B-Goods (as in 'Be Good!') is a brightly coloured range of bespoke fabric products including a variety of bags, pencil cases and cushions.
The collection is a joint venture from Ben & Fi O’Brien, a husband and wife design duo based in Somerset. The custom fabric features distinctive illustrated patterns, much of which is clearly influenced by good old mother nature and the great outdoors. We caught up with Ben for a quick chat about this inspirational collection.
How did B-Goods come to be?
Fi has always had a keen interest in pattern and textiles, and together we have played with pattern design for some time, so it all happened quite organically. It was truly the perfect collaboration for us. B-Goods was our outlet for a brand that represented positivity and all that is good in the world, being good to ourselves and to one another, an amplified good life.
What responsibilities do you each take on in the creation of the B-Goods products?
In all honesty B-Goods is Fi’s baby. It is a brand that she has envisaged for some time. Of course it involves my illustrated patterns but generally it begins with both Fi and I conceptualising a theme for a pattern and how it will be used. I illustrate the pattern and we then sit together and play with colour-ways, sizing etc… Fi designs all of the products and then hand makes them in our studio.
I really admire the fact that each item in the range is hand-made. They must take a vast amount of time and skill to prepare. Are those skills all self taught?
Yes! Keeping it real is very important to us. We believe in independent business and doing it for yourself! We didn’t want to have the illustration work simply slapped all over all kinds of products just for the hell of it. Nurtured, bespoke products are what we are all about. We wanted to really consider how the illustration was used, think about what our customers might want. In what form would they hold a piece of us.
The bags are quite labour intensive, but we’re ok with that. We can rest assured that the customer is getting a product made with heart and soul. All of Fi’s skills are self taught and we’ll let you in on a little secret, Fi has only been sewing since the beginning of this year, it all came very naturally to her, hence why we knew we were on the right path.
Do you find it easy to live and work together?
It may sound cheesy but yes we do! We’re not going to lie, we do occasionally butt heads in the studio, but only with the best intentions for the project. We do have quite different working methods, Fi is an ideas person, so jumps from one thing to the next, whereas I like order and seeing things through to the finish. Nothing a cuppa and some loud(er) music can’t solve.
What do you hope the future holds for B-Goods?
We have huge visions for B-Goods in 2014 and beyond. We will be delving into other product areas, such as ceramics, stationery and of course extending on our fabric ranges, bags and accessories, all very exciting stuff.