Karen and Georgina are two passionate sandgropers who live in the Perth hills. Together they make up Convict – a new handbag label that radiates a sense of Australian history and landscape. They have been awarded the Zomp STYLEAID Creative Award, so STYLEAID attendees this year are going to see their work paraded at the 2014 event this Friday night! Ahead of their big night, we caught up with Karen & Georgina.
Who is behind Convict? Georgina Lewis and Karen Adie
How did you come to launch the brand?
We are friends and neighbours from the Perth hills, and had thrown around ideas for a while. We have complimentary skills and a similar design aesthetic, with my background in advertising and communications and Georgina’s in product and graphic design. Fortuitous crossroads in our lives was the impetus to create a brand of our own.
Where does the creating take place?
We both have a home office, looking out to forested, leafy vistas.
The view from Georgina’s office. Delightful!
What’s your favourite story about a customer?
One of our customers wanted to commemorate her much loved aunt and grandmother, so we personalised two of our handbags with their names. When we delivered them and tears ran down her face, she said “I’m sorry, I just didn’t realise they’d be this beautiful.” You can’t get a better reaction than that.
What inspired the name?
We wanted a brand name with strong Australian association and we came up with Convict. We like its strength! Of course, the convicts are a big part of Australia’s history – 1 in 7 Australians have descended from a convict. Most of us have had a ribbing about our ‘convict stock’ origins, but times change and so do attitudes. We have been incredibly moved when researching convict life, discovering amazing stories of resilience, hardship, bushrangers, pirates and escapees. We’re honoured to name our Convict handbags after real convicts and to continue to tell their real life tales.
What does the opportunity to participate in STYLEAID mean to you?
Winning the Zomp STYLEAID Creative Award has been wonderful. We get the opportunity to do our first ever runway show! We’re newcomers to the category and it gives us credibility to be recognised in this way, so we believe it will help open new doors and markets for us.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Creative freedom and creative control. Seeing your ideas become a reality into a gorgeous handbag!
What do you love about Perth?
We share a passion for Western Australia’s ancient landscapes; it gets inside you. It creates a freedom and the space and inspiration to create. The landscape has a strong influence on our pared back design aesthetic.
What does Perth need?
More fresh flower shops – not arrangements, just great bunches the customer can mix up themselves.
Most frequented coffee spot?
Glen Forrest Gourmet – it’s our local!
Best live music venue?
The Fly by Night Club in Fremantle.
Bunker Bay – it’s stunning, rough enough for fun but manageable for kids and the dog can go too! Tick, tick, tick.
Up north or down south?
It depends on the mood, south for comfort and laughter, north for adventure and spirit! Karen & Georgina