Founder of Basil Bangs, Krista Huebner, chats to us about the inspiration behind the brand, the highs and lows of running of a small business and her tips on how to entertain outside.
What inspired you to launch Basil Bangs?
We started Basil Bangs with our mates back in 2010 because between us, we couldn’t find beautiful beach umbrella suitable for a wedding present. Ultimately our aim was to rejuvenate an enduring product category, and introduce our own ‘contemporary classic’. Mike’s background in product design and our collective love of the beach made it a no-brainer! As we’ve grown, both as a business and as a family, we’ve translated our vision of ‘design for everyday' more broadly, focusing on creating thoughtful products that suit our indoor/outdoor lifestyle at home, work and the beach.
Tell us about the highs and lows of running a small business.
Oh gosh - the highs are HIGH and the lows are STRESSFUL. But it’s a great ride. The fact that it’s all on you is a big thing but the creative freedom of realising your ideas and working with my husband is pretty fun.
What is the inspiration behind the latest collection?
Our collection this year was heavily influenced by the colours and sounds of growing up in the 80s and the dusty colours of the pacific coast and the southern California desert from our recent road trip there. It was like we put our collective memories to a sound track of Neil Young and through a Super8 filter. Think bubble-o bills, fibro shacks, zinc. the whole family squashed into the Kingswood going to the Gold Coast for holidays, mix tapes, terry towelling and tans. Faded vinyl, big florals, and crochet. Zinc on the nose, tan lines and tanning oil.
Run us through the process of bringing a collection together.
Mike and I will mood board colours, artworks, pictures and patterns we’re loving. Mike’s great at forecasting colours while I’m more about mood and feel. Together that process drives our development and ultimately informs how we want to shoot the range and what’s on our playlists. I’m a true Gemini so naturally a bit of a bowerbird but can be quite divergent in my directions. I’ll usually have two very strong directions I want to take. Mike helps crystalise it and pull it together. He’s the Virgo, and beds down the details and sweats the small stuff. Thank god he’s the one in charge of design!
What’s on the cards for Basil Bangs in the coming year?
We’ve just opened a summer pop up shop in our local ‘hood’ of Manly Beach in Sydney. We’re loving being in the shop showcasing the range in its entirety. Fun times! We’re also plugging away at some new things *secret squirrel*.
What are your top tips for entertaining outside?
Fresh flowers or foliage are a must and beautiful shade on a hot day is essential.
A good tablecloth (or placemats) are the low effort, high reward workhorse of any table setting. You can have the ugliest, cheapest, nastiest table underneath and no-one would know any different if a gorgeous cloth is on top! Plus, ours are of course the best - spill proof, wine proof and beautiful and easy to clean. AKA The Bomb Diggety.
In terms of food, we like to keep it simple with lots of shared plates and lovely fresh ingredients and a 'help yourself’ bar table with mismatched vintage glasses is also great. We make sure we have a festive mocktail ready to go, so that grownups and children alike can feel festive.