Stall Profile: The SunLounge Collection

Oct 15, 2013 | Designer Profile, Home

Step inside this stall and you'll feel like mixing up a cocktail and sunning yourself on the sandy shores of Hawaii. When visiting The SunLounge Collection you can't help but smile, everyone loves a pineapple, right?

Read on to find out about Heidi Bartholomew's 'sea change', which saw her move from Creative Director of Design and Marketing for a global surfwear giant, to a collector of 'Seaside loves, wants & finds', in homewares stall The SunLounge Collection.

Tell us about how and when your label was created?

The SunLounge Collection launched in 2011. I have always been a collector of home and fashion pieces and had a desire and a daydream to create a seaside influenced home décor business. What began as sharing & selling a few one off pieces at TVM has now become a passionate and loved adventure and brand, for myself and our customers.

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What pieces are included within your range?

It is an eclectic mix of collectable ‘found’ objects from Hawaiiana kitschy pineapple décor pieces to vintage inspired timber prints.

Restyled home furniture pieces in beautiful Hawaiian fabrics, Polynesian woodware, collectable glassware, vintage shellware, vintage bar accessories, seaside influenced preloved paintings & prints, so much for everyone! Anything that tells a seafaring, sunkissed tale of sorts can be found.

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What is your creative background?

I have worked in the Surf / Swim industry for around 20 years, first at Cheetah Swimwear and then 18 years at Billabong where I had the amazing opportunity to create the Girls Billabong business in my role as Creative Director for Design & Marketing. It was exciting times to be at the helm of creativity and to know that what you were creating whether through product or marketing campaigns was desired and loved by a nation of females.  I left Billabong in 2010 to pursue new adventures and explore and create my own business and really just to be free. I have a favourite saying, that at the time, kept ringing thru my head ‘Fortune Favours the Brave’ so I walked the plank in full confidence and it paid off in many ways!

Where is the label designed and made?

The Sunlounge is a home grown GC brand with refound collectables as well as newly created vintage inspired home décor desirable objects.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired everyday by visions around me, old Hawaiiana books, arts and postcards, Gold Coast memorabilia, vintage fabrics, pop culture websites and imagery, seaside antiques, childhood adventure story books, back in the day movies, books, music & fashions, chatting to story tellers we meet along the way, going on treasure seeking roadtrips with my partner in Sunlounge crime Jim. Really anything that holds a memory or a story that needs to be retold and bought out in the sunshine to shine again and be reloved.

Latest collection consists of?

Quite a few things! There’s Piratefinds & Hula girls treasures! We just returned from Hawaii where we found some gorgeous trinkets & fabrics & art pieces to be inspired by so working on those pieces for Summer. Always love finding old school bar accessories and shipstyle pieces that attract the pirates so just loving that combo. And a new range of PineappleLove timber prints too that compliment the finds.

La Sirena is a small collection of Mexican homewares that my daughter Christel collected on her travels and worked with locals in creating. That’s a nice balance to The SunLounge mix too.

What's on your mood board?

Vintage Hawaiiana imagery, very pretty Tahitian dollars, images of desirable items, magazine pics, fabric bits, seaside poems, funny stuff, postcards, scribblings …

What’s your creative space like?

Mostly in my head! I’m fortunate to work from home and can see the ocean everyday and surrounded by my home love pieces that inspire me to create and keep finding.

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What music do you listen to while designing/creating?

Currently found an old 70’s style on line radio station, def not for everyone but I love it and evokes memories and again inspires to recreate these times through finds.

A day in the life of you consists of?

Driving a lot, especially when I get a sniff of something waiting to be found again! Taking pics of collectables, shipping stuff off to our lovely customers, creating new product, painting! And having coffee at our favourite and numerous seaside coffee haunts. Love the freedom of exploring and that everyday is a different day …

Favourite reads/blogs? Love perusing bookstores and reading vintage home décor books, international seaside home and hotel décor books ‘The Hawaiian House now’ and ‘Finding Paradise’ are faves, love antique magazines and books and Polynesian, Australiana & Americana architectural history books. And any books on 50’s, 60’s, 70’s motels suck me in any day!

What can we expect from the next collection/what are your plans for 2013 and beyond?

As well as the Sunlounge seaside finds we are creating a new line of vintage inspired art prints on timber that compliment the collectables and just add to the whole tone of what the SunLounge is about. And  launching is a priority and we’re very excited for that to happen. Also have the opportunity for some yet to be revealed popup store and gallery projects that is creative and very exciting too.

Why TVM?

The Village Markets has been the very best opportunity for The SunLounge and really is the perfect fit, as our customers vary as much as our product does and TVM reflects that perfectly. TVM is a whole new refreshing, lifestyle savvy and contemporary shopping experience that customers are looking for.

What do you love most about attending TVM?

That it is just a very positive and upbeat experience and opportunity for the vendors and the customers.

We love the look on someones face when they have found something they love and just cannot go home without. Especially those Pineapple lovers! It can be a child buying a seashell to a cute couple buying new home pieces to someone buying a piece as it reminds them of something precious from a time in their life, it’s a great all round experience.

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Heidi & Jim