Shoutout: Lab KAJO
Stir Season Three starts soon. On 6 April 2017, voting for projects on the Stir website will commence. If you have a creative project in mind or already have something in the works, Stir will help you to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. It’s a scary step, so if you’re on the fence about making the move, read on to find out about Stephanie of Lab KAJO and how she managed to enter the Melbourne market and turn her Industrial Design degree from RMIT into a creative business. Check out what she has to say below.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your backgrounds.
I originally come from Hong Kong, although my family migrated to Australia when I was little, I spent most of my childhood in Hong Kong, an international city where multiple cultures meet. I have always been into design and arts, growing up I have learnt every kind of art that I can get my hands onto, from painting and sketching to pottery, textile, felting and screen printing. When it come to the time for uni, I decided to study Industrial Design, hoping to design some playful objects to brighten up people’s mundane everyday life.
Tell us about Lab KAJO and what inspired you to get started.
While I was studing at RMIT, I had a passion for sensory design and user experience, which I focused a number of my projects around. During this time I found that ceramic had a certain tactility which went with my learnings from sensory experiences. After uni I decided to combine my design ideas and ceramics skills into a small business which I called Lab KAJO, which is named after the Finnish word for shimmering light. As my brand has an emphasis on exploring the new, interesting things and interactions, I used laboratory, as we will see the best dawn after a long night of experiments.
Lab KAJO creates playful boutique ceramics objects, from delicate jewellery, tableware to hand stamped and illustrated planter sticks and magnets. Our designs are inspired by nature and dreamscapes. We explore possibilities in the mix of illustration, technology and traditional pottery methods. Our designs emphasise vibrancy, tactility, and playfulness, which are designed for the kid at heart.
What advice would you give to someone starting a creative career?
Fear it and do it anyway. Research, but don’t wait until you are 100% certain to start things, you will discover a lot more stuff to work on as you start anyway. There are often things of higher priority than the small details you were spending 2 weeks on refining. Also it is always helpful to practice talking to strangers about your business, you never know who you are talking to!
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