You, Me and Whats-her-name?

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In July 2009, over their daily coffee, Cathy, Gloria and Simone, decided they wanted and needed to create.

Frustrated with the mass manufacturing of generic goods in big chain stores, we craved high quality, individual pieces at a fair price. We decided it would be nice to bring back the cottage industry – designing and hand-creating gifts sold locally, never compromising on quality. We began by throwing some names around, and ‘You, Me and Whats-her-name?’ seemed to work.
It started with a poster and an embroidery, and has evolved into original homewares and clothing designed by us and still made by us. At present we have five ranges, suggesting various areas within the house.

The first was designed with the living room in mind. Inspired by the simplistic drawings of Picasso circa 1912, they include quirky images of an ostrich, an owl, a camel, a flamingo and a penguin, all with its own unique colour palette. Each animal has its own range of cushions, a throw blanket, a framed embroidery, a stuffed toy and set of plaques all complimenting each other.

Next came ‘Hollywood Kisses’. Silver screen sirens Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot are the centre of the bedroom range, with vibrant lips of red, orange and pink teamed with black and white. Large cushions, throw blankets, PJ’s, and colourful bags for both lingerie and laundry are adorned with quotes by these infamous women.

Using hessian, linen and gingham we designed the ‘dining room range’ featuring table runners, napkins, tea towels, aprons and our ‘everything and anything sacs’ featuring pineapples and palm trees.

Our ‘recycled’ range followed. Beautiful, pre-loved, 100% cotton and linen men’s shirts are cut and sewn into something modern and useful, such as the ‘stuffed cushion’ – the ‘re-covered’ throw and the ‘re-stored’ sac. Then we made these with an Hawaiian variation. All are embroidered with ‘Reduce, Re-use, Recycle’ and are totally unique, one-off pieces.

The fifth, our vintage range, is all about the fabric. Muted tones working together with classic retro icons, such as Vespa and Cruiser bicycles mixed with feminine looks from days gone by. Many designs … as long as the fabric is vintage.

With the environment very important to us, we are using only natural fabrics which also feel so much nicer (100% cotton/linen/voile) and we promote all our cushions with duck inserts. We’re continually looking for other ways we can become more natural – using bamboo, and dying and printing our own fabric. All cards, paper and packaging are made from recycled materials.

Of course we have favourites but that constantly changes as we finish something new or are inspired by something else. Our process is simple, we start by making a sample or creating an embroidery on the computer. We then discuss it. If we love it we add it to the range, if we’re not sure we leave it out.

For Christmas I gave two of my friends a rag doll that resembled them. I called it, ‘My Beautiful Friend’. I further personalised it by writing a few words about the things that made them special. They loved them, so they are now part of our range. ‘A beautiful gift, for a beautiful friend.’ You can drop by and see a couple of examples, but of course they are made to order depending on your friend!

You can find us at the Artist Market on the first Sunday of each month and we are in the process of getting our own web page up and running – but until then please email us at youmeandwhatshername@me.com for any information.

We also are now in need of someone to help with the sewing, so if you can, email your particulars and we’ll be in touch.

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