Great collaborations: Kollab, Makusart and Ourlieu


Inspired by the ‘Coming Together’ theme and incredible speakers at the recent Life Instyle exhibition in Sydney, this next series taps into all that gorgeous energy that comes from beautiful collaborations. The week’s featured collaborator include Kollab, an Australian lifestyle and homewares brand that loves to work with talented artists to create beautiful collections. Their recent collaborations include working with freelance artist Makusart and homewares brand Ourlieu. Hayley Barrett, co-founder of Kollab, chats to us below about what makes a great collaboration and how to get started.

What drew you to collaboration? Why did you first make the choice to collaborate?
Initially we named our label Kollab because it’s a great word and we loved the way it sounded and also it was very ‘now’. Next came the collaboration side of things. We knew we wanted to collaborate so it was the perfect fit. We all continually admire other artists and designers’ work, and a great way to celebrate it is to work in conjunction with great people.

What makes a good collaboration? What worked really well?
Our partnerships are based on admiration of each other’s work and also the ability to express what each other’s needs and expectations are as well as having the ability to adapt without compromise, i.e being totally happy at end of the process with making necessary changes to suit both collaborators along the way.

You need to have a similar end goal when collaborating.

How did your collaboration with Makusart and Ourlieu take place? Talk us through the major steps.
Jess and I usually discuss a few potential collaborators for each collection. There are so many we love and would like to work with in the future. The possibilities also for what we do are enormous and would translate so well. But we have to choose one (for now).

It just starts with a conversation to touche base with them. We have ideas of what we are looking for as far as what will sit alongside our new collection. We discuss our plans for the new collection and what we have seen of their work, as well as listen to their ideas in relation to what they think will work on our products.

Some of the gorgeous products created by Kollab x Ourlieu.

Some of the gorgeous products created by Kollab x Ourlieu.

What benefits do you believe collaboration offers that you might not get working solo?
We think it’s a really lovely way to open up new opportunities and link to other categories of lifestyle brands that we don’t offer product in ourselves. It also gives us the chance to work alongside people we respect and admire.

What are some challenges you’ve come up against in the process? What did you learn?
We’ve been really lucky so far. We haven’t had any challenges as yet. It’s been a very smooth process and we have all met the timelines necessary. Largely due to the fact that during initial discussions we ensure we have the same approach, values, vision and outcome.

What advice would you give brands considering collaboration?
We think it’s a great and fun process. However you need to have the same end goal when collaborating and keep communications flowing throughout the entire process.

What brands do you think have nailed collaborations previously? What are your favorite collaborations you’ve come across?
Fashion: Louis Vuitton X Marc Jacobs (Takashi Murakami & Stephen Sprouse), Supreme, Vans (X Marc Jacobs) and Nike (X De La Soul) are all great collaborators.
Obey X Keith Haring: one of my favs.
Lifestyle: Rachel Castle & Gorman, Gorman and Beneath the Sun, Bec Orpin & Arrow.

What would be another dream brand you’d love to join forces with and why?
Fashion: Bassike, Mister Zimi
Home: Kip & Co & Antoinette Ferwerda, Leah Bartholomew (Beneath the Sun), Gorman, Rachael Castle. We are looking for something both fun and colourful heading into Summer 15/16.


On that note, do you have any plans for more collaborations in the future?
Absolutely! We love the idea of it and will continue to with a designer or artist (up and coming or established) each collection.

If someone is reading this and would like to collaborate with you, or reach out to someone they’d love to collaborate with, what should they do?
Just start a conversation. Let’s chat!

I think that last sentence of Hayley’s is one of my favourites. Just start a conversation! It’s amazing what wonderful things can happen just from a little chat. A big thank you to Hayley for sharing Kollab’s insights into the world of collaboration! Thinking of starting your very own collaboration? If you have any comments or questions, make sure you share them below!

And don’t forget to check out Kollab on Instagram (@k_kollab), Makusart (@makusart) and Ourlieu (@ourlieu).

See you next week for another delicious collaboration Q&A to devour!

Kylie, xx

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Content Kin Girragirra Central West NSW Content Marketing Social Media Workshop

Our next #ContentKin Content Marketing and Social Media Workshop for Business is Monday 4 May 2015, at Girragirra Retreat in Forbes, Central West NSW – yep, we’re taking it to regional Australia!

This is a creative and interactive workshop for businesses, exploring social media and content planning ideas and challenges. At the end of the day you’ll walk away with a defined social media and content strategy, and an actionable plan. And it will be fun! There will be coloured pens, piles of post it notes, chocolates and a room full of wholehearted biz types like you. Check out a little video of what you can expect here.


More information and tickets via the link (and being snapped up by regional creatives quickly!):

See you there! x

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