Design for life: How this solo-prenuer makes it her business to celebrate ethics, sustainability and innovation

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After collaborating with Gingerfinch over a year ago we were keen to chat to founder Peita again and find out how the last year in business had gone and also to see how her personal journey to live simply was unfolding. After reading her previous contribution to our blog “When less is more, finding freedom and fulfilment by living simply” we were full of admiration for Peita’s true dedication to living a more simple, fulfilling life which is seen in the conscious choices she makes both within her home life and business.

The passion Peita has for her business is clear, especially evident in the the depth of care she takes when sourcing and personally testing each item stocked in her online boutique Gingerfinch. More than just supplying her customers with the latest in designer homewares - each item must meet Peita’s own high standards in terms of ethical production, environmental impact and innovative design.

Join us to learn more about Peita’s journey over the last year, how she is staying sane as a solo-prenuer and what motivates and inspires her.

Q&A with Peita from Gingerfinch

Congratulations on celebrating your first anniversary with Gingerfinch! What have been some of the highlights from your first year in business?

Gingerfinch founder and director Peita Davis, captured by Straight No Chaser Photography

Gingerfinch founder and director Peita Davis, captured by Straight No Chaser Photography

Wow, it's been such a whirlwind year it's hard to list them all! But I'd say the biggest highlights have been being featured in some of my favourite publications. Real Living, Inside Out, House & Garden, Adore Magazine, the Financial Review, Good Weekend have all showcased my products, and it gives me such a thrill to see what Australia's best stylists and photographers do with Gingerfinch products!

It sounds corny, but I'd say the other huge highlight has been getting feedback from my customers. Being an online business (and a solo-operator, at that) I can feel a bit cut off from my customers. So I nearly do backflips when they reach out and thank me for their products and our service. I keep every email in a folder called 'warm fuzzies'. I love it so much!

And what challenges have you overcome?
As I mentioned, I'm a solo-entrepreneur, and my biggest challenge is having to manage every single aspect of my business, even the things I'm pretty rubbish at. I had a realisation in June this year that I had been operating for almost a year and I had not done any real marketing. I was so focused on building my product range (because that's what I love best) and I had completely neglected the communications aspect of my business. I've since had to re-prioritise my efforts to make sure the jobs I don't like get as much attention as the ones I love.  

What advice would you give the Peita from a year ago?
I would say 'great products are vital, but they're useless if people don't know about them'. Marketing, marketing, marketing. It has been my primary skills gap and I would tell myself to get learning and doing a lot earlier.

Selection of homewares from Gingerfinch. Photography by Lean Timms

Selection of homewares from Gingerfinch. Photography by Lean Timms

How has your personal journey for simple living evolved over the last year?
That's a tough question because the reality is that there's little that's slow about my life at the moment. I do stick to my 'pens down by 8pm' rule (although that doesn't include Instagram, of course), I try to get out for a walk more than once a week, I potter in my terrace garden most weekends, and I still read a fantasy/Sci Fi novel before sleep each night. I grab those small moments that help me tap out and calm down. It's working, so I'm not too hard on myself about not leading a slower life. Girl's gotta do, and all that.

What inspires you?
Nature is my biggest inspiration. That's what will really pick me up if I'm in a tizz or if I feel burnt out. I get my design inspiration from the talent all over instagram, and from great publications like The Design Files, The Design Chaser and The New from NZ. And my wonderful business friends are also a huge inspiration for me. We are always thinking of solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems, and sharing experiences, wins and failures. I'd be lost without them!

Porcelain spheres from Gingerfinch. Photography by Lean Timms

Porcelain spheres from Gingerfinch. Photography by Lean Timms

What do you look for when finding new brands and products to stock at Gingerfinch?
Ohhh this is my favourite question. I actually wrote a blog post about this because I'm really passionate about ethical product sourcing. I'm always on the hunt for innovative design, so when something catches my eye, I ask three questions: who made it? What is it made from? Where is it made? I only stock a product when I'm confident that it's made by hands (as opposed to mass-produced in a factory), is made by sustainable materials and in ethical conditions locally or offshore. If I'm not totally sure about the quality of the product, I often order one as a customer and live with it for a while to make sure it meets my standard. I pour myself into making sure that Gingerfinch is the place people come when they want something rare-find, of exceptional quality and ethically made. Something they'll treasure for life.


Peita Davis is the Founder and Director of Gingerfinch Homewares and Lifestyle. Follow Peita on Instagram @gingerfinchhome and visit gingerfinch.com.au