We went inside the beautiful new En Gold HQ & spoke to furniture designer and founder Steffanie Ball about the beginnings of the brand, what she loves about the new office space and her greatest learnings from the past 2 years.
First things first, how did it all begin & what was that light bulb moment when you decided to start En Gold?
We like to say that it all began with $50, an old truck and a baby!
I was on maternity leave with my first baby, Daisy, and decided to re-decorate our small beachside cottage. I was finding it difficult to find anything I liked in contemporary furniture so I was filling my home with beautifully unique vintage pieces. My friend convinced me that I should try on-selling the pieces that I didn’t have room for. I was reluctant but then I found a set of 5 beautiful mid-century armchairs for $50. My husband Matt just bought an old Ford F100 truck, so I sent him to pick them up. I emptied my living room to style the chairs, photograph them and launched an Instagram page. It wasn't long after that I had designed our first collection of marble plinths, purely out of my own personal disappointment that I couldn't find any to style with anywhere! This was the beginning of the En Gold brand.
In a beautiful serendipitous series of events, I had also discovered Fossil Stone Furniture during our vintage days. Even back then, we had grown a reputation for selling these uniquely crafted pieces, such as the vintage version of what would become our Arena Table and Tierra Grande. Knowing that this is a traditional Filipino craft, which is also my cultural heritage, I found the original craftsman that produced these designs more than 30 years ago.
It was through our partnership that we resurfaced the old designs, put them back into production again and reignited this craft. We have since grown and generated over 100 new jobs and continue to proudly support and promote this incredible craft whilst supporting a region which is very close to my heart.
What is one element of furniture design that you love?
I love the connection we have with furniture and the memories we create around the furniture within our homes. We often hear about the nostalgic memories of the coffee table or dining chairs our parents or grandparents had in their homes when growing up, it creates a sense of home and security. Our pieces are designed to be passed down through the generations and to be cherished for a lifetime. This is one of the things I love most about working in slow interiors, whilst celebrating handcrafted artistry.
What is the first thing you do when you get to the office?
I have a strong coffee and I check in with my team. In order to get the most out of each day, communication is essential. I love our En Gold family, everyone comes to work everyday contributing to a common goal in building this brand together. We are extremely collaborative and close.
Top 3 ways you organise your life?
I am the most unorganised/organised person! Prior to this life, I took great pride in my organisational skills. These days it gets a little tricky! Things pop up all day everyday, so when this happens I always make a ‘To Do’ list, followed by always making sure meetings and appointments are scheduled in my calendar and thirdly I sought help and onboarded an assistant who has been heaven sent and now I don’t think I could live without her!
What do you love most about the En Gold office space?
It’s calming. Our days get very busy in the office and there is always lots to do, working within a space that makes you feel good really helps create an overall sense of calm. This was particularly noticeable last year, when we were navigating through all of the challenges 2021 brought.
Where do you find your inspiration for En Gold? And what favourite piece has found a place in your home?
Aligning with our vintage roots, the En Gold style definitely offers a sense of nostalgia married with contemporary design.
I am always inspired by the materials we use and the hand made skills of our craftsman. I have a few pieces from our Estrella Collection in my home including the Miro Chest of Drawers and Arena Table. Anything from this collection will always be my favourite because I am so connected to the hands that craft them and the region they are made, seeing them in my home always brings me joy. We also have Daisy chairs around our dining table, this was the first co-designed piece that Matt and I created together and we named after our daughter Daisy. I really try to curate our home with pieces I am connected to, so that we can keep them in our home for many years to come. There isn’t anything in our collections that I wouldn't have in my own home, so naturally we have lots of En Gold throughout our space.
What has been your biggest brand/career highlight?
Being an e-commerce brand, the humbling notion of seeing En Gold pieces being cherished in peoples homes and stores is the most rewarding feeling. Knowing that our handcrafted pieces resonate with a wider community is something I will cherish forever, I pinch myself everyday.
& what’s the greatest lesson you’ve learnt from being a young business during the unprecedented events of the last few years?
Wow, the last two years have given so many challenges and lessons. I think the first thing I have learnt, which remains a work in progress, is to protect and preserve my mental well being and manage stress.
Challenges are expected when owning and operating a growing business in the best of times. But throw in a pandemic and most recently a devastating typhoon (in the region where our pieces are produced) and the challenges can come from every single direction. You have to be resilient and agile for yourself, your family and for your team. To manage this I always carve out time to exercise, get a massage, take a bath, whatever it may be that I feel my body needs so that I can reset and recharge to get through it!
What are your goals for En Gold / what are you most looking forward to this year for the brand?
My goals for En Gold is to continue to nurture it’s growth and expand our collection. We have lots of exciting plans in the works that I hope to see come into fruition this year, in particular our international presence.
You can explore the En Gold collections HERE and follow them on Instagram HERE.
Imagery by Tarlie Russell of TR Studio