Nature Baby has established itself as one New Zealand fashion's quiet achievers and the go-to for stylish parents (and those attending baby showers) wanting quality garments made from organic cotton and merino wool. Established in 1998 by Jacob and Georgia Faull, the Auckland-based brand is now available globally, including an exciting exclusive line created for US retailer J Crew's babywear line Crewcuts. That has become a top-seller, and now a limited number of the bright, striped, organic cotton bodysuits from the range are available locally at Nature Baby at The Department Store – for just $29.95, too. Faull, one-half of the family business, tells us about a few of his favourite things, from the natural intuitiveness of children's creativity to his favourite New Zealand painter.
10 FAVOURITE THINGS
1. Running and Haruki Murakami
Overrated in the 80s and underrated in the 90s, it is my exercise of choice. This great book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, is an autobiographical account of the Japanese writer selling his jazz club in Tokyo to become a full-time writer and marathon runner.
2. Kid art
This is one of my children's kindy artworks. I love the way children make things - it's always so natural and intuitive before intellect and necessity kicks in. Those were the days.
3. Bonnie Prince Billy
Aka Will Oldham, an intense folk/country/punk musician from Kentucky. The story goes he's the son of an oil baron making good. I'm not sure if it's true, but he creates some very beautiful and dark music.
4. Gavin Hurley ceramics
A friend from art school, as soon as we had some money we started buying his paintings and collages - the ceramics were a diversion. I like it when artists make objects you can include in your everyday life. This mug has since become a treasured toothbrush holder so even when you're doing something as banal as brushing your teeth, you can still be close to great art.
5. Organic cotton and old ways of making
This is an old photo postcard I found of a cotton mill in Massachusetts - it's one of those old stereoscopic double-image cards from the 1870s showing ground-breaking technology. Today, they still look the same as the mills we source organic cotton from in India. I love working with materials that have a traditional history and authenticity to then create new things.
6. New cameras that feel like they are from long ago
One decade, several iPhones and three school-age children later - we had never found a digital camera that made you enjoy taking photos. This one, Fuji Finepix x100, has a large sensor but a small body so you can shoot in low light without having to use a flash. Super-detailed and great for those family pics where you don't want to interrupt what is going on.
7. Kiwi art
One of my favourite New Zealand painters, Saskia Leek's works are quietly powerful, drawing from modernist masterpieces through to hobby and folk artists. She currently has a retrospective show called Desk Collection at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, coming to Auckland soon - go and check it out.
8. Vintage mouse cage
This started out as a bird cage from Flotsam and Jetsam for a photo shoot, but my kids had other ideas and before we knew what we were doing, we were off to the pet store to get some mice. Its heritage status meant there were gaps in the bars and Josephine, the more adventurous mouse, ran away. Pets are a great way to add that extra bit of chaos to your life.
9. 1920s Rimu post office swivel chair
My wife gave me this chair for my 28th birthday. It looks like it's from a constructivist workshop but it actually came from an old post office down the line. More comfortable than it looks but even more comfortable to look at, I imagine someone sat in this chair for a very long time.
10. David met Nicole
A tiny, endearing shop in Surry Hills, Sydney, they have a great mix of industrial relics mixed with old-school oriental treasures, punctuated with a kind of faded old-world glamour. I found this large bowl of letterpress pieces; at the time I could only afford an initial from each of our names but I will be back to complete our set soon.