Annabelle Jamieson took her flair for reimagining everyday homewares into functional works of art and created the fun-loving lifestyle brand, Bendo. Popular with the likes of The Block and The Design Files, we love that Flaunter is Annabelle’s PR tool of choice.
Read on to learn more about Annabelle’s story and why PR is such an important element of Bendo’s success.
Tell us a little bit about who you are and the journey in creating Bendo?
My husband and I had discussed the idea of creating an interior homewares/lifestyle product brand for a few years prior to taking the leap into Bendo. We were visiting my in-laws in Phillip Island one long weekend in 2014 when we noticed a striking sculpture of a full-size elephant made from bright fluoro pink painted chicken wire at an art gallery there. It was this sculpture that inspired us to attempt to re-invent many of the mundane wire ware products we were using every day by simply powder coating them in bright colours or simplifying and modernising their design.
Wire has turned out to be a wonderful material to design with. Occasionally it does pose some manufacturing challenges when trying to realise some of our more complex design concepts, but on the whole, it is cost-effective, durable and extremely versatile.
The initial design challenge we set ourselves to create as many products out of one single piece of wire only. The first range included an egg cup, paperclip coat hook, dog bowl, candle stick, wine rack and photo frame that were all made from one simple piece of wire. We now have over 50 pieces in our collection and many of them are still formed from one piece of wire. Our magazine rack is one design that proved very difficult to make, but having a great relationship with our supplier and working tirelessly together, we managed to get there and the result is a product we’re very proud of.
Your products are a minimalist’s dream! Can you share your design-to-product process?
My husband and I have always loved mid-century modernist architecture, Scandinavian design and minimalist aesthetics. We try to bring these influences to every project we undertake. We are constantly being inspired by everyday items within our own home, friends and family’s homes.
It’s those items that we use every day (usually made of wire) that are lacking any personality – design, that we like to take on and re-design.
What have been some of the most memorable moments for Bendo?
We are super proud of how far we have come and could not have done it without a little help along the way. We are forever grateful to everyone who has joined our journey. Here are a few highlights…..
2015 – Our first trade fair is one we will never forget. The excitement, fear and unknown were extreme. We are constantly reflecting on this moment and thankful for how far we have come. We were touched by the comradery between all the small and large brands also exhibiting. Everyone was so supportive.
2016 – We were featured on Ch9 The Block. We LOVE THE BLOCK. We continue to work closely with them and their ongoing support is just amazing.
2018 – Having our Pet bowls picked up and sold at the National Gallery of Victoria as a support act to the William Wegman exhibition.
2019 – Achieved every small lifestyle brand’s dream; being featured on The Design Files.
2019 – We were featured and sold on internationally recognised design blog / online store, Design Milk.
2020…… In the hands of Flaunter!
Why is PR important to you? Have your goals changed much since you first started?
PR is integral to our holistic approach to marketing. Word of mouth is so powerful, particularly through social media channels. If someone likes your product and tells their friends and family, you can’t go wrong.
A lot has changed as we have grown as a business, but we continue to have fun with the brand. Our design ethos, however, has not changed – to add a unique design twist to everyday products and in doing so, bring a smile to our customers’ faces.
How did you discover Flaunter and how does the platform contribute to your overall PR success?
An old school friend, who also has a small business, recommended the Flaunter platform. It’s a great way to be connected with the media and trends. To better understand the demand and knowledge of what the consumer is craving.
Having been with Flaunter just a short time we have not utilised its offerings to the fullest. We can’t wait to launch our new product range through this channel in the coming months.
What’s your number one tip on creating such beautiful brand images?
Working with professionals within the industry is the way to go. You’re guaranteed to a great outcome and these days, with social media trends, you are more likely to get traction if you have worked with the right team.
Top interiors publications or Instagram accounts we should all be following?
@thedesignfiles, @designmilk, @huntingforgeorge, @dezeen, @designboom, @dwellmagazine, @reallivingmag
What are your favourite products on your website right now?
Of course, almost every product we’ve designed has been a favourite at some point! But right now, I would have to say BUNCH the Banana Stand. It just makes so much sense. Why wouldn’t you hang your bananas? They keep my fruit bowl manageable and they look great. I have 3 boys who love bananas so I usually have 2-3 bunches on the go at once. BUNCH also allows them to ripen at their own rate without affecting all the other fruits in the bowl. WIN WIN!
Describe Bendo in 4 words…
Clever, Modernistic inspired, Minimal
Find and follow Bendo or @bendo_products
Media and stylists – find, download and request PR assets from Bendo on Flaunter now. Create a free account here.
ImageS: [Cover] BUNCH Banana stand, annabelle Jamieson portrait, woof luxe dog bowl, clip luxe wall hook. product photography by Daniel Herrmann-Zoll and styling by Nat Turnbull.