scaling, flying here, there and almost everywhere, and SO very much hard work.

But, then I noticed: every single flight, city and travel-related adventure was captured, edited and archived meticulously. But where was the rest of the picture? Where were photos of our collection vision boards, year road mapping, product manufacturing, creative processes, trade shows, team dinners, and the other everyday moments of running this business?

In between travels, my camera had rested safely in our bedroom wardrobe, awaiting the next adventure. And aside from a handful of hurried, photos snapped on my iPhone here and there, for everyday business moments, there was only memories.

Around that time, I also put the call out to you, our readers and our customers asking what would you like to see from me next? Far more than anything else was the request to share more of the behind the scenes of Emma Kate Co. What it takes to run this brand, and what it really looks like.

Suddenly, it’s December, and the year has largely swallowed me up. But this year, something did change. Rather than my camera sitting pretty in the wardrobe, awaiting the next trip, more often than not it’s been in my handbag; joining me at meetings and travelling alongside me during the mundane as well as the amazing.

With the support of my family at Olympus, over the next few weeks, I’m going to be putting together a 3-part blog series, taking you behind the scenes of some core small business moments from this year, all captured on my OM-D E-M10 Mark III.

This small but powerful camera seamlessly weaves into every day at Emma Kate Co. – from the daily routines of the studio, to product manufacturing visits, from breakfast meetings to wine meetings and moments in between.

First up? Let’s start with a real day at work (Monday 14 October, to be precise) in the studio at Emma Kate Co. – photo diary style.

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One of the biggest weeks of our year for the wholesale arm of Emma Kate Co. is Life InStyle in August. Today I wanted to share a little wrap up of our booth this year (because it was our favourite yet!) and showcase one of the best features – our special wallpaper, made in collaboration with Pickawall.

Read on below, because we have lined up a something special for one lucky reader!

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Celebrating our residence at Co.Co

Behind The Scenes, Words by Emma Kate

When I signed up to Life InStyle three years ago – my very first trade show – I had no idea what might come from it. I hoped for orders and stockists that could enable me to start my business (it did), but I never could have imagined that at this trade show, I’d also meet two loves of my life… Charles – my now partner – and also – Lisa, Sue and Josh of Co.Co – one of the very first stockists on our books, and a few years on, some of my dearest friends.

It was 2016, and I was newly moved to Melbourne, a little out of place with not that many friends I could call on for wine. Lisa suggested: come to Co.Co after hours, let’s have wine! I drove over to Port Melbourne and arrived to a bottle of my favourite white, a cheese platter of dreams, and a bouquet of fresh flowers (kindred flower lovers – this girl just gets me). Right there and then, I knew I’d made my first new Melbourne friend. And all I’ve known since, is joy, laughter, wine, travel, flowers, dream chasing and a very dear friendship with Lisa.

Fast forward another year, and after a good while of renting desk and warehouse space at Orbitkey HQ (Charles and Rex, I will forever be grateful for your generosity to house us as long as you did), our two businesses were growing too fast and the office was bursting at the seams. And over a(nother) wine, Lisa suggested: why don’t you move in with us?

A handful of weeks later, two removalists, a lot of Bunnings shelves and some help flown in from Adelaide (thank you Dad), there we were: in residence.

It takes everything to chase (and grow) a dream, but it means more than everything to be able to show up every day, and do in the company of the Co.Co family. Sue, Josh and Lisa are the most generous, welcoming and supportive souls I know – and being surrounded by their good energy is the most beautiful blessing.

Last month, we celebrated with an intimate gathering at Co.Co with our nearest & dearest – with bespoke cocktails courtesy of our friends at Capi, and wine provided by 6ft6 Wine.

Needless to say, we have so much creativity and collaborations we’re dreaming up, beyond warehousing our stock and having our studio desks in residence at Co.Co. It’s just the beginning. Watch this space!

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Meet our stockist: Co.Co

Meet our Stockists, Words by Emma Kate

Something that’s been on our dream list for quite a while now is to invest a little more time going back to the heart of how this very brand started. That is, right here on our blog, telling real stories.

And with the launch of our brand new, beautiful website, it feels the right time to launch a brand new monthly series here on the blog, introducing you to some very, very special humans.

You see, to get our products out into the world beyond our own online shop, we join forces with a host of extraordinary small (and not-so-small) businesses spanning across Australia, The United Kingdom, North America, Canada and Asia. The people we get to work with everyday are absolutely incredible. Our stockists are our brand ambassadors. And they’re all generous, hard-working, delightful, talented, generous, loving and kindred good humans, all with their own stories. And it’s these long-term relationships fostered that are one of our greatest joys of all, in doing this business.

Today, we begin our Meet our Stockist series. Starting with one of our favourites: Co.Co!

We always say the “Co.” in Emma Kate Co. holds many meanings beyond an abbreviation for “Company” – to us, Co. also stands for Co.llaboration. Co.mmunity. Co.urage. Co.nnection. And when we met Co.Co it was like a beautiful twist of destiny.

Co.Co was one of our first stockists, and owners Lisa, Sue and Josh quickly became our dearest friends. Three years on, we even moved in (read the full story here.)

It’s hard to describe Co.Co with just words. Co.Co is… your lifestyle confetti! Co.Co is more than a store filled with beautiful products (although, everything in the store is exceptionally beautiful). With a passion for beautiful design, a little touch of luxe and a whole lot of love, Co.Co is a coveted destination for inspired living.

Step inside the Port Melbourne store, and you’re guaranteed to be showered in love, and discover the most beautiful homewares, stationery, furniture, books and collection of pieces to bring a little touch of magic to your home.

Without further ado, let’s meet Lisa: Creative Heart of Co.Co.

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No sooner had I touched down from New York, another adventure beckoned. After a 12-hour pitstop home to wash clothes, repack and eat some avocado, it was back to the airport I wandered. I had been invited to experience 48 hours in Manila, with my favourite hotel brand Shangri-La.

I have previously had the great pleasure of staying in a number of Shangri-La properties across the world (see London, Hong Kong) – and this time around I was very excited to experience a hotel very familiar, within a brand new destination for me – The Philippines. Here’s a wrap up of my 48 hours spent in town.

Photo of me by The Straits Times journalist Jose Hong

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[emma ]

New York City is is a city like no place else. It’s a concrete metropolis full of life and energy – a place of frenetic chaos, and nourishing calm, where possibility always lingers in the air, palpable.

Partnering with NYC Go and Cathay Pacific, my long-time friend Ellen and I were so excited to experience the city this year in the spring. Although we were officially in town for almost two weeks, most of it was spent taking on the National Stationery Show – fulfilling a long-held dream of mine, in life and business (full report on that, soon!)

After the show wrapped, we had 48 hours FREE in New York to eat, drink, sleep and wander. From torrential rain, to blistering sun, we had it all! By day, we checked out the obvious (and necessary) touristy must do’s, and then wandered far beyond the guidebook. By night, we clinked cheers into pink sunsets from soaring rooftop bars, then dined alongside New York locals at chic Italian establishments in the heart of Greenwich Village.

We walked most places, hopped on the subway like we were locals, and hailed yellow cabs everywhere else… west to east, downtown to uptown, we photographed, twirled, and explored the city inside out. Awed and exhausted, challenged and inspired, we squeezed ALL the joy from every single minute. New York, you were magical.

[ellen]

After living in London together and travelling all over this beautiful little globe of ours together (and apart), Em and I have experienced our fair share of travel highs (and lows). We’ve learnt a few little things along the way.

Our top tip? With just 48 hours, the best way to really sink yourself into a city – dive into all the really good bits – is to WALK. Go, get out, walk (hail a yellow cab if you get weary feet), ask a stranger, talk to a shopkeeper, natter with your barista over your morning brew…These people know the city best.

It’s also good to have a little hit-list, to get you started. Write it on a cafe napkin (we did), keep it in your notes, or even keep snapshots in your phone of that dream breakfast spread, that bridge view, those cobbled streets, and tick a few off as you go.

Here’s a few of our favourites to get you started…where we ate, drank, stayed and played – and where you should too, on your next trip to the city that never sleeps.

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Today, I’m thrilled to share the back story on a very special and much-loved piece in our latest collection: Little Dreamer. The words I write and put onto products have always (so far in) come from my own personal journey – travel inspired, love inspired – words I needed to hear, and share. But, the words of Little Dreamer are the result of a beautiful collaboration with one of my dearest friends Jody.

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Well, this is a post I never imagined I would write (ever).

I am completely humbled – and extremely honoured to have an editorial feature in the current issue (25) of Fête/Life Magazine – the cover story, no less.

In late January, just before I hopped on a plane to Hong Kong, I spent a day with the lovely team, as we captured a ‘day in my life’ on camera, for the print feature – and on video, which I am so excited to share today!

There is nothing quite like the Fête aesthetic: timeless, understated, exquisite, inimitable, and I have long been inspired by Jane and Annabelle. I vividly remember the day I came across the very first issue, fresh out of design school, wide-eyed and eager, fervently emailing Jane to asking about any possible internship opportunities. Who knew this was to come! Thank you so much for sharing the behind the scenes of my life, and the inner workings of my mind, dream and brand.

The issue is twelve pages (twelve!) and yet, still my lengthy interview responses flowed far beyond those pages. So below, I have shared the extra content not shared in the magazine.

You can see issue 25 for the full interview.

Video: by the beautiful + talented Madeleine Gill

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Hong Kong is a sensory overload – chaotic and energising, it’s a buzzing metropolis where East meets West. If you’ve been to Hong Kong before, you’ll know the immediate intensity of this city – the sticky summers and foggy, fresh winters; the bright colours, sounds and people colliding from every which-way, in a beautiful kind of symphony.

Although I had been to Hong Kong twice prior, it has always been in transit to – or from – Shenzhen, when meeting with our manufacturing partners. It’s a city I have longed to properly explore, but not yet had the right opportunity to. This year, in late January, the stars aligned. Travelling with my beautiful Mum, we planned for 3 nights in Hong Kong to stay and play.

For a city so fast-paced – where it is often said, “it’s already tomorrow in Hong Kong” – what really surprised me about our time exploring a city is the sense of peace that coexists among the soaring skyscrapers. Resting just beneath the surface level commotion – the clashing colours and unrelenting hubbub – is a gentle foundation of peaceful calm, underpinning it all.

You only need to explore a little deeper to find it.

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