Good morning! it’s Friday and we are having breakfast with Nina Woodcroft founder of Creative Design Studio Nina & Co and chatting about everything from childhood memories to the launch of her new ceramic tableware collection which focuses on sustainable design.
Nina started her career in design as a PA to the renowned interior design firm Ara Design. A flair for interior design quickly laid her to become an Associate in the firm running luxury hotel projects across the globe…However the challenge in applying her strong sense of ethics to the hotel industry led her to leave the corporate world behind and in 2014 she started her own design studio. The rest, as they say, is history!
Hey Nina, could you tell me a little bit about your childhood and your biggest influence whilst growing up?
I grew up in Camden Town, London, which is wonderfully multicultural and eclectic. Both my parents are doctors. The house I grew up in was clean & minimal, which, coupled with my Grandmother’s Danish roots, informs my style. I was always involved in the arts, particularly dance, but it wasn’t until a little later in life that I developed a strong passion for design.
Why go from designing high end interiors to designing ceramics?
I had a wonderful time designing interiors for five-star hotels across the world and learnt a lot from it, but there was little thought for sustainability. I wanted to work on smaller, more intimate projects with more scope for creativity. I love working with natural materials and fell in love with clay the first time I set foot in a ceramics studio. There is something special about creating an object that can be passed down through generations.
The Breakfast Collection: The Espresso Cup
Tell us a little more about the breakfast collection
The breakfast collection comprises of a plate, bowl, mug, butter dish ans an espresso cup that doubles up as an egg cup.The entire collection is made from responsibly sourced materials and has been batch produced to maximise efficiency and reduce waste. The clay ingredients have been sourced exclusively in the UK from Devon, Cornwall, Shropshire and Derbyshire. The basic requirements of these everyday objects have been carefully considered, challenged and rendered to bring artistry and celebration to the breakfast table.
You are involved with 2 social enterprises projects, The Dean St Cafe and The Luminary Bakery in Stoke Newington, why did you choose to get involved?
These are both exciting projects from a design perspective. And I feel even more passionate and driven because they also give so much back to their local communities. The Dean St Cafe is for a prominent UK homelessness charity called Centrepoint located in central Soho. As well as serving great food with locally sourced ingredients, they will provide training and employment opportunities for the young homeless people they work with. Luminary Bakery is a cafe and bakery which helps vulnerable women in Hackney break the cycles of abuse, prostitution, criminal activity and poverty. It’s a beautiful space, designed to feel like you have stepped into someone’s kitchen.
What’s your favourite spot in London?
Actually, I’m now spending a lot of my time in Amsterdam and really enjoying exploring a new city. There is a restaurant here called Instock which creates a new menu each day from ingredients collected that morning which would otherwise have been wasted. I recently celebrated my birthday there and even the mis-labelled champagne was rescued… and delicious.
As It’s breakfast time so could you tell us what your favourite breakfast is?
Marmite & avocado on sourdough toast with a poached egg.
Finally, what advice would you give to someone starting up in the design industry?
Don’t get stuck doing one task. Try to gain a wide range of experience in the different areas and stages of a project. Good design is sustainable design. Carry a tape measure.
Big thank you to Nina for talking to us this morning. Nina is offering all of you guys 20% off the breakfast collection, valid on all non-sale items, until end of April, just enter the code nina+kate. Happy shopping!