I love it when I find a brand with stunning products as well as an ethos that makes me smile. So I was utterly delighted when I discovered Collectiviste, a naturally inspired lighting company retailing hand-crafted pendants and lamps made by artisan families in South East Asia and South America. Run by Nicole and her husband Dylan, their collection is carefully curated and sourced with integrity. The lighting is beautiful, the kind that creates a glow perfect for dark winter nights, but which looks equally stunning by day. Nicole talks to me here about how Collectiviste came about, the challenges of running a business with two small children, as well as her thoughts on interior trends for 2021.
So, over to Nicole to tell you a little more about the people behind the brand….
1/ What was the main motivation behind setting up your online store?
My husband, Dylan, and I started Collectiviste Ltd together after many years of working in corporate jobs and many nights spent dreaming up meaningful entrepreneurial ventures. The idea for Collectiviste was finally born after four years of life, work and travel in South East Asia, when we discovered the incredible shell work of the Balinese artisans and dared to imagine a life beyond our corporate nine to five. So, we took the leap into the great start-up unknown and moved back to the UK with a storage unit full of lamps and big dreams. Five years and two babies later, we have made Norfolk our adoptive home and are proud to have a successful family business that is supporting artisan families from South America to South East Asia.
2/ Tell us about your lighting collection
We stock a wide range of lighting, from statement ceiling pendants to unique and unusual table and floor lamps. Every piece is handcrafted by talented artisans using sustainable, natural materials. We work with various independent craftspeople in Bali and Java to make our lighting. We also offer a small range of home decor all handcrafted by amazing artists and indigenous Colombian tribes.
3/ Describe your style in 3 words
Naturally inspired lighting
4/ Do you have a favourite product or piece?
I’m currently in love with our rattan collection and can’t get enough of the shadows that they cast around my house in the evening. My favourite piece is the Medusa rattan lampshade, which is proudly hanging beside me in my office and was featured in World of Interiors magazine in September.
5/ What do you love most about your store?
The fact that every single item that we stock is beautiful and timeless. My house is literally bursting with Collectiviste lamps but they still make me happy and make my house look cosy and dreamy every single night.
6/ What’s your favourite thing about running your own business?
We strongly believe that business can be a force for good and being able to run a business that truly reflects your own beliefs and ideals makes it a pleasure to go to work, even on a Monday! I used to have the Sunday night blues almost weekly, but since starting Collectiviste it has disappeared.
7/ What do you think are going to be the next interior trends as we move into 2021?I think people want to fill their homes with items that really resonate with them and make them feel good. Natural, sustainable materials are ideal for this and I think the trends like raffia, rattan, bamboo, cane and kraft are going to be mainstays for the next year.
8/ What are you the most proud of?
That our little business supports artisan families across the globe. Being able to keep supporting livelihoods during the pandemic, especially for people who have much less government support has made us very proud.
9/ What challenges have you faced whilst running your business?
Too many to list! Running a business is such hard work and a major leap of faith. I think trying to manage successfully running and developing the business, whilst ensuring that we enjoy as much time as possible with our two beautiful children, Oscar (4) and Tara (18 months) is a daily challenge. Although being able to take them with us on to Bali for two months this year to source products and meet our artisans was an incredible experience.
10/ What’s next for your business?
We have so many plans for developing the business and so many wonderful artisans that we have met and would like to develop products with, particularly in East Africa and South America. However the current travel restrictions mean that the immediate future will be focused on developing our existing lighting collections. We have, however, developed an exciting new kraft pendant lighting range with our Italian electrical manufacturers and are getting ready to launch a gorgeous new bamboo lighting collection from Bali.
11/ Do you have an ideal celebrity customer?
I’m not big on celebrity culture so probably not! We only just got our first television last week (a Winter lockdown necessity!). For me, nothing beats getting emails and photos from customers telling us how happy they are with their lamps and how it has brightened up their homes. They give me warm and fuzzies every time!