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Far North Queensland creative duo, Eden & Wade, have been hard at work pulling together an impressive showcase of their diverse products for the Collectable Art Exhibition Craft & Design Market and Take It Home Pop-Up Shop being hosted at the Cairns Regional Gallery this month. Eden & Wade, the brainchild of Amy Eden & Ruth Wade, is a furniture, design and homewares outfit focused around recycled and eco materials. In the two years since the businesses inception, they’ve already gained a solid reputation for their high quality, unique products.
For the formidable duo, who call themselves eco-warriors in training, the upcoming showcase is a rare opportunity to be alongside other passionate creatives from the tropical region. “We are honoured to be asked,” says Ruth. “It’s a great event to discover local talent, not only in art but also in celebrating local makers and designers. We’re alongside some talented people who produce some amazing work and it’s great to have a platform people can view and purchase our works in the same place. We’d like to thank Cairns Regional Gallery for this opportunity.”
Eden & Wade’s passion is all about breathing new life into items and materials and creating something unusual and unique. Both Amy and Ruth always work towards the same benchmark, they would never put an item up for sale that they didn’t covet for their own homes. Every time that has ever been created and sold by Eden & Wade comes with this quality guarantee, and it is no surprise to find that both households are filled with some magnificent items. It is surprising to learn that the brand didn’t originally start out as a business concept. It was a case of two friends coming together with a shared passion – one that soon attracted attention. Amy was a former social worker who had recently been made redundant, and Ruth was coming to the end of her maternity leave for her second child. Together, they thought they’d invest in the odd piece of furniture that they could see a ‘new look’ for. This soon spiralled into their first pop-up shop as Eden & Wade, and the ethos behind the brand was born.
“We both have a passion for interiors and homewares,” says Ruth. “The last two years have been great – lots of laughs, a few tears – starting a business isn’t easy – but we both share a determination that what we’re doing means a great deal to us and the products we’re producing are something to be embraced. We believe do what you love and love what you do. We wanted to move away from the impersonal mass production that floods the market. I think that’s why we love mid-century furniture so much, it has a beautiful simplistic elegance to it. Borne out of necessity for function, the designs are crafted works of art that are sleek, minimalist and made to last – why not give them another 50 years. Giving things a new purpose also fits in with our love of reusing and recycling.”
Even before their products started solidifying Eden & Wade as a brand to watch, the girl’s reputation preceded them. Dubbed the ‘girls in pink boots’, they are a force to be reckoned with and have a professional focus that all women in business should aspire to. “We’ve been called the ‘crazy chair ladies’ a few times,” says Ruth. “We do love a good chair, but it’s not just any old chair! Our look and style is based around this but we also draw on the materials we have to work with. It’s a form and function philosophy, we look at something we have reclaimed and try to envision how it can be used best – and by incorporating natural methods and materials into the mix, the aesthetic is something that develops. It is a pretty organic process. Our products genuinely come with the ‘we’d love to keep it’ appraisal and there has been many a sad goodbye.”
Since their inception, one of the biggest aspects of their business has been custom orders, and it continues to grow. “It is exciting working with clients to produce items they love or revamp things that have a personal or meaningful value,” says Ruth. “We love the story that comes with things, we name all of our pieces and try to provide as much history to the new owner, it just carries on the story.”
The Craft & Design Market isn’t the first art-style exhibition that the duo have been part of. Earlier I the year they were also part of the ‘Designed in Cairns’ exhibition at The Cairns Institute, James Cook University. They have also been nominated in the FNQ Handmade Industry Awards for Most Inventive Upcycled Piece.
Our work is so varied and that’s why we love it,” says Ruth. “Mostly we’re in the shed with our pink work boots and sanders in hand. If we can hack sanding til our fingers are numb then the rest is a breeze. We’ve met some amazing people along this journey who have showed us some great support. Thank you guys and here’s to another few years doing what makes us smile.”
Other creative professionals who are part of the Pop-Up Show and Craft & Design Market include artist Caroline Mudge, jeweller Cheryl Harrison and retailers Sage & Peppa, to name a few. Check out the Cairns Regional Gallery website for further information. The Craft & Design Market runs from 25 – 27 September at the Cairns Regional Gallery. For more information on Eden & Wade, please visit www.edenandwade.com