Introducing Emma, the concrete and interiors genius behind Vera Concepts.
Formerly concretecrush, the idea of concrete homewares was first played within 2014 by Emma Penfold .
Emma has a passionate eye for design and style adding macrame and styling to her work.
We spoke to her recently to find out more...
1) Tell us your story?
My story began in 2014 when I became besotted with a concrete stool! I was blown away that such an every day material used for footpaths and structures could make something so utilitarian yet elegant. The minimalism and simplicity of it really tickled my fancy and I was fascinated by its potential as decor in an interior design setting.
At that time I just so happened to be partnered with a concreter and I marched him off to Bunnings and bought everything I needed to replicate the stool design and other ideas I was hatching. The more I began to play with the concrete - it's colour variations and finishes, the more I realised its potential. I began with smaller decor items and became bolder with my designs. by biggest piece ever has been a television cabinet!
2) What inspired you to start?
Being creative/ doing something that had a creative process was something I always desired to do, having a business wasn't, but once the opportunity for both came about I took it. To have both has been rewarding, challenging and opened me up to a whole new world.
That world has lead me to Creative Village Newcastle where I am surrounded by creative individuals who constantly inspire and encourage on more than a creative level. Leah, (creator & owner of Colour Clouds and Creative Village Newcastle) is someone I look up to and admire to have bought a group of artists together under the one roof and be able to share our passions with a larger audience in Westfield Kotara. Wendy (white space décor) and Chris (hangin' spaces) who share a special love of plants really are the masters of their art and constantly inspire.
3) Describe your style?
My style can be described as raw and minimalist. I keep my products simple and tend to switch between colour hues. One week I might have a bit of a gold thing going on, then I might be working with muted primaries. This month in Creative Village Newcastle it is all about beautiful ocre yellow. I am hugely into styling and gladly help out with display in the shop, my own set up is a little bit of my pride and joy, I just like making things look pretty.
4) What was your biggest creative failure?
My biggest failure was a fairly recent one but luckily I had my dad and his trusty drill to save the day. I have been working on some smaller vases in sand and marble tones and to keep the opening small I had the brainwave of inserting a candle into the top of the still wet vase. It was genius or so I thought, except that I forgot to remove the candles and they set firm in the concrete. It wasn't a good look and I thought a whole day's work was ruined. After using every implement I could think of to get the wax out dad came in and just did drill magic and it was fixed up as if it had never happened. Gotta love dads.
5) Favourite piece you’ve created?
My favourite product is my skulls. I'm a dental nurse and got my slightly macabre idea from looking at silicone dental moulds and wondering if I could use the same technique to make a skull, so I did. I make them in plain white, grey, marbled, pink and more recently with a very sexy bronze finish. Seriously, skulls are the new black right now and they are my number one best seller.
6) Whats next for Vera Concepts?
Where I want to to go next has to be about styling. I adore setting up and styling our shop at Creative Village Newcastle every time we move and I know I have a knack for it. I just seem to know what looks good together. So whilst keeping Vera Concepts based firmly around concrete I would also like to move more into styling - wedding styling would be a super exciting and I'm already making inroads into this. But concrete will remain my thing.
More about Vera Concepts HERE