Ridge Collection by Bee Line Design
We met Lucy Grant and Adam Brislin in 2017 when Beeline Design did collaboration with Felix Furniture and we were delighted to see them again in the lead up to the launch of The Ridge Collection, their new work inspired by the rich dairy-farming land of south-west Western Australia. We had a quick chat with them about this project, their journey to get to this point and where they hope to go in the future!
MM: When did you start making? and how did you got here?
BD: Adam and I met while living in London and I was impressed by his passion for what he did and his dream to one day start his own furniture brand- our first trip together was to Milan for Salone del Mobile so that really sparked an idea between us. Upon returning to Australia we settled in my home town of Melbourne and Adam started making pieces for friends out of our backyard shed before moving into the co-working space we inhabit today. In 2012 I had just had our first child and was doing more and more to develop the brand I spent my maternity leave from work developing our wholesale business and we really grew from there. We have tried to keep our growth slow and steady- releasing our first full range in 2015 allowed Adam to start making full time, and we have released a new collection each year. We now both work in the business full time and have also taken on an apprentice.
MM: What’s the most enjoyable part of doing what you do?
BD: When we unleash a new piece or collection which has spent months in prototyping out into the world and can measure the response, we love seeing where our pieces end up.
MM: What was the inspiration for this collection?
BD: Adam grew up in the South-West of WA surrounded by dairy farming land where the landscape was dotted with corrugated iron sheds. It was a material he had wanted to incorporate into our designs for a long time- we just hadn’t found the right way to utilise it. Adam spent many months researching how to bond the metal without welding to give the clean, seamless finish that is a feature on all of our pieces. Once we solved this problem we started to develop the range- we wanted to make this utilitarian material look luxe; we decided to do this by covering it in leather and pairing it with beautiful stones.
MM: How was collaborating with the Design School?
BD: We connected with design school last year when we were doing a photoshoot and wanted to showcase the versatility of our products- what better way than to get lots of stylists to give their take on it?! We were thrilled with the results- and so when planning our shoot for the Ridge Collection I knew I wanted the same energy and creativity. In both instances I gave them a pretty open brief and loved watching how they interpreted our pieces.
MM: How do you like to spend your time when you aren’t making?
BD: Working as a couple in business makes it hard to ever really switch off- Adam works up to 15 hour days 6 days a week and I divide my time between the workshop and looking after our 2 girls but Sundays are our days together. We really make an effort to get out and spend time together as a family- we love eating out at new places, going to markets and watching live music.
MM: Did you grow up in a creative household?
BD: Growing up I was always encouraged to be creative, I loved art and design from a young age and dreamt of being a fashion designer- when I finished School I enrolled in an Arts degree to appease my very academically minded father (he went to Oxford) but I knew from the first few months it was not my true passion and I dropped out and studied Fashion Design instead. I think my years working in the fashion industry gave me a lot of skills which I have been able to translate across into designing furniture. When Adam and I design together we come at it from different angles, he is very technically focussed and I am more about the aesthetic.
MM: What are you reading/listening right now?
BD: I am a bit late to the party but have just finished Big Little Lies- so good! Listening to a mix of Miguel and Gang of youths- looking forward to seeing them live in a few weeks.
MM: What is the first thing you do in the morning?
BD: Well after getting woken by a very vocal 2- year old demanding to be lifted out of her cot I usually sneak back into bed to take a few minutes to think about what needs to be done that day- between school and daycare runs, deliveries, emails and various errands it is a bit of a jigsaw and I always try to start the day with a plan- whether my day follows that plan is another thing!
MM: Best advice given or received?
BD: I left my last role in fashion because the hours and demands on me to travel where no longer feasible with a small baby and our growing business. Something my manager said to me in our last meeting has always stuck with me; she told me that I had a very strong aesthetic sense and to never lose my passion for it and to always follow my instinct when it came to that. We would had some pretty tense design meetings and would often butt heads but it meant a lot that she understood why I would always stick to my guns. It is something I have often recalled when Adam and I are discussing design dilemmas, he will tell me something is not feasible and I will fight to ensure that every aspect is in line with my vision of how it should look.
MM: What are your hopes for the next few years?
BD: We have just completed our first large export order to China and are very excited to see how our product is received over there, we would love to keep growing our brand both locally and internationally. Our next big plan is opening a showroom space within our workshop but finding the time is proving a challenge!
MM: Can you recommend a coffee place and a restaurant in Melbourne?
BD: No one believes me when I say the best coffee in our hood is found at a Japanese café- but Ichi Ichi Ku is the best! Also the best sushi! Earlier this year we made some tables and stools for Sunda and have been dying to try it- the food looks incredible so our next date night will be there for sure!