Behind every treasure, there’s a creator, and behind every creator, a silent story. They’re the words of Kathryn Watkins who, through her online business poppy + finch, unveils these creative narratives and the unique finds that come along with their artists for the avid online shopper. poppy + finch is a haven for those that appreciate precious finds from emerging artists.
Whether it be homewares, accessories, jewellery and more, there’s an array of handmade goods and one-of-a-kind finds to tempt both male and female. We chat the Kathryn about poppy + finch and the inspiration behind sharing these special stories.
Tell us about your background. What led you to develop poppy + finch?
poppy + finch was born from a love of collected and treasured objects – vintage finds and handmade products by incredible new designers. I wanted to create a place where I could share all of my favourite things, and so I named the project after my favourite flower + bird. My background is in interiors and design, and I like to consider myself as curating each object for my store or for my home. As the store grows, I hope to support more emerging designers and to engage p+f collectors in their stories.
Why do you choose to tell the story behind the designers/products?
I love the stories behind products – the good ones always tell a great story. Vintage items survive because they have been treasured by someone, and new and wonderful products emerge because someone had an all-consuming idea or a unique story to tell. Fledgling designers create each product with such zest + dedication, and I love to share this process.
What do you look for when considering a designer’s work to stock on poppy + finch?
I look for a designer who can communicate their passion and is confident in the value of their craft. I’m a details person, so I like to see a maker’s design sensibility extend to their visual identity – a clean logo, a beautifully wrapped parcel and a high quality of craftsmanship. A lot of heart and soul goes in to every poppy + finch parcel!
I’m currently on the prowl for an emerald coloured blazer, or a wild floral print. Something that says “Sure, I get stuff done. And I have fun doing it!”
— Kathryn Watkins
What attracted you to the designers/brands you currently have featured on your website?
Much Love, Illy was poppy + finch’s first ever designer, and I must say, she is just a spoonful of sugar. Her personality is infused in to every washi-taped ring box and hand written note, and the quality of her work is exquisite. I found Her and I after searching for months on end for beautifully made bow ties in quirky prints. I also work closely with my dear friend The Whittler, and love seeing his process, from self-taught whittling (wood carving) to innovative laser cut designs.
Which designers/creative people do you admire?
I draw most of my inspiration from colour and pattern, and I adore the work of Sydney designers Sarah Davison and Sibella Court. I’m currently reading Conversations with Creative Women by Tess McCabe, and loving hearing the different paths creative people take to arrive at joyous and surprising destinations. I’m an odd mix between creative and logical, so I like to surround myself with people who have learnt to fuse the two!
When you’re not working on poppy + finch, what are you doing?
I recently co-produced an exhibition for Object: Australian Centre for Design on sustainable fashion, called EVERGREEN. I’m also newly obsessed with Pinterest and I swoon over the ocean and muscle cars!
Where to next for poppy + finch?
Since poppy + finch launched in 2009, I ‘ve been desperate to create my own jewellery and stationery ranges. The Flora Pendant is the first of a laser cut range that I hand paint and customise. I’m LOVING this process — to draw a design, work with another designer to produce, and then paint my final touch on each petal. We’re also expanding our bow tie + men’s accessories ranges — it shouldn’t be so hard to buy creative + heartfelt gifts for men!
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