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Nina Camilleri on design, sustainability and the future of Hendeer

Nina Camilleri on design, sustainability and the future of Hendeer

When it comes to bohemian living, it’s hard not to get swept up in the free-spirited lifestyle it encompasses. Filled with art, spontaneity and adventure, it’s no wonder why so many are forsaking the conventional in favour of a less-is-more outlook. And nobody embodies this sentiment more than Australian brand, Hendeer.

Their large picnic rugs are the epitome of simplicity. Designed to be used everyday - whether as an eye-catching wall tapestry or charming picnic centrepiece - Hendeer’s rugs have become a staple piece for every gypsy wanderer.

Ahead of the launch of their third collection, we caught up with founder, Nina Camilleri, to talk all things design, sustainability and what’s next for the lifestyle brand.


1. What inspires Hendeer?

The love of music, rock n roll, architecture, fashion, furniture, textiles, travel and our relationship with nature.

2. When people think of Hendeer, what do you want to come to mind?

A cool brand with a recognisable and distinct look and feel. A lifestyle brand that defines unique Australian style, with hints of global influencers. A brand that represents freedom, fun, home, adventure, good times, and is at the forefront of exciting design.

3. How do your designs embody this feeling?

We design bold, spirited pieces that we hope will evoke emotions of happiness, warmth and familiarity.

4. What makes Hendeer different?

We create quality products with unique and striking designs. Our customers will recognise our love of bold, unconventional prints and products that are fashionable and functional. They will not have to choose between either, because why can’t you have both? We want to transform everyday items into pieces of art.

5. What does the creative process look like, from concept to collection?

Sometimes all it takes is something as trivial as admiring a funky outfit from Jimi Hendrix or The Beatles, or spotting an image of some distant travel destination to get us inspired and jotting our initial ideas down.

We then create a mood board detailing our ideas and summarise it all in a design brief, complete with indicative pantone colours, hand sketches and the general direction we wish to take a particular product.

We then have our amazing textile designer in France put pen to paper and create her unique take on our initial brief, usually resulting in a couple of propositions and mock ups to start with.

Then it’s a matter of getting samples made, touching and feeling the product, tweaking the details, and finalising the colours, size and shape until we have the golden sample!

Once we have the golden sample and are certain on the design and product, it goes into production and we prepare all the marketing material and photography, both studio and lifestyle shots, that really bring the product to life.

6. Tell us about your studio space?

We started as a humble home-based business from our living room. It really was the perfect beginning with its abundance of room, amazing natural light and overlooking a serene and peaceful backdrop (we have been blessed with a borrowed landscape behind our property). We have now migrated to a small office space still within the home and are now looking to expand again. Looks like it might have to be the attic.

For most of the year our designer works out of an apartment in Paris overlooking Parisian buildings and in summer she is blessed to spend time working out of her atelier in the french countryside. It really is quite romantic and picturesque, although to her, it's home. We’re hoping to get over there as soon as this COVID thing relaxes a bit – hopefully sooner rather than later.

7. What does sustainability mean to Hendeer and how is this embodied in your design process?

The majority of our designs are intrinsically bohemian, meaning our inspiration is fundamentally drawn from the love of a free-spirited lifestyle, which also translates inherently to a bond with nature and the environment. So, it goes almost without saying that we combine an equal passion for adventure, design and sustainability.

We have a somewhat romantic notion that sustainability and chic design can live as one, be in sync, or as we like to say, play at the same concert. Our relationship with the earth is paramount and we strive to continue to respect it by selecting materials and manufacturing processes that respect our environment as best they can.

For example, our picnic throws are thoughtfully created from a blend of cotton and recycled polyester that otherwise would have ended up in landfill, reinforcing our pursuit of sustainable practices. 

We are always searching for better ways to put our planet first. This is definitely a work in progress.

8. What does the future of Hendeer design look like?

Hopefully forever evolving with our mood and travels (even if this currently means armchair traveling). We hope that we will continue to deliver new styles that are bold, bright and appeal to both sexes and continue to stir different emotions within our customers.

We will continue with bold, bohemian, bright striking, memorable, interesting, European and eclectic prints, ensuring to incorporate unisex designs.

We’re also expanding our range to include other pieces for the home and have some exciting new products launching very soon that will give our customers the opportunity to extend their collection to matching cushions, including floor cushions, carry straps and more.


For more on Camilleri’s journey to founding Hendeer, head here. Otherwise, discover Hendeer’s best-selling woven rugs here.