As we set sail this Spring, Mini Maven is diving into Decor with Australian Designer Kristy Withers!!! Did you ever dream of a Rose Gold framed bed for your little Princess, or a cool metallic frame for your Prince? Founder and Designer Kristy Withers has done just that, and more! Introducing the Australian based brand, Incy Interiors, specializing in beautiful designer furniture for babies and children. Incy has touched down and available now right here in the USA~ Whether you want to design the perfect space for your new arrival or cherished little one, Incy is THEE go to place and has a keen eye for what’s hip! Offering endless style options and in-house decorators, you can easily fill you mini’s rooms with staple pieces, chic accessories, linens and more! Bring on the decor and welcome Incy Interiors to the Mini-Maven family!
KYMBERLY MARCIANO: Tell us about your experience prior to Incy! Did you have any mentors in school, and if so what did you learn from them?
KRISTY WITHERS: Prior to Incy I worked in marketing for big corporations. I did a graduate program at one of the big banks in Australia straight out of college, then transferred to another big bank for 5 years followed by another 5 year stint at eBay Australia. I had absolutely no experience at all in design, manufacturing or logistics but I saw a niche in the Australian market after a very long and exhaustive search for my son’s ‘big boy’ bed.
KM: What was the first design project you completed that truly and deeply made you proud, and why?
KS: Putting together our first collection was obviously very exciting but our metallic collection ‘copper/nickel range’ was the first collection I worked on where I felt like we were most true to ourselves and we stepped out of our comfort zone. It was one of our slowest selling collections for a long time and now we can’t keep it in stock!
KM: As a mom, do you have any tips on how to keep a clear head and keep the creativity flowing while balancing your day to day life with the little ones?
KS: I have become quite good at this after 5 years of trialling every possible option. I now segment my life into ‘work’ and ‘home’. When I am at work I am 100% dedicated to Incy and when I am at home I am 100% dedicated to my family. Obviously this doesn’t work all of the time but it has definitely lessened my mother guilt!
KM: What’s your scheming process like for new design projects? Do you tear apart the sample library and throw it all on the table for inspiration? Or are you more methodical in your process?
KS: Funnily enough I have just been preparing for our design day tomorrow. We are quite structured in our design process for new collections. We start the process with a very high level discussion/brainstorm on ideas and what products we are missing in the range, what is/isn’t selling etc. From there we throw out as many ideas as possible. In the same meeting we will refine the ideas down to a maximum of 3. Sometimes we have a clear winner so it makes it very easy but the majority of the time we then need to score the ideas based on our key attributes – well designed, practical and affordable. Once an idea is decided upon we then start fleshing it out. We put together draft designs and share that with our factory. They will then give us feedback on what will/won’t work and we refine it further together. Once we agree on a design we go into sampling. If we are lucky we will nail it first go but we have had to resample something 5 times before we were happy.
KM: We absolutely adore the linens you carry! Do you have a favorite design in these collections that you use more often than others in projects?
KS: All of the brands we sell in our store are our friends and I personally know all of the designers/creators back stories, why they started, why they do what they do, etc. Everything we do at Incy is ‘from the heart’ and that goes right down to the brands we sell.
KM: What’s your dream travel destination at the moment?
KS: I have always wanted to travel to Egypt after studying Ancient History at school. We were in the midst of fundraising for a trip for our Senior year when a travel ban was implemented. All the money we had raised by selling chocolates to our unsuspecting family/friends/neighbors ended up buying the school a new PA system…. I will move on one day!
KM: What kind of effects do you think color has on kids?
KS: Color definitely has an effect on children, they are very perceptive so bright happy colours will evoke energy whilst cooler colours will create a sense of calm.
KM: How has travel inspired your designs?
KS: It was as a result of traveling to both Europe and the USA whilst I was at eBay that I discovered that there was so much beautiful furniture for children out there but it just wasn’t available in Australia.
KM: What is your favorite product from your collection right now, and why?
KS: I will always have a soft spot for the Oscar bed as it is the bed that started it all.
KM: What do you think are some challenges when designing a space specifically for children?
KS: The main challenge when designing a space specifically for children is creating something that will grow with the child. It is also challenging but still possible to inject the child’s personality and interests into the room without any Disney princesses or superheros in sight.
KM: How excited are you about your US launch? What made you come to this decision?
KS: Our launch into the US was as a result of many requests from both stores and consumers. We aren’t opening a store in the states just yet (stay tuned) but we have launched a US specific website and now have full operations in the US including warehousing so we can ship across the entire country.
KM: Any tips for our readers who are designing a room or nursery on a tight budget? What are the most important items? Materials? Fabrics?
KS: My number one tip is to spend as much money as you can afford on furniture. Buy good quality furniture that will stand the test of time (and multiple children) and then inject bursts of colour and personality into the room with accessories. By buying less expensive accessories you won’t feel guilty about swapping them out when you get bored with them.
KM: Any hints on what’s to come next?
KS: For the US it will be a roll out of our full product range by the middle of year and for both the US and Australia it will most definitely be a complete new range to replace some products we are discontinuing. There is always something happening at Incy… it keeps it interesting!
KM: If you were a tourist in Los Angeles for a day, what would you do?
KS: I have a serious soft spot for Santa Monica so you will find me down there enjoying the beach, the pier, the mall and the amazing architecture.
KM: Do you cook? Any favorite recipes for spring that our readers would enjoy?
KS: No much to my husband’s disgust I don’t really cook. I love hosting a dinner party but daily dinners are the thing that tip me over the edge so thankfully my husband normally takes care of the cooking.
KM: What’s your favorite color for a room and why?
KS: Well right now it is Lexicon Quarter (Dulux). It is a basic white but it creates a blank canvas for you to change and evolve over time without needing to repaint walls.
KM: What would your dream project be?
KS: I am working on it right now! After many false starts we are now in the midst of building our ‘forever’ house. We have 100 acres in country NSW (Australia) where we are creating our own piece of paradise. I had previously been overwhelmed by the ‘forever’ component but now we have started I am seriously obsessed with paint colours, hinges, taps, cornices, etc and I can’t get enough.
KM: Where’s your happy place?
KS: Anywhere that includes my little family. If the weather is warm and we are close to the water with a cocktail in hand (not the kids obviously) I am one happy woman!