Ian Blackwell launches in Australia
timber gifts and homewares designer ian blackwell has crossed the ditch and exhibited to australian retailers for the first time despite wholesaling in new zealand for the past 20 years.
most of blackwell’s products are made from kiln dried new zealand rimu veneer. designs include trinket boxes, coasters and jewellery.
he decided to take the plunge into the australian market with life instyle in melbourne.
“the first 10 years were spent figuring out what it is exactly i was doing, the second 10, well where did they go?” he says. “four years ago we did a campervan trip up the east coast of australia and thought, why aren’t we selling here? almost all of our products would translate, so here we are.”
blackwell’s appearance was a hit with visitors to the boutique trade event. he started writing orders within the first five minutes of the show opening and believes his products will fit well in the local market.
“i think they will slot right in and in three years time you will be claiming us as australian, when that happens i’ll know we’ve made it.”
the brand is looking for discerning retailers with quirky taste and wants to focus on building strong relationships with a limited number of stores.
given the success of blackwell’s australian launch his products could one day reach further across the globe.
“australia’s perfect for us as you are our closest neighbour, so we’ll get established here before we take the next step, but why not, the world’s a big place and everyone needs gifts to give,” he adds.