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Interview with Jane Frosh & Lucy Tweed from Cool Edies

The name says it all. The amazing design duo that is Cool Edies features one part Jane Frosh, and one part Lucy Tweed – two cool kids we can’t get enough of.

With an amazing portfolio of work between them, Jane and Lucy are a force to be reckoned with in the design world. Established in 2012, Cool Edies is going from strength to strength, spreading their ‘coolness’ factor all over Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, The Grounds Roasters Alexandria and QT Hotel Sydney, just to name a few.

Thrive was lucky to pin the incredibly talented (and busy!) duo down, to share their experiences, ideas and inspiration.

The Cool Edies collaboration formed in 2012, how did this new business venture come about?

By pure coincidence and quite organically. We were both ordered to be friends by an industry matriarch, and so we complied. After chatting on the phone a few times, we decided to hire a studio space together. On the day we signed the lease, we also formed our business! Lucky we are both such spontaneous people!

To be truthful, if one of us had set out to create a business with a partner, and then set out looking for that partner, it would have been forced and unnatural. And honestly we doubt that we would have ever found each other. Like most great relationships, it started when we were not looking for that type of thing!

It takes a lot of determination to start a business from scratch. Did you have anyone who inspired you, specifically from a business perspective?

We come across incredible creative folk and creative duos every day… from other stylists, to designers, to craftsmen, to event producers to advertising execs to magazine editors and fashion designers. There are plenty of inspirational two-partner business models out there. All of them have incredible drive and creative amazingness. We also have managed to harness this and consequently the business was a natural progression of the journey we had already embarked upon. We basically just went with the flow!

We are quite often inspired by friend Sibella Court though. She has a brilliant attitude when it comes to her working relationships and the way she deals with situations, and quite often we say to each other ‘What would Sibella do’. We also have each other… we are each other’s strengths and its fab to be able to look to someone else for support when the path gets rocky. To be honest the problem that we face most often is not the lack of ideas but the ability to actually edit down the vast amount that we have when bouncing ideas off each other!

What is the greatest change you’ve seen in your industry in the past ten years?

Styling seems to have become the next ‘rockstar’ career. There seems to be the rise of the celebrity stylist in a similar vein as the celebrity chef. The stylist is no longer a background figure at a shoot, fluffing cushions, arranging blooms and rearranging EVERYTHING! The intrinsic role of the stylist is now more transparent. There are though, many pros and cons to this. An influx of people wanting to be in our ‘glamorous industry’ all getting disillusioned at the thought of hard work, and our work is long, hard and dirty most of the time. It is nice though that stylists are being recognised for the important role we play in the development of creative for a shoot/campaign/event/concept etc. It’s still a small industry though…thank goodness we all like each other!

How do you both manage to run a successful business but still be highly involved in the creative aspects of Cool Edies?

We are lucky in that we take on jobs from concept to delivery. We are both involved in the initial client meeting, and the development of creative/concept. The pre-production part of our job is often carried out by our amazing studio manager, Katja, and then we both come back onboard to deliver the end result. Consequently the whole critical path is seamless and cohesive.

The world of design and styling has grown exponentially over the last few years and continues to grow, how do you keep up with new developments in your industry?

We are luckily in an age of amazing social media. Instagram is a perfect way to keep in touch with what is going on. However, our job is usually to be ahead of that pack. To start the trends and developments. We usually look to fashion and design to assist with this. Accessing these complementary design industries helps with colour/texture/pattern/ shape/mood/atmosphere choices.

Obviously the business takes up quite a bit of your time. How do you find a healthy balance between work and life?

Honestly, is there ever a healthy balance? We work really hard when we need to and then enjoy the down time that we do manage to piece together. We are at a stage in the development of our business where it is important to work as hard as we can in order to cement Cool Edies in the styling/design world. It is also incredibly lucky though that we both love what we do and quite often don’t view our jobs as actual ‘work’! Both of us have a ‘fused’ personality in that our public and private personas are actually one and the same. We embrace the beauty we create on all levels at home and at work. What you see is what you get with us! We really believe in the importance of what we do, it’s far from saving lives, but it has its place in the world.

Being involved in such creative and innovative projects, how do you continue to find new inspiration? And what are your go-to resources for inspiration?

Inspiration is everywhere, you just need to know how to harness it. For us, it is as simple as using our eyes. We are constantly referencing things that we have seen on the street, or in chinatown, or at the beach, or along an alleyway in the form of street graffiti. If you view objects in a way beyond their purpose, they are all inspirational! Our logo for instance, originally was inspired by a tin of chinese tea we found on a sourcing trip. The most beautiful pink peony along the side of the tin became the starting point for the Cool Edies logo! We then added a street graffiti element and we were in business!

Do you think it is important for brands and businesses to have an online presence, whether that be a whole website, a simple blog or even just on social media?

Depends on your industry I guess. I think it is important if you are going to have a social media presence to make sure your content is interesting and relevant to your business. People don’t like to be bored, tricked or confused. It will never help you out in the long run. To be honest, we feel that blogs have had their day. Time is precious and for one we don’t have time to be wading through long blog posts. Our attention span for social media (instagram) is about 1 minute. Enough time to scan through 30 images on the feed. Any more than that, unless something amazing has caught our eye, is simply overkill. Attempt to be that one AMAZING image.

When you aren’t working, what can we find you doing?

Jane – hanging out with my 3 kids – usually on the side of a cricket/rugby field somewhere or entertaining in the back garden in our house in the country!

Lucy – Same! I was raised in a family who love entertaining and it’s how I reconnect with my people!

Cool Edies has gone from strength to strength, where do you see yourselves in the next five years?

Doing more of what we love, with a bigger team of passionate people making countless people happy by seeing and appreciating the beauty around them.

You can find Cool Edies here and here.

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