ELK Tales - Meet The Maker - Wooden Jewellery
ELK Tales - Meet The Maker - Wooden Jewellery
We recently took a trip to Cebu, Philippines to visit our longtime friend and supplier of ELK’s sustainable wooden jewellery collection, Christine Hamoy-Kintanar.
Based in Mandaue City, Cebu in the Philippines Christine is an active member of the Go Green organisation and she assists in the running of numerous, local charitable organisations. She was a key driver for the relief team after Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 working tirelessly in the Malapascua Island region and has continued in the redevelopment and resettlement of this area.
Over the years, we have built a wonderful relationship with Christine who has become an (unofficial!) part of our family. She has triumphed at running her own business and at building a successful program to train and educate people from poor and slum areas giving them traditional handicraft skills that equip them with techniques and knowledge to work either within her business or with other companies.
During our recent visit, we asked Christine some questions about her relationship with ELK, the secrets to the success of her thriving business and her approach to sustainability and ethics.
You have worked with ELK since you both started in 2004, how did you meet?
We met at the Manila FAME October Edition of 2005. [A premier design and lifestyle event, Manila FAME is a bi-annual showcase of craftsmanship, design innovation, and artisanship from Philippine makers].
We would love to know more about Earthworks and how you have successfully run your business all these years?
I could not take all the credit, that's for sure. :) and we wouldn't be here now had it not been for Adam & Marnie [ELK Co-Founders]. But one thing is for sure, instinct played a huge part along with hard work. That and the sensibility to seek advice and learn from other people not only experts in their fields but from the staff and our suppliers. As a decision maker, judgment calls are almost always an everyday occurrence, especially in the manufacturing industry. Yes, there were times I had doubted myself, and the industry, but that doubt helped me become a more practical and pragmatic decision maker. One thing for sure, it is not only design and product quality that makes a company but more importantly, integrity.
After working with the ELK design team on a new design what are the key steps that go into making a product?
Being handmade, to produce a single product goes through a lot of people. From the WOODWORKERS who shape each piece, the COLOUR technician, be it dye or stain or spray, to the ALLOCATOR who collects each component and part in that single product to give to the woman who STRINGS & ASSEMBLES the jewellery. Don't forget, the Quality Control staff in between each process to make sure that each part is just as our client want. I would say, it takes at least 7-12 people to produce one single piece of jewellery depending on design complexity.
How does your company, Earthworks, approach sustainability in your production and the broader industry?
Very seriously. And in any company, it must be initiated by management. With that said, it is quite a challenge. Sustainability is collaborative - it needs other people who sometimes do not value that as much. Sustainability is an attitude and until that changes, only then can it be fully achieved. But like any other goal, despite the challenges, we keep moving forward one step at a time starting in the workplace.
Tell us about some of the initiatives you have in place to create an ethical and supportive work environment for your team?
We adhere to government-mandated labour standards (minimum wage, social security, national health insurance) we provide free medical including eye check-ups, and additional medical insurance for regular employees. Most of all we treat everyone with respect and dignity. We provide a work environment that they want to come to every day not only for the pay but because they enjoy showing up for work. We continue to explore how we can give back to them and hopefully, on our 15th year anniversary next year we will have launched a sustainable scholarship program not only for our staff but children of women who have assembled our jewellery over the years.
Can you tell us a bit about how you recruit new staff and how you train them?
Our hiring process is on a grassroots level, we hire people already in the industry through word of mouth. Usual background checks and vetting and if recruited, our new staff are given the routine orientation on company policies and work culture.
Elk Insider - Meet the ELK Little Collins Team
We are a proud, Melbourne design label and want to share with you more about Elk, what happens behind the scenes and introduce you to the people who make our brand tick.
We have an amazing team of creative women who are passionate advocates for Australian fashion. Having a flagship store in the heart of the city precinct gives us valuable one on one time with every person who visits.
We will regularly share new stories in Elk Insiders and for our debut feature, we shine the spotlight on the ELK Little Collins Store team. Two of our crew Sam and Haruko share some of their styling advice, highlight their top picks for the season and let us in on some of their favourite Melbourne CBD hangouts.
We look forward to seeing you at 182 Little Collins Street Melbourne very soon.
We met with our Little Collins Store Assistant Manager, Sam to hear about some of her styling advice, her top picks for the season and expose some of Sam’s favourite Melbourne CBD hangouts.
What are the five key winter items every wardrobe should have?
o A great pair of jeans that will take you from 9 to 9
o A trench style winter coat either mid-thigh or mid-calf length
o Leather boots are a must
o A coloured scarf to contrast all the greys and blacks of winter
o A fun chunky knit to keep you warm
What do you think is unique about ELK's approach to customer service?
Each one of our customers are part of the Elk family and our way of welcoming them into our store is like getting a visit from a relative. The wonderful thing about our customer service is that nothing is ever too much we will happily do anything at all to accommodate, assist and always reach above and beyond for every member of our Elk family.
Our friendly retail crew are running one-on-one styling appointments at our 395 Plenty Road Preston store and at our 182 Little Collins Street Melbourne store. They are taking appointments and offering assistance with styling, fitting and accessorising and are happy to work with you to find a particular outfit or to work on understanding your wardrobe needs.
To book your session please email your preferred store at the below email addresses.
World Oceans Day
At ELK we are passionate about having a positive impact on the world we live in today and the world our children will inherit. On June 8, we are celebrating World Oceans Day to help bring awareness to our global oceans and the devastating impact that plastic is having on marine wildlife.
We look to amazing organizations and individuals leading efforts such as Tangaroa Blue , Take 3 For The Sea and Parley TV. We are on an all-encompassing sustainable journey to reduce our environmental impact and support our oceans. At ELK, we are working hard behind the scenes to reduce, refuse, reuse and recycle our waste. We have been overwhelmed by the amazing people who have created eco-initiatives to help business like ours manage and reduce our waste. Together, we are finding solutions to source materials for our products and packaging that are renewable, recycled, sustainably certified, recyclable or biodegradable. Our goal is to eliminate plastic packaging from our business and products.
We have lots of exciting initiatives in the works, to keep up to date with our journey, please see more on our ethics page.
ELK Tales - Marnie Goding
To celebrate Mother’s Day we took some time out with ELK Co-Founder and Creative Director Marnie Goding and her two beautiful children to learn about the inspiration behind her creative endeavours, how she balances a creative life with motherhood and the words of wisdom she will pass on to her children.
Words of wisdom your mother taught you?
Mum is an amazing, positive influence and has an incredible sense of calm. She is incredibly supportive but the best thing she has taught me is how to laugh. She and I can laugh until we cry - we did with her mum too and now Willow shares the same sense of humour and an ability to laugh (at ourselves mostly!).
Do you have a favourite memory from your childhood with your mother?
Mum is a botanical artist and generally the most incredibly creative person I know. The fondest memories are of her teaching me to sew, how to make things like papier mache, work with flowers amongst other things – at the time I remember thinking, and it is still true now, that there isn’t anything she doesn’t know how to do and she always does everything absolutely perfectly.
How does your career influence how you approach motherhood?
Adam and I have built a business based on creativity. We are fortunate to travel and are constantly looking for variety and new inspiration and so I approach our children with the same ideals. Whilst we run on tight routines we realise our kids are sponges and are looking always for new experiences, to see new places and adding as much inspiration and exposure to newness as we can is important…..we are writing the first chapter of their lives.
Balancing a business and children, what is your number one piece of advice?
I, like many people, when you have your own business and decide to have kids, had a romantic notion of being able to work with my kids sitting quietly beside me. I learnt early on that this never works and you cannot focus on both at the same time. When you are working you are working and when you are with the kids they are your sole focus. So my advice is to pick one focus at that moment and don’t try to look after both!
View our new season arrivals here xx
ELK Tales - Megan Weston
Based in the beautiful coastal town of Barwon Heads, Victoria, visual artist Megan Weston, draws inspiration from the natural environment using aerial photography as her inspiration to a create a beautiful kaleidoscope of colours. We sat down with Megan to learn more about how she balances a creative life with being a Mum.
Words of wisdom your mother taught you?
‘Turn your face towards the sun and the shadows will fall behind you’ this quote used to hang on our childhood home wall and sits well with me as a daily reminder to always seek the positive and turn your back on the negative - words to live by.
Do you have a favourite memory of your mother from your childhood?
So many to choose from but the one that stands out was the time my sister and I set up a ‘restaurant/shop’ and we would have free reign in the kitchen where we would cook probably the most awful food and mum used to play along as the customer! Mind you, she never sent anything back to the kitchen, even though I’m sure a weetbix cake was the most horrible thing on the menu. Ha!
How does your career influence how you approach motherhood?
The way I have set up my business is purely for the flexibility of running the household so I can be there for the kids when they need me.
Balancing a business and children, what is your number 1 piece of advice?
Hire a house cleaner and outsource any jobs you don’t have time for, prioritise your day and be flexible.
What's next for Megan Weston?
There’s always something in the pipeline! I am working on a new body of work that will be released very soon, exciting times ahead.
View more of Megan’s beautiful work here.
ELK Tales - Kip & Co
We are excited to introduce Alex, Kate and Hayley, the talented creators behind the bright, colourful and vibrant lifestyle brand, Kip & Co.
We sat down with the Kip & Co trio to learn more about what inspires them and the words of wisdom their mothers taught them.
Words of wisdom my mother taught me?
It’s hard to remember exact words as our mum passed away when I was 14 but I know that while she invested every bit of her being in us kids she made a real effort always with Dad and keeping their relationship strong. It’s easy to forget the fellas some days but I’ll never forget that they gave each other a kiss every morning and night as Dad came and went to work and I’ve tried to have this as a minimum, combined with a family dinner at the table. They pushed “grace”, which I’ve dropped, but the sentiment of love and gratitude isn’t lost. – Kate
Do you have a favourite memory from your childhood with your mother?
Kate and I are sisters and our Mum passed away around the age we are now. I have so many great memories of Mum although it’s been a long time since she passed away and I was relatively young. Mostly I remember fondly Mum out in the garden tending to her beautiful flowers and plants early in the morning before we even got out of bed. She had been up, run 5km and then was busy weeding and planting. Her energy and vitality, even with 4 children, was phenomenal. She also had the best wardrobe and we had fun looking through all her shoe boxes beautifully stacked on shelves and parading around in her heels. - Hayley.
How does your career influence how you approach motherhood?
My brand-spanking new baby Quincy joined the Kip&Co family from day dot. In the best possible way, there is very little separation between work-life and home-life at Kip&Co, which is great from my perspective because it means all our families are incredibly close, and parenting Quincy will be shared with my business partners when we are in the office! We all love having action-packed lives, so I’ll continue to stay busy and active, and bring Quincy along for the joy ride. - Alex
Balancing a business and children, what is your number 1 piece of advice?
Make sure you have supportive business partners who are friends first, colleagues second. Your health, happiness and family are always priority. - Alex
What's next for Kip & Co?
We have an action packed 2018 with kids apparel launching, a collaboration with an iconic brand, plus multiple new collections filled with loads of new product and lots of delicious colour and texture. - Alex
ELK Tales - Katherine Sabbath
We recently met with some of our favourite creative women to learn more about the inspiration behind their endeavours.
Well known for her iconic and well-loved cakes and recipes, we met with the unique cake creative, Katherine Sabbath, along with her wonderful mum, Yen.
Do you have a favourite memory from your childhood with your mother?
I remember always loving going grocery shopping with my mother, and being mesmerised by all of the colours and shapes of fresh and packaged foods showcased in the aisles. She would pop me in the child seat of the shopping trolley and sneakily grab me a few green beans to munch on while in the grocery store. I loved green beans and they always kept me occupied! I learned everything about picking and preparing fresh produce from my Mother.
What was your mother's response when you decided to go out on your own in the creative field?
Of course, your parents only want what's best for you, so when I decided to pursue self-employment in a non-traditional career (home baking and cake teaching), they were worried about my financial well-being. I'm glad they taught me how to manage money, because these skills helped me to carefully plan my career change without too much financial strain. After attending some of my cake demonstrations and seeing me through the process of self-publishing my first cookbook, "Katherine Sabbath - Greatest Hits", they couldn't be more proud of what I've achieved so far, and excited about the kinds of projects a career of this nature can create. Needless to say, I'm incredibly grateful for my Mother's support!
Did you learn to cook from your mother?
My Mother is a wonderful cook and is always experimenting with exciting new flavours and cooking techniques. When it comes to food, she instilled in me the value of trying everything before judging, so growing up, I was exposed to a plethora of flavours and cuisines, and always had a curiosity about ingredients. I'm very lucky to have been given such a diverse palette from a young age! I love watching my Mother cook, but I love eating her food even more.
What qualities do you most admire in your mother?
My mother Yen, is extraordinarily patient and compassionate. Her love and acceptance of others is a quality I hugely admire. She just has this profound capacity to love other people and she never judges others without knowing their backstory. Her quiet resilience is another quality which surprises me almost every day. I've learned more from my Mother than I'll ever know!
When did you decide you wanted to bake professionally?
Leaving my full-time role as a High School Teacher was the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make in my life but so far, it’s also proven to be the most rewarding and exciting! After people found my work on Instagram and started reaching out to me with opportunities I just couldn’t turn down, it became difficult to satisfy both passions at the same time and to the best of my ability. It’s been fantastic because now I am able to teach people from all walks of life, in all different types of learning environments and also manage to keep in contact with my old students.
What's next for Katherine Sabbath?
My focus is on supporting and inspiring the home baking community through new ideas, recipes, and skills. I'd love to publish another cookbook and also work on my video editing skills, so that I can make some cake decorating tutorials. Watch this space!
Shop Katherine and Yen’s favourite ELK outfits, by clicking here.
ELK Loves Local - Chocolatier
At ELK, we love all things local and our friends at Chocolatier are one of our favourite local businesses.
Sharing the same values as ELK, where family is the foundation of their business, this Ivanhoe based chocolate company use artisan methods in the crafting of fine chocolates, pralines and truffles.
With a vision to manufacture premium chocolates using the world’s finest ingredients, backed by outstanding customer service, Chocolatier has been a chocolate lovers heaven for over 30 years.
Sustainability is also a key initiative across the brand with water and energy use being at an absolute minimum.
Chocolatier also recycles as much as possible and are a signatory to the National Packaging Covenant, an agreement that ensures continued a commitment to relieving landfills.
We have worked with Chocolatier over the past few years and the quality of their chocolates and customer service is second to none.
We are proud to support this locally based company who share their chocolates globally whilst retaining a successful, family-based business where a sense of community is central to their success.
To discover more about Chocolatier, click here.Read More
Unicef - Double the Donation
Elk is proud to be a Platinum Champion for Children since 2011. Thanks to your generosity in contributing to our Elk online donation matching initiative, we have been able to donate over $160,000 to support UNICEF's work for children around the world.
This Christmas we are excited to announce that we will double your donation! For every $2 you donate we will donate $4! To donate, simply purchase from our Elk online store and at checkout select the ‘Donate $2 to UNICEF' option.
UNICEF is the United Nations Children's Fund, the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realised. Working in 190 countries and territories with a focus on improving the lives of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children, UNICEF has worked tirelessly for over 70 years to improve the lives of children and their families.
Your donation can help transform the lives of children around the world. Every day 16,000 children die from preventable diseases. Yet clean water to drink and bathe in, improved sanitation, routine childhood immunisation and good, nutritious food are all simple solutions to combat this.
Your donation contributes to UNICEF programs such as:
• Improve access to healthcare, safe water and sanitation and are the world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries.
• Ensure quality education for girls and boys.
• Protect children from violence and exploitation.
• Guarantee that the world’s children are not malnourished.
• Give all children everywhere access to the rights they deserve.
Marnie Goding & Adam Koniaras xxRead More
Movember at Elk
At Elk, family is at the heart of everything we do. Everyone has a father, partner, brother, son or friend who at some time in their life is affected by a men’s health issue. At Mr Elk, we are on a mission this #Movember to create some seriously impressive Mo's to help support Men's Health. Our Mr Elk Crew is rising to the challenge to support the only charity tackling men’s health on a global scale, year round.
Eddie is the ringleader of Mr Elk’s Mo team and as is fitting of a leader, his moustache goal is inspired by the one and only Australian Mo King, Merv Hughes. Eddie has joined #Movember because he would like to help raise funds and awareness for men's health. Eddie hopes that as this event becomes more popular and well known so that more men can become comfortable talking about their issues (mental and physical), rather than keeping them to themselves. Also, this is Eddie's first attempt at growing a moustache and he and his friends are looking forward to having a laugh at his progress.
Heroic Australian geologist, Antarctic explorer and academic, Sir Douglas Mawson, is the moustache hero of Elk Co-founder and Director, Adam. Already ahead of the game with his facial hair growth, Adam is on a mo-mission to achieve a refined yet bushy 'Chevron' style Mo by the end of #Movember. Adam has joined our Mr Elk Mo Crew with the ambition to encourage his employees and fellow gents to talk more. Like many of us, Adam has experienced the challenge of expressing his thoughts and emotions from time and believes #Movember provides a great environment to talk about men's health issues with family and employees to raise awareness of common challenges.
Family man Linn from our warehouse team is looking forward to growing his Johnny Depp inspired moustache, a neat and lean version of the Chevron style. Linn has joined #Movember because he believes it is a great way to spread the word on the importance of having open conversations with friends and family and always listening and giving time to everyone.
We are excited to watch Elk old timer Jordan’s Mo progress as he endeavours to grow an ambitious moustache, known as the "Walrus" style, just like his Mo Hero, Ned Flanders. Jordan supports #Movember because he believes it is important to make man time with his mates and to check in on a regular basis.
Hailing all the way from Canada, Owen from our warehouse team has taken on the mo-mentous challenge of growing a Mo just like his hero, Tom Selleck. We are hoping when we photograph his Mo achievement at the end of #Movember he will style his Mo in homage to 80's retro fashion with a Canadian Suit otherwise known as the top to toe denim look. Owen has joined the Mr Elk Mo team to do his part in raising awareness of the importance of having honest conversations with friends and family on a regular basis.
Introducing Mikey Andersson
Mr Elk recently teamed up with local photographer Mikey Andersson and a curation of ethical Australian brands including Seljak, Will and Bear and Mr Simple on an adventure photo shoot to some of Tasmania’s most breathtaking locations. We sat down with Mikey to find out more about his creative life and a recent trip to Tasmania.
Tell us a bit about yourself; what made you choose the path of being a photographer?
I was born in Sweden, though I have spent many years travelling. Traveling the world has had a huge impact on me and has shaped me in many ways. It also led me to Australia back in 2005 where I instantly fell in love with the sun, surf and relaxed lifestyle of a small NSW coastal town. In 2012 I was fortunate enough to become a citizen of this amazing country.
From a young age, I have always had a vivid imagination and I loved creating images based on the characters and stories I came up with in my head. I would draw these characters always conscious of creating depth using light and shadows. At the age of 11, my grandfather gave me my first lesson and introduced me to my first camera. It was an original Polaroid and I remember thinking how the concept of freezing a moment in time by introducing light to a little black box was the coolest thing ever.
Since then I have always loved taking photos. However, it wasn’t until I discovered digital photography and photoshop that my passion for creating images through photography went from being a passion to also being a career.
I am now a commercial photographer specialising in fashion and advertising. Creating images still remains about telling a story. The story is often about a brands identity and creating images that convey the mood, values and voice of that brand. However, I am still inspired by fictional characters and stories that I create in my mind and this gives birth to creative shoots and collaborations. I try and do as many personal assignments as I can to fuel my creativity and keep things interesting.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I usually start my day with some kind of physical activity. Just getting my body moving and getting my head right. It used to be surfing, but since moving to Melbourne my surfing has sadly taken some hits. The days when
I’m shooting, it’s all about the shoot. I don’t see or pay attention to much else. If I don’t have a shoot on, I will probably spend the day planning for one or editing.
What is one of the best work assignments you have been on?
I have been fortunate to work on some pretty amazing projects with great brands. However, I think this recent trip to Tasmania was definitely one of my favourite assignments so far.
Tell us about your recent Tasmania trip, how did it come about and who was the brands/team involved?
The idea of the trip was born around a fire pit in the backyard of a Melbourne coastal town. The conversation quickly gathered momentum once the suggestion of an adventure trip was put on the table. The shared passion for exploration and braving the elements in search of surf and solitude connected everyone who sat around the fire pit that night. Obviously, my mind went wild with the possibilities of photographically documenting an adventure trip to Tasmania.
I decided to involve brands including Seljak, Will and Bear, Mr Elk and Mr Simple, as they all shared our passion for exploration, as well as strong ethical values about their footprint on the earth. Seljak, for example, creates amazing recycled wool blankets using offcuts from the factory floor of Australia’s oldest mill and Will & Bear plants 10 trees for every hat sold. Mr Elk ensures the quality of their products is made sustainably and ethically, they endeavour to be aware of the impact they have on the environment and also the communities who create their products.
We left Melbourne on a cool August evening; our convoy of 3 land rovers filled with excited adventurers crossed the Bass Strait with a rough plan of our week ahead.
I had obviously scouted some spots that I thought would be ideal for photos, but we wanted to just let the trip evolve naturally. Firstly, we headed North-east, where we found beautiful beaches, blue skies and 20 degree days, definitely not what any of us were expecting from a winter Tassie trip.
The colourful scenery of Freycinet National Park (Wine Glass Bay) at sunrise was a great hiking adventure creating the perfect backdrop for some stunning photos. As we headed south, so did the temperature, and the Tasmanian winter showed its true colours.
We explored Mt Wellington’s snowcapped mountains where Will and Bear’s beanies and Seljak’s wool blankets kept us all warm. My favourite part of the trip was crossing over to the west coast. The landscape is absolutely amazing and there is literally a photo opportunity waiting behind every turn. We set up camp one night in the middle of nowhere after getting a little lost and having crossed a number of vast open fields. It was one of those places where you truly felt a great absence of civilisation. Nothing but ancient wilderness surrounding you in every direction. For me, I think that moment was what made the trip. That was what I had hoped to find when first starting to plan this trip, absolute solitude.
Any new exciting projects coming up?
I have a few projects in the pipeline at the moment. I feel like my photography has really evolved in the last year and I am really excited about the direction it is going.
Elk on The Grace Tales
We are excited to share a recent ELK feature on The Grace Tales – the globally renowned blog created for the stylish mother with inspiring style and inspiring stories. See an excerpt below from the feature and click the link below to see the full article - http://thegracetales.com.au/tale-marnie-goding/
"For Melbourne-based accessories label Elk, running a business is a case of combining family, passion and a social conscience. Founder Marnie Goding works alongside husband Adam to create a quintessentially Australian brand that is inspired by Scandinavian design, creating everything from jewellery to clothing and handbags, including the recent addition of swimwear to their hefty stable of products...
The busy mother of two credits her marketing background and childhood as the driving factors to creating a business that has grown steadily since its inception in 2004, most recently winning the Telstra Medium Business of the Year award, which celebrates the brand’s commitment to Australian design, independent fashion and ethically sourced materials. So how does the business creative make marriage, children and business all co-exist? “It’s about playing to each other’s strengths and supporting each other when it’s most needed. Good communication and time away from the business to talk is also important. Having an external and impartial advisor to help us navigate some of the tougher times has also been great. I have great respect for Adam and each of us have learnt when to let the other person take the lead.”
Read on to hear more from Marnie on her business highs and lows, how she uses enthusiasm to tackle motherhood challenges and why building a brand is all about being slow, steady and well-prepared…
Read more on the Grace Tales Blog
Stockist Feature - Perican Bing
We are excited to welcome a new independent boutique to the Elk family, Perican Bing in Portland, USA. This light filled store is stocked with a beautiful curation of homewares and apparel. Owners Dominga and Lynne both come from well-established marketing and buying careers and have teamed their talents with a passion to create the unique shopping experience of Perican Bing. We spoke with co-owner Dominga Ramirez to find out more about her life and Perican Bing.
2. What does a day at work at Perican Bing consist of?
The day starts with a strong coffee, then perusing news, blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. I force myself to balance the creative part I love—merchandising, creating content, styling, etc. with the operational needs, like inventory management, marketing and tackling my epic To Do list!
3. Favourite travel item?
It is a tie between my Tempurpedic eye mask and my poncho. Both are always with me when I travel.
4. Describe in five words or less your ideal day
Sunday NYT, Coffee, Quiet, Sun
5. What is on your bucket list of travel destinations?
Now that Cuba is open to travel from the US, it’s definitely on my list. I’ll make my Mom give me dancing lessons first, though!
6. If you were stranded on an island and could only take one item with you, what would it be?
Trivial Pursuit game. May as well use my time wisely.
7. If you could have any 5 people over for dinner who would they be?
If choosing from who’s currently alive, then I’d say the author Meg Wolitzer, Dolly Parton, Issa Rae, Pamela Adlon and Elizabeth Warren. Guess it’s a ladies night!
8. What is your spirit animal?
My mom, daughter and I have kind of a fascination with moths. We’ve had a few come into the store that we’re pretty sure are someone we once knew.
9. Favourite Elk item this season?
The wool cape. It instantly pulls any outfit together and is versatile enough to work with jeans, dresses and even joggers.Read More
We are so excited to announce that ELK has won the 2017 Telstra National Medium Business of the Year Award.
We are proud to have been the only Victorian business to win a national award and we were so honoured to share the night with some of the most inspiring, creative independent businesses in Australia. Together we are contributing to our community and economy and the chance to celebrate the entrepreneurial, hard working Australian spirit was truly wonderful.
We all should be proud of the more than two million small and medium businesses who are Australia's major employers and the spirit of our country. For us it is time to celebrate and reflect on the past 13 years and thank you for your support, for championing Australian business and for joining us on our journey.
Here's to the future!
Marnie and Adam xxRead More
Telstra Business Awards 2017
We are so pleased to share all the wonderful messages of support we received from the Elk community in the lead up to winning the 2017 Telstra Victorian Medium Business Award! We would like to personally thank each of you for your continued support and express our gratitude to all of our amazing customers!
Marnie and Adam xx
"ELK, you're a business inspiration! We love watching you evolve and grow, it inspires us to try harder and to dream bigger. Congratulations & good luck! - PAYA boutique"
"ELK has been the most delightful and innovative company we have dealt with over the last decade. Their commitment to service and animal causes is commendable! - Jenny ODonnell"
"Congratulations Marnie Goding and Adam! We have worked together for many years now and it is always a pleasure. The very best of luck to you and the team! - Sharon Kyriacou. Elevated Boutique"
"Congratulations Marnie Goding and Adam! Love everything you represent about ELK.Gorgeous, creative product, a modern business with a great culture. You deserve a win - Sally Kailas"
"Well done ELK Team! Your brand, ethos and mission are so admired. Best wishes - Elle"
"Marnie Goding and Adam have a business in the lifestyle industry that needs to be applauded. They have grown, innovated and stayed true to their brand. Outstanding! - Louise King - Arlington"
"Congratulations to Marnie Goding and Adam and the ELK team. Your business model always puts your customers first and your success is a testament to that!! - Adam Worling"
"Congratulations to ELK for building a global business that supports independent retailers and their often forgotten loyal consumers. Well done Marnie Goding and Adam - Leigh McKeown"
"Congratulations Marnie Goding and Adam on this amazing achievement and for creating a business and workplace we can all be proud of. Good luck! - Mali"
"Congratulations on being selected as a finalist for the 2017 Telstra Business Awards. We couldn't think of a more deserving business for this award. - The Ivy"
"Congratulations and well deserved. The ELK team amaze me every season, Style Fabric and price! One very happy customer....Keep up the great work! - Michelle Anable - Your Home Matters"
"It's been an amazing journey seeing Elk grow over the years. Through it all their mission has always been to support, create and inspire - from maker to buyer. - Alice Robertson. We love ELK - POD EMPORIUM"
"We have been buying fabulous ELK accessories & clothing to sell in our shop for 6 years. They are high in integrity & generous in business. - Rosey Neilson"
"We absolutely love the Elk product at our Boutique in Echuca and we get very excited when the new range comes in! The quality fantastic, Staff great - Shirley (Prato Echuca)"
"Thanks to the Telstra Business Awards for recognising what we already knew- that Adam and Marnie have built an awesome Aussie business! - Jane Gosde
What a fantastic team. You are already a winner. - Art Gallery of Ballarat, Gallery Gift Shop, Manager Sue Jackson"
"I have been associated with Marnie and Adam of Elk for the past 8 years and feel honoured that I have seen the product grow so successfully over that time. - Jane Wilson"
"Congratulations on your nomination Marnie & Adam! We are so very proud to be stockists of such an amazing label! You are truly deserving winners!! - Anita Halsall - The Black & Dane Trading Co"
"Canada LOVES Elk. Marnie, Adam and the whole team are always a pleasure to work with. They are smart, kind, thoughtful and generous. Elk is a national treasure! - Karena MacAllister"
"Congratulations ELK! You have such a wonderful business and are most deserving of this nomination. Fingers crossed for a win! From the Papaya Team - Mary Peiffer @ Papaya"
"It's amazing to see ELK kicking goals worldwide all while designing and innovating right here in Melbourne, Australia. Keep it up! - John Rosato"
"Dear Adam and Marnie, Congratulations on becoming a TBA finalist! We're all so proud of the fantastic brand/company you've worked so hard to create! - Bec Fitzgibbon"
"CONGRATULATIONS!!! So well deserved! Good luck...x - Hayley Bromley"
"Absolute awesomeness! Great brand, fabulous team and truly amazing owners! - Sally Bianco"
"Wonderful Team ELK, Could not have wished for a more deserving company. Good Luck x - Nikki"
"GO TEAM GO! All the best for the hard working, family run Melbourne business. - Gemma Watson"
" Wishing Elk all the best success on their nomination for the Telstra Business Award. The nomination in itself is an Award for the Company and all its staff. - Anastasia Karaman"
"I can't think of a more deserving business to receive this award. It's obvious to everyone they love what they do and they do it so well.- Wendy Keast (Tempted)"
"Good luck guys..... We love our Elk products and are proud to be part of the extended Elk family. Keep up the good work!! - Concepts of Armidale"
"Congratulations on this amazing endorsement of the incredible business you have built Marnie, Adam and all of the Elk team! - Katrina Kruze"
"Congratulations ELK. Great Company. - Country Affair. DUNGOG NSW"
"Good Luck Elk! You have done such an amazing job and I love working with you xoxo - Paula Madafferi"
"Toffish is proud to be a major stockist of Elk. We are proud to sell a quality product in our store. Have an amazing night Marnie and Adam. - Fiona Cairney"
"I have been apart of Elk since the beginning of their dream. Marnie and Adam are true professionals Continually Innovative and a Business of Integrity. - Homeleigh House"
"The one Australian fashion business that upholds all the best qualities of our culture: creativity, production values, pricing ethics and humanity. Thank you. - Urban Oasis, Pyrmont"
"We all thank you for your exemplary creativity, production values, and ethics together with a rare humanity that makes our relationship a pleasure. - The Urban Oasis team"
"So proud to be a retail partner of ELK and to have shared your journey over many years. Good luck and congratulations from Francis and Francis. - Francis and Francis"
"ELK is honestly one of the best well run small businesses I have ever been apart of! Everyone works as a team and the love and support cannot go unnoticed. - Katelyne Tobias"
"Congratulations Marnie Goding and the ELK team for your nomination. We love being a stockist of ELK and for your continued support of small businesses. - Essential Homebody"
"Best Wishes Marnie Goding, Adam and the ELK team, we are proud to be sharing this journey with you. Di Billiet - Di Billiet"
"A well deserved honour to ELK for their thoughtful brand and product evolution, and all they give back to the communities they work with and care about. - Paper Plane (store)"
"Go Marnie Goding and Adam, it is such an amazing workplace to be part of- Helen
Congratulations ELK- an amazing Australian brand! Their design, integrity, authenticity and focus on their retail partners and customer service is incredible! - Liz Shrimski"
"Extremely high quality, affordable fashion that we love! Good luck guys!!! - Kate McLaren"
"Congratulations on the amazing company you have worked hard to create. The team at shop girl flower girl are proud to represent your excellent product - Kerist Klekner"
"Such a wonderful brand and the products are just divine and made to the highest quality! - Danielle Goldstone"
"In over thirty five years retail experience I have never dealt with a more supportive, honest and ethical company as ELK. The whole team are amazing. Good luck. - Alison Noseda"
"ELK is hands down the best suppliers ever! With the dog eat dog attitude in retail, ELK is a shining light on how to do business with love and professionalism. - Bridget Laucke, Alabaster"
"A wonderful company which stands for great design and quality, value for money, integrity and community and family values. Congratulations on your achievements. - Sue Silverblue"
"Congratulations to Marnie Goding and Adam on their well deserved nomination. We are so proud to be a stockist of their innovative and inspired field. - Soup on Sundays"
"I have been a stockist of ELK since 2008. Marnie Goding, Adam and their team have been absolutely amazing to work with. They take pride in their product and service. - Valerie Burgess"
"Wishing you good luck and success in the Telstra Business Awards. I have only been dealing with you for two and half years but every encounter has been a pleasure !! - Leigh Bartholomaeus"
" ELK is our fastest growing fashion concept label - always exciting, always innovative. Congratulations Marnie Goding and Adam and your amazing team at ELK Accessories. - Wendys Boutique Ltd"
"Good luck to Marnie, Adam and the team from ELK, Preston from the Business Development Unit at Darebin City Council. - Miss Danielle Phyland"
Muse - Summer 2017
We are excited to share our new season collection, Muse.
“A person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist”
The world today is a technically driven, sensory overload where the creative line is blurred between origin and originality. So for Summer 17/18, we have gone back in time. We have found influence in the past and in genuine artistic pursuit, by looking to just a few of the women who in their time have challenged art to move in new directions. Through pioneering new ideas, in breaking rules regarding subject, scale and technique they can be perceived as creative inventors.
Their intention, like ours is today, was to move forward, to progress and develop not only their craft but not to settle for the norm. We have let a little of this combined talent influence our most recent collection and in doing so have taken cues from their individual aesthetic.
Each print in the range was designed in house and every piece has been created with great care and consideration. We talked at lengths about how what we create today is relevant in providing a sense of the genuine and we challenged ourselves not to settle for the ordinary.
Like the women in our focus, at Elk we have a commitment to our craft. These women are role models from whom we can attribute a sense of independence and a confidence in our own ability and creativity.
Collectively they are our MUSE.
Discover your summer style here.
Samee Lapham #elkloveslocal
At Elk, we love all things local so when we discovered the work of Melbourne based photographer Samee Lapham we knew we had found a kindred spirit! Samee is taking over our Instagram account this week featuring special places and spaces that make our hometown of Victoria in Australia so unique.
Before Samee took over @elkaccessories for the week, we took some time out to find out a little more about Samee.
View our Instagram @elkaccessories to see Samee’s favourite local spots.
What is your favourite local spot in Melbourne?
There are too many to list! Since moving to Melbourne at the start of 2016, my map app has become so clustered with stars the whole of Melbourne is now engulfed by yellow! As I’m based in Fitzroy North, I'm quite biased to the area I live in—my absolute favourites within a 10 minute radius of my house include Carolina or Breakfast Thieves for brunch, Billy Van Creamy for the best ice-cream in Melbourne (hands down!), Gler Thai for a mean green curry, and Longplay or Joe’s Shoe Store for a drink with friends. Yes, it’s all about the food!
What’s a normal day in the life of Samee?
Perhaps the only normalities in my day-to-day are coffee and vegemite toast. Everything else at the moment is pretty sporadic and changes daily—from shooting & editing photos, to writing & curating content, to website design, social media management, preparing EDMs, designing print collateral, and replying to emails somewhere in there too! It’s organised chaos, as I like to call it.
Favourite travel destination?
Again, too many to list! Whilst I lived in London over 2013-2015 I managed to fit in quite a bit of travel to Europe and is in part what inspired me to pursue photography more seriously. Top of the list includes Lisbon, Berlin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and ALL of Italy.
I also travelled to a fair amount of ski fields with my parents and two brothers growing up, and our most memorable trip was to the Monashee Mountains, BC, to ski backcountry. Of the thirty odd people on the trip, my mum and I were the only two women, which made it even more daunting (why were we the only women!?)—we had avalanche training and spent five days in waist deep powder in the middle of what felt like nowhere. It was incredible.
What’s on your bucket list for travel destinations?
Santorini, New York, Joshua Tree, Reykjavík, Uluru and Tassie!
What inspired you to become a photographer?
I’ve had a camera in my hand since early high school, but it was actually when I first got a digital camera and then an iPhone that really sparked my day to day photo-taking the most. The friends I made whilst living in London played a huge part—we would meet up on weekends and wander around taking photos together, it was seriously the best fun. I was taking more photos than ever, but I was also looking for the better shots and learning from others who were equally as passionate.
I’ve worked as a graphic and digital designer since 2006, which I love, but it’s whenever I pick up my camera that I feel my happiest—and so I chase that feeling. It’s nice to have a balance between design and photography in my work nowadays.
What is your spirit animal?!
I’ve always loved polar bears, so let’s go with that!
An Elk Easter with Oxfam
This Easter, with your help, we are excited to support Oxfam Australia with the gift of a chicken for every online order at Elk.
For every order placed throughout Easter, we will purchase a chicken through Oxfam which will be gifted to a family in Mozambique on your behalf.
Oxfam Australia works to increase access to food in Mozambique by providing families with the initial training, support and livestock to raise chickens. Households can then eat the eggs as well as sell chickens and eggs at the market to earn money. It's a small gift that will change a lot for these communities.
Visit unwrapped.oxfam.org.au for more on the difference this donation makes.
Elk xxRead More
Welcome to our New Flagship Store!
We are exited to share with you the opening of the first Elk Flagship store! After nearly 14 years this exciting new store marks a landmark occasion and an exciting step in the Elk journey.
Our new space is located at 182 Little Collins St within a heritage building with a rich retail history. Our Co-Founder and Creative Director Marnie Goding, says of the space “Once we saw the incredible original features, like the curved glass, we knew it was the space for us.”
When planning the design of the space, Marnie and Adam collaborated with renowned interior designer Fiona Lynch to create a very unique and welcoming retail environment that reflects the ELK aesthetic while still pushing the boundaries of innovative interior design.
“We really wanted to create a space that was progressive in a design sense but remained warm and respectful to the Elk brand heritage. The brief to Fiona was to create this design evolution through the use of considered finishes, warm lighting, soft flooring and functionality as a priority.” Marnie explains. Fiona’s design response to this brief was to use a natural colour palette while creating depth and interest through the choice of finishes and materials. “Despite it being a small space, there was a lot of detail to consider” Fiona adds.
The resulting design creates an environment that is both warm and inviting. Supple leather adorns the pull-out accessories wall to encourage touch while aluminium details, luxurious corian stone and brass all play a role in creating a comfortable experience.
“Functionality was a key consideration in the design of this space. The conceptual architectural ceiling grid offers essential flexibility and versatility in the space for product display, while materiality was pushed in creative ways to add texture and warmth to the space” says Fiona.
A truly bespoke collaboration in every sense, Marnie, Adam and Fiona Lynch were able to engage with local makers and craftspeople to add warmth and personality to the modern design, “Within our business, collaborating with artisans is central to what we do so to have the opportunity to work with such talented creatives made the process very enjoyable. From hand polished plaster, bespoke stonemasonary, leather makers and sculptors all bringing their craft to the space made the process a true collaboration of artists" Marnie explains.
To launch this exciting milestone we celebrated with some of our family and friends, click on this link to take a look through the Facebook album of our opening event: Elk Flagship Store Opening Event Photos
ELK is now open at 182 Little Collins Street, Melbourne CBD, contact us on: 03 8609 1247. Drop by and visit our friendly team during open hours:
Sunday 11-4pmRead More
Introducing Sally Bernard
Sally’s Instagram takes you to an aesthetically stylish place providing inspiration to women through styling ideas in children's fashion, women's fashion, interior design and decor. Among her talented flatlay shots are snippets of the Bernard lifestyle with her boys being regular guests.
Sally's impressive work has been featured in Home Beautiful magazine and we are now delighted to share the photos she recently took featuring some of her favourite Elk pieces. Check out her artfully styled imagery below.
The Elk Three-Piece Linen Jacket
We would like to introduce you to the Elk 3 Way Linen Black Jacket. An Elk team favourite, this unique Elk design has the flexibility to style in three ways.
Easy to adjust thanks to simple buttons, zip and drawstring details this classic Elk piece defines stylish simplicity and is an instant wardrobe staple.
We checked in with the Elk team to learn how they like to style their 3 Way Linen Black Jacket:
As a Cropped Jacket
As a Long Jacket
· Simply attach the bottom panel by the concealed buttons to create a long jacket. Layer over the Elk Block Striped Tank matched back with Elk Tied Straight Leg Pants or the all round favourite Elk Oslo denim jeans in black, blue or indigo.
As a Dress
Make it your own by adding texture, colour and layers with a selection of Elk jewellery.
We’d love to see how you style your 3 Way Linen Black Jacket – post of photo of your Elk style on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #elkaccessories
Discover our Elk Monument New Arrivals
Our new arrivals for the Monument Collection pay homage to the season’s inspiration. On the East coast of Spain sits a monumental piece of architecture called La Muralla Roja. Designed by architect Ricardo Bofill this incredible building inspired the season’s feature print and design lines. The resulting graphic demands attention through colour and application and is a tribute to the inspiring world of architecture.
Whether you are looking for jewellery, clothing, leather handbags, wallets or shoes everything is designed in Melbourne. Our products are handmade all around the world using specialised materials by experienced artisans and family owned businesses. We create everything to be wearable, unique and instantly recognisable.
Discover our new arrivals here.Read More
Marnie Hawson for Elk
We are excited to introduce you to one of our favourite photographers, Marnie Hawson.
After discovering Marnie via her instagram we knew we'd discovered a new creative partnership. Marnie has worked on some beauitfully curated projects for Elk this year and we know there will be many more to come.
We decided to hand over the Elk blog to Marnie so you can learn more about this incredibley talented creative...
My previous career as an environmental scientist has a big influence on my work as a photographer, in the sense that I connect most with businesses with an ethical and sustainable mindset. Conscious consumerism and fair trade are really important to me, as my values haven't changed - just my career.
One of these such businesses is Elk, who are based in Melbourne but work with small organisations around the world to produce their collections. All their manufacturers are visited numerous times each year and working conditions, company ethics, workers rights and workplace safety are assessed prior to any work taking place. In Elk's words "transparency and honesty are fundamental values upheld across the entire supply chain". Their timber is sourced from sustainable plantations and they support UNICEF programs for vulnerable children. AND they make gorgeous and functional clothes, bags, shoes and accessories!
I've been using a Huide leather backpack for a while now, and it's a great accessory to take to shoots - it fits my laptop, huge copper water bottle, and the million other bits and pieces that don't fit into my Pelican hard case (full of camera gear). I'm just waiting for it to get enough use to age and get nice and worn - I love imperfect and aged pieces the most, and therefore love owning pieces that will last for decades and show their history in their form. [Marnie Hawson].
Elk Monument - Monochromatic Story
Introducing the Monochromatic Story from the Monument Summer 16 Collection
Confident silhouettes that strike a balance between the conceptual and functional. Creative shapes, innovative fabrics and bold designs made in classic black, white and natural tones.
Introducing the MONOCHROMATIC story. Featuring block shapes such as the Grid Burnout Top and Dress this story brings an edge to this summer’s collection, with strong statement pieces a key design feature.
Alongside Elk’s signature use of original prints is the attention to fabrication and technique. A distinctive burn out texture creates a unique grid pattern in simple black and white. Our classic shirt is reworked in the Long Patch Pocket Shirt through clever tailoring featuring a unique inverted pleat with triangle detail - a tribute to our commitment to the intersection of considered design and aesthetics.
Sophistication and comfort come together in our Drapey Wide Leg Pant, creating a stunning angular shape of billowy folds.
Dresses are defined in a variety of shapes connected through our commitment to flatter the female form. The Four Way Linen Jacket offers ease and comfort with adjustable options to be worn as a cropped jacket, a long jacket, a skirt and as a dress.
Block shapes continue our commitment to timeless design with clever construction and our considered use of bold geometric shapes. Striking colours such as viola, marigold and sea green work in harmony alongside a more contemporary, monochromatic palette.
Our Elk S16 leather collection epitomises the design inspiration with structural forms crafted into beautiful and unique shapes. Hand crafted construction maintains Elk’s commitment to quality, authenticity and to using tactile materials. Footwear sees the introduction of the Reim Flat, handmade with a distinctive black and white print grounding the design in the origins of our inspiration.
Within the Monochromatic story, we showcase a mix of statement jewellery. The Enamel and Rope U Shape Pendant has been finished with complimenting materials, showcasing Elk’s commitment to considered design.
MONUMENT will be available at www.elkaccessories.com and in selected boutiques from August 2016.
Designed in Melbourne, handmade globally.
Elk xRead More