I love voyeurism and hearing other people’s stories.
I love it even more, when other creative people make the effort to bring stories to life. When I stumbled across Two Quirky Birds, it was a fabulous concoction of all the wonderful things I adore including interiors, fashion and food, delivered in a deliciously, honest and quirky blog.
In July, when I returned from my travels, I was looking for inspiration and discovered @twoquirkybirds on Instagram. I often found myself having a giggle and enjoyed their imagery, creative charm and style. When I have an appreciation for someone’s efforts I often reach out on Insta and before long we were having a coffee at Rusty Rabbit, my local breakfast haunt in Darlinghurst.
I have to say, Piera and Angela are just wonderful. They have such a clear vision for what they want to create and are truly passionate about sharing people’s stories.
These birds have inspired me to delve into some of Australia’s talent, join their culinary adventures and tour some of the creative and stunning homes of our most stylish.
If you want to be inspired and even get into some secret bird business, check out www.twoquirkybirds.com
So I too asked the birds to tell us their story…
“We started Two Quirky Birds in late 2014 after spending countless hours brainstorming different ideas. We knew we wanted to work together; it was just a question of uncovering the right opportunity that capitalised on our complimentary skill sets (writing and styling).
Eventually we uncovered an opportunity within our own demographic (women 30-55) for a site where women could access information on fashion, home style and food that wasn’t mumsy or mainstream but still accessible and “real” … and so Two Quirky Birds was born.
Twelve months on and we’re gradually growing our audience of like-minded birds through our weekly newsletter, web site posts and our social media accounts. We’ve got big plans for 2016 including some exciting collaborations and a move towards some curated e-commerce opportunities. Stay tuned!”
Big plans they do have… so watch this space.
If you missed it, Hills & West was also featured on the Two Quirky Birds blog. So super excited and so nice to be able to share our story.
Following is a little intro and insight into some of the areas covered.
Hills & West – featured on Two Quirky Birds
One of the many things we love about what we do is uncovering incredible Australian women who are following their dreams and creating amazing things. One such person is Aisha Hillary, founder and designer at Hills & West, a boutique accessories label with an exquisitely curated collection of bags, clutches and folios all handmade right here in Australia. Her designs fuse function and form, impeccably stylish but also cleverly designed, with a timeless and minimalist aesthetic (and affordable price tag). With designs for both men and women, these pieces make the perfect Chrissy gift.
What inspired you to start designing handbags?
I have always loved handbags. I adore the different shapes, how they are designed for specific uses, the materials they are made from, the stories and history behind them. Also, how happy a unique find or new addition to your wardrobe can make you feel.
How did it all start?
Each year I always try to learn a new skill, so in October 2014 I booked myself into Ars Sutoria in Milan (I was already in Europe for work), on an intensive handbag-making course. As well as teaching me the fundamentals of handbag design and production, the teacher, who had been a pattern maker for Hermes and Louis Vuitton, taught me how to appreciate traditional techniques and the importance of quality and craftsmanship. I was hooked. When I returned to Sydney I called the CEO of the tech company I was working for and told him I was going to resign and make handbags.
Why the name Hills & West?
It’s a combination of my nickname, Hills, and the influences from my strong Western European upbringing, West Europe, Holland. Plus, I think two is always better than one, and Hills & West had a ring to it.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your gorgeous designs?
I really wanted to create luxury accessories that incorporated smart design, traditional craftsmanship and premium materials. Aspiring to declutter and simplify my own life, I created a staple collection of functional yet stylish everyday cardholders, folios, clutches and a backpack, designing for the modern man or woman, on the go, without the luxury price tag. When I was travelling in my corporate role I was all about minimising my luggage and having versatile and durable accessories.
Tell us a bit about where/who manufactures your bags and your raw materials.
My bags are designed and handmade here in Sydney. This gorgeous couple who have been hand making bags for over 35 years work with me to refine and ensure that the bags are of the best quality and durable. I also buy all my leathers from NSW Leather. My hardware is imported, as currently I can find the best quality from overseas. It is a balance between supporting local businesses whilst creating the best product possible.
How would you describe yourself in four words? Energetic, passionate, creative and organised.
What are you passionate about?
New experiences. I love meeting new people, understanding how different businesses work and creating things or strategies that are unique or can make a bit of a difference. I love that Hills & West has given me a vehicle to live and breathe my passion. Very fortunate.
If you are interested in reading more of the interview or having a sticky beak into the stunning homes or restaurant reviews click here.
Angela and Piera have done such a wonderful job bringing together such interesting people and views I wanted to say thank you