Every year in business is cause for celebration but this year will make any anniversary extra special including Capra Designs’ fifth anniversary.
Melbourne couple Bianca Lambert and Thomas Wilson are the people behind the label, which started as a craft project when Lambert taught herself to make moulds, researched resins and got started making pots.
“I have always loved crafting whether it is making jewellery, sewing, weaving or self-teaching myself a new skill,” she enthuses.
“The main catalyst to make my own pots was that I couldn’t find pots that were beautiful, in interesting colours that came with a drainage hole and tray. At the time I started pretty much all nice pots were Caches.
“I quickly realised other people were super interested in what I was creating and set forth turning this hobby into a business.
“I no longer make the pots myself but still design them and am still true to my love of colours and the handmade process. All my pots still come with drainage holes and trays.”
Capra Designs launched the Premier collection one month after the couple's first child Banjo was born. Lambert was making moulds, mixing pigments, pouring resin, sanding pots all day. It was manageable at first, but it quickly became apparent they needed to outsource.
“We found our manufacturer and visited several times to share our knowledge with the artisans. We also had to find a warehouse to keep our stock in. We started 'borrowing' space from Tom's father at Balin's headquarters (and never left!).”
While things moved in a positive direction quickly with the launch of their second collection, Aurora, it wasn't all smooth sailing.
“We had a false start in the US when we launched with an agent. We also put out a range of linen that was caught up in dock protests in Melbourne for a couple of months before arriving on Christmas Eve―needless to say that was too late for most,” she says.
What makes Capra Designs’ products unique is its silhouette―the shapes are simple but there is always an element that is eye-catching.
“I’ve also always made a point to use vibrant colours which has become part of our identity.
“From the outset I always decided colour would be an evolution rather than a clean slate, so most of the time we create a new palette by incorporating some of our existing colours from the previous collection.
“Colour is the link between each of our products and collections. We obviously choose colours we like, but we make sure they are not all too cool or too warm, it is a balance. That said, I lean heavily towards warm colours and find working with cool colours very challenging.”
Looking back, what are some of the highlights and is there anything Lambert would’ve done differently?
“Being able to do what I love while raising two kids by the beach is amazing. We also launched into the US, UK and NZ. I love to be part of a vibrant community of fellow creative people and business owners around Australia and the US. This year showed me how strong the relationships with our retailers are. I love that my job allows me to connect with people and that we help each other strive.
“There are many things in the last five years that didn’t go well, but I can’t wish I did them differently as I learnt so much from all of my mistakes or mishaps. I couldn’t be where I am today without all of the choices I have already made.”