A few weeks back Tess and I (Rikki) hopped on a plane and for the first time in a long time and flew overseas. Bali, for a few nights.
Why? Well, in the midst of a late night instagram scroll Tess stumbled upon a beautiful home that we felt was perfect to photograph our coming collection in. It just so happened to be on a tropical island, so we packed our suitcases full of delicate vases and lamps, crossed our fingers in hope that everything would arrive safely and set off into the sky. Of course as mothers of small kiddos, scooting off to Bali for the weekend felt like an absolute luxury. You can be sure that we soaked up every second of our hands free holiday...I mean "work trip".
No no in all seriousness there was quite a bit of work to be done. The other main reason we wanted to get over to the isle of the gods was to pursue a creative endeavour we had been dreaming up for a long while... Carved timber furniture. No-one can carve timber quite as well as the Indonesians do. Such an incredible art form that has been perfected and curated over centuries of practice. Of course we did speak of keeping our entire range in the bounds of Australian made, however we also didn't want to sacrifice the quality of workmanship for these pieces just to keep within our label of "Australian made". In the beginning stages of ave.nue101 we were deep within the 2020 bubble. exploring international craftsmanship was not available to us and so our Australian made label developed very organically. Now, however as the world starts to bloom again we have love heart eyes for exploring what this culturally diverse world has to offer us in relation to our design process. There are some incredibly talented crafts people walking this globe and whilst of course we still adore having the majority of our pieces made from Aussie hands we are certainly like kids in a candy store knowing we have the makers of the world at our finger tips to bring our creative visions alive. now ... back to Bali.
DAY 1: Day one began with a 3am text message from Tess saying; "5 mins away". wow, on all days I had set my alarm wrong. Whoops, but I wasn't missing this flight. So I stumbled out into the darkness threw on something warm and dragged my suitcase down the driveway. We were off. Vibes were high even though Tess had had approximately 2hours sleep the night before. She had photography deadlines to meet and turns out she wasn't missing this flight either. Off we went. After what felt like a few thousand airport cues and a relatively decent flight and we had touched down. It was deep in the middle of winter when we left so we were very much looking forward to feeling the heat. The plane doors opened and that wave of Balinese warmth hit us. We had arrived. Straight to the airport convenience store for a Bintang and then into our transfer van to the hotel. We stayed at Alila in Seminyak and I must say the infinity pool was an absolute dream. Our work station was well and truly found poolside. We checked in on a few emails, threw on some clean clothes and wandered off down the street to Motel Mexico for a taco and a margarita before heading back to bed for some very over due sleep.
Day 2: We kicked off day 2 with a big sunrise walk along the beach. It was hazy and warm and the smell of morning prayer incense filled the air. To be back in Bali once more being greeted by morning smiles from the locals was just perfection.
Brekky time then off to work. Todays activity was refining our samples and meeting our makers in person. Highlight = relearning to ride a scooter after our 4 year Bali hiatus. Side note: I'm (Rikki) currently pregnant so stakes where high but "just like riding a bike" it all came flooding back and we were zipping around the streets in no time. After all timber samples were refined and finalised we were on all time high. The pieces are absolutely stunning and the quality is incredible. Plus to see our designs in person was a whole new level of wonderful. Eep we can't wait to share these by the way! Back to the pool for some admin and a lay about in the sun then dinner at Ku De Ta, a scooter to the gelato shop for a bit of late night sweets and then home to our hotel.
Day 3: Day three was a more relaxed day. No real "on site" commitments today so we hopped on our bikes, zipped down the street to our fav açai shop and then did a spot of morning market shopping. We spent far too much for what we bought and our bartering skills could definitely use some fine tuning but to wonder the Bali markets again was a treat. We then spent the whole day poolside for computer work. Nothing quite like a lunch break when it's Indonesian Satay Ayam delivered to your day bed overlooking the ocean... okay okay I'll stop. We worked a lot and it was terrible...
No in all seriousness, it's not all infinity pools and rainbows. There was quite a bit of work done on this day. Our main goal was to figure out the best possible way to get all of these beautiful timber pieces home. We spent the day on calls and emails and finally nutted out our solution. We also decided on what was coming for you guys pre Christmas and we are so so excited to share these with you! I'll keep that under wraps for now though. We finished off day three with a scooter into Legian for pre dinner massages. After dinner we of course stopped by gelato and then back to bed.
Day 4: Todays the day. Shoot Day. First up we were collected by our amazing driver Nyoman. The most beautiful young guy, we shared stories of our families on the way to the shoot location, he too had a little family and a new baby on the way so we shared a few laughs about the joys of parenting. Nyoman couldn't believe the dads were at home with the kids while Tess and I were working haha!
Arriving at Hotel Sages for our shoot and our ideas were confirmed. This was indeed the perfect space to shoot our new pieces. Interior walls were rendered in a warm white with all of the corners rounded off creating such a soft and subtle back drop for our pieces. As you know the ave.nue101 collections are quite bold with definitive lines so the space and the pieces balanced out perfectly!
We were blessed with only having a few pieces to shoot here so we truly got to make the most of the day, styling and shooting, styling and shooting etc.
We finished off day 4 with pedi and foot massage before a beautiful poolside dinner in Seminyak. A good nights sleep, a power pack in the morning and we were back to the airport on our way home to the families.
Such a perfect little work weekender. See Happy snaps Below.
and stay tuned for all of the beautiful new ave.nue101 pieces coming your way VERY soon.