MEET LAUREN EMERSON AND GENEVIEVE HEWSON, FOUNDERS OF WALTER G. LAUREN AND GEN RECENTLY SPOKE WITH US ABOUT HOW THEY FOUNDED THEIR LINE, WHAT INSPIRES THEM AND WHAT'S COMING NEXT.
HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME INTERESTED IN TEXTILE DESIGN?
Textiles have always been a passion for both of us... we are drawn to pattern, color and fibers and often plan our holidays to places that have a rich textile culture like Vietnam and South America. Lauren did a Bachelor of Design with a major in Textile Design which saw her complete a six month internship in India working with various artisans.
HOW DID YOU TWO MEET AND DECIDE TO TAKE THE LEAP INTO ENTREPRENEURSHIP?
We met in high school when we were 12 and have been friends and textile addicts ever since. Lauren was living in India doing her internship and Gen was living in Hong Kong at the time and flew over to India to meet Lauren and the artisans that she was working with. It was obviously love at first sight and certainly re-ignited our already strong passion for textiles. The week before Lauren was due to return to Australia, Gen received an email from her asking if she'd like to start a textile company. The answer was yes, and the rest is history!
WHERE DID THE WALTER G NAME ORIGINATE?
The name, Walter G, is a nod to our late grandfathers, Walter and George who passed within a year of each other and left us each a small inheritance. It is with this that we were able to finance our dream and make it a reality.
IS THERE A COLOR PALETTE YOU FEEL DRAWN TO LATELY?
The colors of Jaipur - also known as the Pink City!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO STAY WHILE IN INDIA
Jobner Bagh in Jaipur. This place is the most unlikely oasis amongst the daily madness of India. Sweet smells of jasmine, frangipani trees and fresh ginger tea greet you as you walk through the old gates. The decor is equally as sublime, a unique fusion of new and old - we have done many a photo shoot in this magical and irresistible place.
WE HAVE LOVED WATCHING YOUR BRAND GROW, IS THERE A PARTICULAR DESIGN OR COLLECTION YOU FEEL ESPECIALLY PROUD OF?
Whilst there have been so many favorites over the last 5 years, our most recent collection - 'A Textile Voyage' - is pretty special. We feel that it really heroes the style that has become synonymous with our brand - a celebration of simplicity, organic lines and all that is imperfect.
WHAT'S COMING NEXT?
Always more pattern and color of course! But something that we're particularly excited about is our upcoming collaboration with Australia's oldest and leading antique, classic and contemporary rug company - Cadry's. Together we have created a capsule of luxurious rugs that translate the art of hand block printing through intricate and varied rug making techniques. The collection will be launching in 2018 - stay tuned!