Perusing the stalls under the stringy bark trees at the Emu Plains Market, the stunning creations of mother-daughter duo, Em + Jules, captured my interest immediately. I’m a sucker for florals and combined with timber crafted into fine forms, the Stix + Flora range ticks every box. AND the ladies are as equally beautiful as their creations, enthusiastically talking about their products and the process that goes into hand making each piece. I was even more delighted to discover that their studio is based in Mount Eliza and both were born and bred on the Peninsula.
Inspiration on the Mornington Peninsula is never far away for the pair. ‘A nature walk always refreshes our scenes’ and they admit that if they have to try too hard for inspiration, it just doesn’t work. Lucky for them, the inspiration for their work mostly comes naturally to them and their range is constantly evolving.
Jules’ background in leather craft and work as a saddler, where she learnt to hand stitch leather and use an industrial sewing machine, has given them the edge in creating pieces with a mixture of textures and materials. She has worked with many different textiles such as leather, canvas & neoprene, and her creativity flows from working with these materials.
Em confessed that her mum was a big influence on her creativity. ‘I have always like to create and make things myself. It was so great because mum was so hands on so I learnt a lot from her!’ Similarly is their advice for kids wanting to pursue a creative career, to learn from the best. ‘We are both great believers in attending creative courses’ and just go for it!
Like most people running a creative business they have their challenges. ‘The biggest challenge for us is sourcing new, quality materials for any new product’. But thankfully for their customers, their attention to detail means each Stix + Flora product is of the highest quality and the designs are simply stunning.
The Mornington Peninsula natives are taking their hand made business from strength to strength. Their love for floristry, styling and home wares has resulted in a range where form meets function. ‘Our products are so versatile’. And their growing customer base think so too, with stockists all over Australia and products in select international stores. They have also had their pieces featured on one of my favourite shows The Block and have their work available in The Block Shop. Fortunately for Mornington Peninsula locals, the creative duo are regulars at the Emu Plains market in Balnarring. ‘People LOVE handcrafted products & attending local markets to support local artisans’.
They too love what the Mornington Peninsula has to offer in the way of creatives and cafes. They declared The Commonfolk Collective and fellow Emu Plains stall holders ‘Emeldo’ among their favourites. It’s not all work and no play at Stix + Flora either. The girls love to grab delicious food and coffee from either The Winey Cow in Mornington or Style Pirate in Dromana. And as for a Sunday on the Peninsula? They are big fans of heading to the beach at any time of the year, attending a yoga session or visiting one of the many wineries in our region. ‘There are so many hidden beautiful places on the peninsula’.
Set to return to the market scene in spring, Stix + Flora, are a must to check out in person. Keep your eye on Em + Jules’ new additions to their range. ‘We are always coming up with new products’ and their latest inception is a glorious new range of timber vases. View them on their website www.stixandflora.com.au or visit their Mornington Peninsula stockists at Style Pirate in Dromana, Jardiniere in Mornington, Phoenix and The Turtle in Blairgowie and Mynd Interiors in Frankston.
Follow | @stixandflora
Shop | www.stixandflora.com.au