I've always loved hand crafted goods that are of beautiful quality and the Deckle & Hide leather goods and Candles are no exception. I first met the lovely Anne while being a model shooting for her artwork and I must say she is one talented lady. Not only is she such a beautiful person she is a well established artist with her work shown in places such as New York, she also takes amazing pictures and makes her own organic candles, her partner Luke is the creator of the leather goods and combined they are the matsermind duo behind the amazing Eco label Deckle & Hide. I find these two so interesting and inspiring that I just had to do an interview with them.

5 minutes with Deckle and Hide...
What was the main inspiration behind starting Deckle and Hide Leather Accessories and Organic Candles? 
In both instances the inspiration came from our own need for specific items that were not available on the market. 

For me (Anne), the creation of my own range of candles began as there was a lack of healthy candle products on the market. I was very concerned about breathing in the toxins emitted from the candles I had bought (the black smoke was a dead giveaway that something was not good). I was concerned for our health and especially the teeny tiny lungs of my beloved pet parrot, Vonnegut. So I decided to make my own candles where I could ensure every ingredient was 100% plant based. I then began a quest to source the best ingredients from around the world. (please note the candles are not 100% organic, but they are 100% plant based. Some oils I cannot get as organic). 

This article has some good comments about the toxins in candles It is also not widely known that "fragrant oils" fall into a category called a "trade secret" law which means that the manufacturer of the fragrance does not have to disclose the ingredients used to make the fragrance - nor how harmful the ingredients may be!

For the leather, Luke was on the hunt for a simple, minimalist iphone case and wallet etc. His quest returned no results so he decided to embark on designing and making his own products. Every piece is designed by Luke with the minimalist philosophy of "one purpose, one product" and each piece is designed for use - ie. the iphone case to fit slim in a jeans pocket and to protect the iphone, without detracting from the iphone's already slim design (a lot of the iphone cases on the market just bulk out the iphone itself). The clutch was the result of a design brief from me (Anne) to fit all my essentials (my wallet, phone, keys, lipstick and pencil) whilst being as small as possible...with the ability to expand should I need to fit a few more items. He uses the finest full grain hides to suit each item he makes and each piece is hand stitched (as opposed to manufactured off-shore).

What is the vision behind Deckle and Hide? 
According to Luke "It's a party all the time" but I would say "quality design and quality ingredients for quality people"

Why did you decide to start your own brand and what do you hope to achieve?
We didn't intend on starting our own brand. We simply wanted well designed and well made pieces for ourselves. But then the word got out and people started requesting orders. We started off making items to order and now we stock in selected boutiques. It is our every intention to keep our range small and our order numbers small so that every item remains handmade by us and quality assured by us. There is something so nice about knowing the two people who have handled and created the product you buy. We never want to resort to getting our designs mass-produced off-shore under conditions that may be unethical.

Do you find starting your own business challenging? If so, what are some of these challenges you face in being an artist and entrepreneur?
For two creative, right-brained people, playing the role of business-person and sales-person is not our strong point. But that's okay. We like to let our product do the talking.

What advice do you give to other artists whom may be interested in starting their own business?
If you are passionate about your product, you will be successful. If you are going into business for the sake of making money, don't bother.
Where do you see Deckle and Hide in the next 5 years and what are your other dreams and aspirations as an artist and or entrepreneur
Again, we want to keep our range small and our order numbers and number of stockists small so that every item remains handmade by us and quality assured by us. As an artist and a designer couple, we hope to continually expand our practice and continue making and creating the things we love, until we don't love it any more or we die, whichever comes first.

Thanks Anne and Luke, what a great interview. I love their products and so I am delighted to have some available for you all through EKOLUV here

Enjoy! X Emily
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