CREATIVES: KRISTY WITHERS OF INCY INTERIORS
As we’ve grown and changed within the industry, we’ve come to realise that many businesses (ourselves included) are conceptualised following the discovery of a big gap in the market. In the case of Kristy Withers, founder and creator of Incy Interiors, the market gap was a serious lack of tasteful kid’s beds available on the Australian market.
Incy has grown from a modest offering to a fully-fledged furniture brand championing unique, Australian design that appeals to not only little people, but big people too. If business has taught Kristy anything, it’s the potential power of a collaboration, and with six (!) under her belt and counting, creative partnerships are something she’s naturally found herself gravitating toward. We consider ourselves pretty lucky to call Kristy and the Incy team clients and friends and have, in fact, collaborated with them ourselves on several occasions.
We caught up with Kristy to talk business beginnings, pyjamas, the best remedy for a tough day, and her recent partnership with colourful homegrown homewares brand, Kip&Co.
Let’s start at the beginning; tell us a bit about your background and how you conceptualised and built Incy Interiors.
The idea for Incy started brewing back when I was pregnant with my son, Oscar, in 2008. I couldn’t find any beautiful nursery furniture and just settled on a basic white cot. I was working at eBay at the time and in the midst of a Corporate Marketing career so I didn’t give it a lot of thought until Oscar turned 2 and was ready for his first big boy bed. Whilst at eBay, I was doing lots of travelling to the US and Europe and I was seeing all of these amazing products that weren’t available here in Australia. After lots of research, procrastination and stalling, my husband got sick of me talking about it and just said ‘shut up about it and do it’ - and that’s how Incy began!
Tell us about your collaboration with Kip&Co. What was it like to produce a range in partnership with another brand?
This is the second collaboration we have done with Kip&Co. Many years ago we produced a furniture collection. It was our first collaboration and it was so great to get an insight into how other brands work. This latest collaboration came about after we contacted the Kip girls to see if they would be interested in doing a PJ collab. Operationally we couldn’t make PJs work but they suggested we jump on board with their Field of Dreams launch as it was a print that we both thought would resonate with the Incy customer.
Tell us about the process you went through with Kip&Co to produce the collection - from conception to finished product?
I’m sure there is a process that should be followed in these instances but we like to consider ourselves rebels. For us, it was as simple as shooting the Kip girls an email about our ideas. They came back with some other suggestions and then we just kept going backwards and forwards with ideas/concepts until we landed on an idea that worked. From there we went into sampling. This particular product took a long time to sample as it was the first time we had custom printed fabric and we just weren’t happy with the results we were getting... so we just kept pushing until it was perfect.
Are creative partnerships something you’ve explored much before in your career?
This is our 6th (I think?) collaboration, so yes, it is something I have explored but I have never spent lots of time working on or pursuing one. All of the collaborations we have done have come naturally, we have never strategically sought out a brand to partner with.
In your opinion and experience, what is the power of collaboration?
Collaboration is a word that gets thrown around a lot and maybe I am old skool, but my belief is that the only way a collaboration can work is if both parties bring something to the partnership and have genuine alignment. Consumers are smart and can see through a deal that is done just for financial gain. When a collaboration is done well, it is amazing.
Combining two complimenting brands/creatives together can be so powerful. 1 + 1 can equal 100!
What would be your next dream creative partnership?
I would still really love to do a PJ partnership or a bedtime story, so if anyone is out there keen to do the same we would love to hear from you!
Favourite collaboration of all time?
That’s like picking your favourite child! I have genuinely loved all of our collaborations, for all different reasons. It is really special to work with people you admire to create something for people to love.
Anything exciting on the horizon for yourself personally or for Incy?
Personally, we are just about to embark on our forever home build…. something that has literally taken forever. At Incy, we do have another collaboration in the works launching later this year - and it might just be my dream partnership!
Best remedy for a tough day at the office?
For me, there is nothing better than a glass of wine and a giggle with one of my beautiful girlfriends.
Leave us with some final words…
This is a shameless plug but we are so grateful to the TLSE team for the beautiful images they have created, not just for this collaboration but for a number of our shoots. We love working with you guys and you make it so, so easy… and beautiful!
WORDS | Lucy Francis, Kristy Withers
IMAGES | TLSE, supplied