The selection process for Vaughan Baker has been a long and thoughtful one. And whilst our opening selection is a humble offering, it is one that has taken time to edit and refine. We want to take things slowly and set a clear path of who we are and what we are trying to say. Which we already know is much more than being just another ‘homewares store.’
All products and their inclusion have evolved and been influenced by the last 10 years spent working in and around the design industry. But more than that it has been impacted by travel, observing other cultures and time spent with people - conversations with old and new friends in Australia and London. A life lived visually has created an ever evolving mood board in my mind of what a considered and curated lifestyle looks like.
As my own taste and desire for ‘things’ has and continues to change so too have the products at Vaughan Baker. Some pieces have been seen in galleries on the other side of the world. Or a single image in a magazine or on instagram has prompted a search. However they got here, rest assured they have come from the hands of ‘local’ makers in small communities across the globe.
Whilst looking through my folders, books and collected snippets from travels I found the thoughts below from Japan at the start of 2015 . . . This trip, almost 2 years ago, was the catalyst that finally put the wheels in motion for the start of our Vaughan Baker store. And whilst I'm still trying to figure out a lot of the thoughts I had then, I feel like it's all slowly coming together.
Thoughts whilst riding the Japanese Shinkansen. . . January 2015
I think we can learn a lot from the Japanese. The way they live with less. And through considered ‘things’ they create beautifully restrained lives.
I have been questioning the ‘purpose’ of my store and whilst there are a lot of reasons for it existing - working for myself - creating beautiful things - being surrounded by beautiful products everyday - living a life and lifestyle that I determine - being in touch with people in the community - working with designers and artists - contributing to the world of design . . . . it’s ‘purpose’ hasn’t yet seemed clear. I have wanted to find a ‘reason’ for the store. A reason for it to exist. A reason for people to talk about it and a reason for people to visit.
I still remember the very first class I had at design school. We discussed recyclability and the fact that it is something that every designer must take into account. Really it is something that every person should be taking into account. But many don’t. It can be hard when you live in a society of opulence and excess to consciously make an effort or pay attention to issues of recyclability and waste. But in reality it doesn't have to be hard. If we considered more, we would buy less. If we paid for better quality, the need to replace would diminish. The words ‘recylability’ and ‘eco-friendly’ can both come with many mis-givings, but they don’t have to. By standing for quality, cleverness, beauty, timelessness, we are working towards less waste, and more meaningful lives.
I want my products to have a story. To each be considered and contribute to people’s lives. If it makes brewing a cup of coffee more rewarding. Or time on the couch together more relaxing. I want people to feel a connection to the space I create. I want them to want to visit and linger. I want people to feel a connection to the products. To pick them up and hold them and want to take them home.