We sat down with Josephine Palmer, the award winning designer behind the Australian made Laikonik
range to talk all things sustainable, Tassie, mid century modern and of course Laikonik!
Josephine is a mother of two beautiful boys, who loves dark chocolate, espresso martinis, and anyone with a stellar sense of humour! Art and design are her passions, along with clever sustainable concepts. Josephine currently lives on an island off a bigger island (Tasmania) and spends as much time as possible in and on the water. She really is a gem of a woman with one of the keenest design eyes and lust worthy aesthetics around!
Tell us a bit about you and your beautiful business Laikonik?
Im Jo, the designer/maker/director of Laikonik Keepsake books and a mother of two feisty boys! Laikonik is all about clever sustainable design paired with beautiful thoughtful illustration and art using traditional methods of producing keepsake and memory based art products which have meaning and purpose. As director of Laikonik, and as a mother, artist and artisan, making original hand crafted Australian products is essential in a world of mass produced, commercial and disposable goods. We are serious about sustainability and quality but don’t take ourselves too seriously. Behind every baby keepsake book, every design, is an artistic impulse and a little bit of our hearts. Most importantly for us, inspiration always comes before commercialism.
What is your creative background and how did it lead you here?
I studied a degree in fine art in Hobart and printmaking in Perth and then specialised in graphic design and branding. Ive travelled world wide working in Australia NZ and San Francisco before settling in Bondi beach and bringing two boys and Laikonik into this world. Since then I've thrown myself into a Bondi Beach Reno and have at the present just moved my little family to Tassie to renovate a mid century modern home and begin a rebrand of Laikonik.
Laikonik products are renowned for their top quality finishes and inspired designs how do you keep this consistent?
All of our products are bespoke and produced in small runs in Australia which means tight quality control. If you are purchasing a Laikonik product you always know without doubt that it will be a limited edition and made of the highest quality materials, which I feel is essential in a world of mass produced, commercial and disposable goods. The words I live and use as my ethos are: Utility, longevity, beauty, simplicity.
What is your proudest achievement?
My biggest and also my proudest achievement at the moment is renovating my new home and its garden in Tasmania. I fell in love with this amazing architecturally designed home mid last year and thought maybe it was time to move myself and my boys back home to Tassie after 20 years of living and traveling around Australia and Overseas. The design is from the Sydney school of Architecture and is of the1960s Mid century modern style. It had a few quirky features which Ive removed, but as a whole it has great bones with its beautiful Tasmanian oak hardwood feature beams and walls it was easy to fall in love and find the potential. The ensuite had a glass wall — very odd so this had to go! I reworked the interior spaces and created the simplistic and minimal home I desired. Something calm yet highly functional…a little like my products at Laikonik!
The Laikonik once a year books are very special, tell us a little about them?
Laikonik Keepsake books are all about clever sustainable design paired with beautiful thoughtful illustration using traditional methods of producing keepsake and memory based photo journals which have meaning and purpose.
What are you passionate about?
Im passionate about my boys, good food, even better cocktails, sustainability, organic goods, creativity, art the ocean and beautiful functional design.
What is the Laikonik work space like?
We have just relocated to a stunning new studio in the Apple Isle which overlooks the river through a fringe of eucalyptus trees. Its much roomier than our old Bondi studio/home office! It's a space that is very white and minimal and full of natural light, room to move, create, laugh and drink tea.
What challenges have you faced starting your own label, and what are some of the most enjoyable aspects?
Challenges - geez where do I start! Its hard work, don't ever think for a minute you can launch a brand in an 8hr day! Working weekends isn't ever optional it's a necessity! I still love what I do and get a lot from my customers who love what we create, thats what keeps me going. Producing our product in Australia has had its financial challenges but it means we are able to produce a high quality and unique product in a highly competitive market. Last year was a huge year for Laikonik, we were overjoyed to receive the 2016 Gala Award for Best Australian Made Product so that makes it all worth while!! What are you excited about? What are you lusting after? We will be renovating the garage in 2017 to make way for a new Laikonik studio and a place to house our guests when we have an overflow! This tends to happen around Christmas, Hobart literally triples in size! Mona bringing in most people as well as the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race. Lusting, theres always a thing or two on my list but I'm obsessed with the new cane swinging seats by HK living.
What's next for Laikonik?
This year I am working tirelessly on a rebrand of Laikonik….So keep your eyes peeled for our exciting new look which isn't too far away!