A Cup of Chai with Kate Gordon, Head Designer at Robert Gordon Australia
1) Robert Gordon is a third generation Australian business. Can you tell us a bit about where and when Robert Gordon Australia began and your vision for the future?
Robert Gordon first begun in a rickety wooden shed on my parent's property in Gembrook. It was over 40 years ago, and at that time it was just mum and dad. They had one wheel, a hand-made kiln and Dad threw all the pots. Mum would load the car up on a Saturday or Sunday and drive to the biggest markets. The four of us would also pile in - we grew up on the St Kilda Market, eating the cheese cake from Acland street, and largely entertaining ourselves!
Prior to that, my Dad had worked with his parents, who were both potters. Grandma and Grandpa had Pottery Cottage in Black Rock. That was started in 1945. Pottery is very much in our blood.
Fast forward to now, and the four of us have largely taken over the business, with mum and dad in semi-retirement. We are super excited about our future, building our brand and continuing to design, develop and make world-class products. We also have grand plans to renovate our Pakenham headquarters, with a large restaurant, open pottery and beautiful gift store.
2) How many of the family work in the business?
Four children all work together. Hannah, the eldest, is in charge of International Purchasing. Kate (me) - in charge of Design and Product development. Bobby - Production manager Sam - Marketing and Sales We all take a keen role in design.
3) As the designer at Robert Gordon where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere - a large part comes from our past, the glazes my Dad designed in the 1980s is now a huge influence. My mum's English heritage has also played a role in informing my designs. I am a very keen antique shopper, love magazines, and you will always find me at an op shop. I do have a slight pinterest addiction too!
4) We recently teamed up to create the Prana Chai Gift Box with your Chai Latte mug featuring in the box. Can you share the process of creating this beautiful mug with our readers?
The Chai Latte mug is based on our very popular Hug Me Mug shape. Without the handle you are able to give the Latte a much bigger Hug! It’s perfect for a warm brew on a cold day.
Chai Lattes have gained enormous momentum over the past year or so, particularly in the hospitality market, and this shape is all about capturing that trend.
5) Your hug mugs where a social media sensation last season. What can we expect to see next season?
We have lots to show for next season. Samples are arriving every day now. The most exciting news is that we have designed and developed a super cute mini hug mug, for the little kids.
6) How can Prana Chai devotees find out more about Robert Gordon?