Tuesday March 7, 2017

Putting fear in the backseat for the ride of your life

I had the great fortune of recently spending the long weekend tramping for three days, an epic adventure around the southern circuit of the Mt Ruapehu round the mountain. Three days, three fabulous friends. There was a lot of time for talking and laughing and a lot of time for introspection and thinking.
As Tony Robbins says transformation comes when you change your physical state. Tell you what, I sure changed my state. I'd never carried more than a day pack before, never carried all my food and cooking equipment - I thought I'd done pretty well getting it down to 14kg (including the bladder of wine).

With a dash of inspiration from an incredible weekend, which pushed me past any physical and mental limits I thought I had, I've decided to something quite different with this blog today. I've felt my vulnerability so intensely on the tramp I really didn't know if I could complete my goal. I not only got there but also felt complete euphoria for the following 32 hours! It's time I opened my vulnerability up to you too.

Heart Ethical isn't the same as the big fabric houses - and most likely I don't think it ever will be. It's taken me a long time to realise, that this is actually one of its strengths.  I create new collections not from trends, but with what resonates with me and I have the feeling, that if they're resonating with me, they'll likely resonate with you too.

I don't bring out new collections several times a year, because what I design is about longevity, not only of design, but also of the quality of linen and quality of workmanship. I won't say it's my baby, but I do tend to live and breathe it.

In the last few months I've had the clichéd unnerving experience of joining the 40s club. The lead up to this was surprisingly full of angst. I couldn't put my finger on it for many months. With time it finally surfaced. I was facing a startling perspective change and one that was coming whether I liked it or not. I tried to hide behind, it's just a number, but it didn't work.

What I realised was that very gradually over the preceding few years I'd become increasingly risk adverse, which isn't a particularly helpful state when you are growing your own business. I realised with clarity that I had to either grab life by the horns again, or give up my ethical textile dream.

Come hell or high water, this dream is not ready to go quietly into the night. There is a burning desire so strong that it's ready to take fear on. So I sat down and decided that the next 12 months, or what has become known as the year of the 40th, was time to figuratively push the boat out. I made a list of challenges, some small and some larger.

The common theme amongst all of my challenges is that I'm no longer facing fear with battle in mind, but that I have accepted that fear is actually a constant companion. This isn't a bad thing, because a good amount of fear can stop you from doing some stupid stuff. As Elizabeth Gilbert says in one of Marie Forleo's podcasts, fear can sit in the back seat of the car on your journey, but it can't choose the music, it can't look at the map and it can't fiddle with any of the dials. It can only come along for the ride.

This tramping weekend has been was one of my change-my-state transformative weekends. There seemed to be a mountain of what-ifs in front of me -  what if I couldn't carry the pack, what if I wasn't fit enough, what if I couldn't get up the hills, what if I got off the track and got lost… fear was doing a bloody good attempt at trying to grab that steering wheel.

With the support of a couple of fabulous girlfriends we tackled the advanced and lesser-known southern circuit of the Round the Mountain Track. The track follows the southern side of Mt Ruapehu, covering extreme lahar warnings where you're not allowed to stop walking through a massive ravine, a landscape that looks better suited to the Lord of the Rings than to my own reality.

We sure had adventures. Sometimes my heart was in my mouth as I repeated 'look straight ahead, look straight ahead', while I clung to the side of shingley hill face with gusts of wind buffeting about my ears. In a group of three we'd all peak and lull at different times, encouraging each other on from the front, while the tail end Charlie got their trudge on.

That old, just keep going, one foot in front the other, never fails to bring success. You soar with the peaks and just push through those lulls. Funny how a little walk around a mountain can make life seem so simple in an instant.   

With love, 


Friday August 26, 2016

Spring brings fresh new looks and lots of fairs!

Today I bared my legs for the first time in months! Spring was definitely in the air in Hawke's Bay. Doesn't the change of season just feel so good?! Coming out of winter also signals the beginning of planning for the Christmas shopping season. With this in mind, it's also a busy time for fairs and new additions to the collection.

Heart Ethical has been getting out and about in the last five weeks. Décor and Design in Melbourne was a fabulous opportunity to make some new interior design and retail connections, not just in Victoria but elsewhere in Australia too. I'm delighted my range has been picked up by a couple of stockists.

I also tried out first public market, The General Collective in Auckland last weekend. It was super to meet so many new faces and connect with you there. A great place to road test some new products too.

This week I'm very excited about the Source Home and Object Fair. Opening today for our Trade and wholesale customers, I will be delighted to see you there. Get in touch with me if you would like an appointment over that week.

I'm really looking forward to sharing the additions to my collection. I've been working with a hand loomer in India and have been hand screen printing yardage and making cushions, table runners and table cloths.  It's all go. 



Monday July 25, 2016

Heart Ethical meets Melbourne

For the first time Heart Ethical has been on show in Melbourne, at the iconic Decor and Design trade fair. Melbourne is a creative haven and I felt at the show that Heart Ethical has a good fit with the ethos of many of the interior designers and retailers here. 

This was a great place to test the waters for a couple of new products - table runners, table cloths and Euro styled pillows. These have turned out to be a hit. 


In a fast paced world, I'm hoping that Heart Ethical will be a remedy, bringing things back to basics where you can feel the authenticity. My journey has been taking a few twists and turns in the last six months as well. While I love the flexibility of digitial printing (pretty much anything you dream up can be printed), I had a hankering to be more physically involved in the producing. 

Through connections through the Fair Trade cut, make, trim place I had been working with in India, I have begun working directly with an incredibly talented hand-loomer in India. Together we have been creating my ideal basecloths. We have created two so far, both 100% linen. The first is a mid weight, which has flexible use and the other is a light 100gsm, for incredible tea towels. 

Back in rural Hawke's Bay my kind husband and father-in-law have built me a looong table for screen printing by the metre. With my roots in craft and making, this has such a wonderful feeling for me. Teaming together with my lovely Mum, we work the screens together, passing the squegee back and forth. 

screen printing

We're product testing at the moment - with more family stepping into help me in a sewing marathon ready for the fair. 

It has been a wonderful journey and worth the curve balls that have been thrown up at most steps of the way! There's nothing like a bit of creative solution driven thinking to keep you on your toes. It also asks the question - do I want to do this? And, why do I want to do this?

Each time the same answers come into my head - hell yes, I want to do this. I want to do this because I love it - I'm in the zone when I'm creating and I'm really enjoying the process of sharing my work and seeing other people enjoy it too! 

Light and love, 

Margot x

Friday June 24, 2016

Supporting the Jarmie-Army

I have been stoked to help facilitate today's Jarmie-Army day at our children's local school. The playground was buzzing with onesie-clad kids :) Thanks so much Maraekakaho School for getting in behind and supporting such a tangible cause. 

The Jarmie-Army is a local U-Turn Trust initiative, they have partnered with Plunket who are distributing the PJs to those kids most vulnerable in Hawke's Bay cold/damp homes. The Warehouse have been awesome, and have discounted fire-rated PJs, and are matching each pair of PJs with a pair of thermals. 

These PJs go to children who would otherwise not have any, and are really gratefully received. 

If you would like to know how you can help, contact me margot @ heartethical. co. nz 

Wednesday March 16, 2016

Adventuring into new areas

It's been some time since I picked up a paint brush. The feeling of painting has always brought me such joy and in doing these images from Room With A View, the satisfaction of physical creation came rushing back. 

Painting alongside my nine and six year old girls the project went from 'do I remember how to paint' to 'let's do more!'. I have to say I don't have the sweet abandon just yet of my children. They'd generate at least 30 paintings for a single of mine... 

The images I've painted help to tell the story just a little more from Room With A View. The seasons are examined and my lone bird continues to feature. 

These limited edition prints are available framed or unframed, in a set of three or individually. 

Enjoy x

Prints _Room -with -a -view 

Prints _Heart -Ethical