15th November 2017 An Interview With Aorta

To kick start our member interviews we chatted to Frida Rush, the Founder and Director of Aorta The Heart Of Art. Aorta is the home of fine furniture and authentic interior design. Read on to see who Frida's biggest style influence is! 

Beech bench - Aorta

What would be the best advice you could offer people looking to start up a business similar to your own?

Find capable people that you trust to support you both practically and emotionally because it can be a rollercoaster.

 

Do you have an ethos or motto for your business?

The ethos is to express individuality through functional art

 

What are the biggest challenges faced by start up designers / businesses?

Finance and getting the product to market are the biggest challenges. You need money to create your product but also to market it. We have been successful through word of mouth this far but to grow we have to understand our target audience and market to them accordingly.

 

Who is your biggest style influence?

I would probably say artists like Andy Warhol who use everyday objects as a source of inspiration. I have always been fascinated by mundane objects and the intriguing personal relationships we form with them. My mother owned a fake stone in which she stored a spare key. The stone was so fake that anyone could easily recognize it for what it was. Nevertheless, for years and years this stone sat on the ground in front of our house, right next to real stones, flowers and other decoys. This inspired my own design theory of personal connections with everyday objects can help towards a more sustainable future.

 

What are the most common reasons customers buy from you?

Our customers enjoy our authentic and quirky designs. Whether it's small home accessories, gifts or statement pieces, they love that our designs are handcrafted with them in mind. I think they like the exclusive nature of our services because our designs are original and customised to their preferences. Our approach to sustainability is also a part of our appeal.

 

Why are people preferring to buy handmade goods?

I think people realize the benefits. The benefits include the quality and individuality of the product, but also that it is being made specifically for them creates a sense of pride or in some cases attachment to the product. I guess it’s a symbol of quality you can’t find from large manufactured brands. For us, it's about creating unique, functional pieces people can enjoy.  

 

Where do you source your products?

Our products are handcrafted in the UK, and when possible using 100% recycled material.

Frida Rush - Aorta The Heart Of Art Founder

Frida Rush

What is the most fun part of your job?

Without question designing and making, I live and breathe it.

 

What makes you better than your nearest competitor?

We’re not afraid to be different. We push the boundaries and create elegant, functional and playful art. Some of our pieces are eccentric and take their inspiration from everyday scenarios such as losing your keys or money down the sofa, arguing over the TV remote and other comically occurrences that happen in most households.

 

What plans are you making for the future?

We want to grow our business, expanding our collections, customer base and services. We have a small but successful design portfolio, having supplied to some top hotels and cafes in London as well as overseas.

 

What is the most exciting project you have worked on?

Probably my own! I exhibit some of my products in a London based showroom but it’s not my own. I wanted my own showroom so a couple of years ago I began a full scale restoration project - The Chapel in Greylees, Lincolnshire. Once complete The Chapel will not only be Aorta’s showroom but will also contribute significantly to the local community by providing exhibition space, retail outlet, bar and much more. Although in its final stages, it has been far from a smooth sail and one that has tested my abilities as well as emotions.

 

What is your signature touch?

All of my designs have hidden elements, some of functional, some are playful but each comes with what I call the Aorta twist. This could be the literal bending of material or a spin on a traditional design.   

 

What are your favourite textures and colours in design?

I love using recycled cork, steel and concrete in my designs, I find them fascinating to work with. I would say I use a lot of blues, yellows, bronze and gold leaf in my designs.

 

What do you do on an average day off?

Ha ha, what’s that? Whenever I’m not working I spend time with my son, family and friends.

 

If you weren’t doing what you are doing, what would you be doing?

Even if I didn’t have the business I would still be making furniture and home accessories, it’s my passion and I never want to stop!

 

Frida Rush, Aorta The Heart Of Art 

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