The story of White Moose begins with a broken, beat up suitcase and the beautifully creative mind of Colin Hutson. Emerging from his bachelor of visual arts and design, an enthusiastic and determined entrepreneur Colin set about creating his own label. His gifted eye for photography and passion for product development laying the foundations for creating home décor. Insistent on breaking the mould of traditional home décor he reimagined the way products were designed. His mind was full of dinosaurs and bears, animals from under the ocean to soaring in the sky; there was no limit for the quirky and unconventional style he was embarking on. Carrying his handmade designs from market to market on Melbourne’s trams saw the beginnings of White Moose.
Meet The Creator
The kid that never wanted to grow up
Growing up on a farm in country Victoria his childhood was full of adventure and imagination. His home was full of pets of all shapes and sizes from big brown cows to tiny little mice. Weekends and school holidays were filled with trips to dinosaur parks and family beach side holidays. These experiences didn’t stop at a simple childhood memory, they translated into him capturing them forever. These are the earliest memories that he draws his product design inspiration from.
The childhood that developed his drive for fun and quirky home decor also evolved his attention to detail. Unlike most kids, a simple cardboard house was not enough. A cardboard house made by Colin had his own concrete mix foundation, external detailing and interior furniture such as the small plastic ‘table’ found in pizza boxes. A palace as realistic as any could make from some old boxes and a few bits n bobs.
From his creative upbringing on his countryside home to studying design in Canada, Colin now provides a little bit of quirk and personality to homes all around Australia and New Zealand.
An interview with Founder and Director, Colin Hutson.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I had a very creative and engaging upbringing, always exploring, building and creating something of my own from playdough to cubby houses. Everyone has some kind of memory from their childhood, these earliest memories are what inspire me the most now. I draw on nature and animals as I feel a strong connection with them, from pets to my admiration of the raw and natural beauty of plants and animals. Additionally my interactions with people, conversations with customers and feedback from current ranges helps me to direct my vision and evolve the collections. The White Moose Brand is no longer a design of just my memories and experiences but collaborative designs inspired by the White Moose community.
What are some of your biggest challenges and highlights for you and the White Moose brand?
In the initial stages selling at the market my biggest challenge was to maintain my motivation. Some days I would enjoy a filling lunch from the café, however when I was unable to make a sale a muesli bar was all that I would have for lunch. These days were hard but my passion for the brand helped me to continue.
The biggest highlight for me was having so many of our products featured on The Block 2017. This felt like an enormous turning point for the brand seeing our collection being featured in room reveals and challenges.
What makes you passionate about unique and unconventional product development?
It is important to design product which has a form and/or function in mind. To maintain a unique and exclusive range we produce limited quantities of each product. This ensures a sense of individuality in interior home décor. It’s easy to thoughtlessly buy mass produced décor however for our customers they choose to stand out from the conventional and support a shift in their personal home décor style.
Your home should be a part of you, an extension of your personality. Those close to you should be able to enter your space and feel your influence around them. At White Moose our vision is to be bold and celebrate individuality, whether that be your home, office or workspace.
How can people add quirk to their home and integrate White Moose products to their current home décor?
Quirk can be injected into the home in so many ways depending on how subtle or eccentric your style is. From something as simple as painting your front door with a pop of colour, layering with bold and textured rugs, using a banana bowl for fruit or having a giant animal statue command the lounge room.
The best kinds of quirk, I think, are the ones that create micro moments of surprise or conversation with your guests. White Moose allows you to fill your home with our signature animal range and unique décor items, becoming an extension of your personality and style.
Those who are a little nervous with branching out from the conventional could start with a smaller item or something a little less outrageous and slowly evolve their style as their confidence grows. Selecting one of our smaller décor items is a great place to dip your toes in.
Many people would love to DIY their home and explore their personal style but often feel they are unable to. What advice would you give them?
Not everyone has confidence in their own creativity, however I do think it is important for your home to be full of personal touches. This could be framing your child’s artwork. A hand selected bouquet of fresh flowers from your local market presented in your favourite vessel - a quirky vase makes it that little extra special. Displaying your books between some attention grabbing bookends will add a point of difference.
You are passionate about supporting local, can you tell us a little about this?
It’s important for me to remember my humble beginnings. I love to get White Moose involved with local events and supporting various organisations by providing donations and sponsoring portfolio exhibitions.
One of our most recent collaborations was with a young Indigenous, self taught graphic designer, Danielle Leedie-Gray. This enabled her to develop a line of indigenous artworks celebrating her connection to her heritage. We loved providing her the opportunity to have her works made available at selected retailers across Australia and New Zealand.
Local is also where the White Moose brand started. I started by selling handmade designs at artists markets in Melbourne, dragging my beat up suitcase with a broken wheel onto the tram early each morning to start to build the brand. So for me, supporting local means we are helping other artists and designers find their place in the industry and develop their brand.
The brand is always evolving and we are excited about the designs we are currently working on. As a leaving remark we encourage you to be bold and unafraid to explore your own sense of style.