One of the geat benefits that come with my job (if you can call it that when you’re having so much fun!) is having the opportunity to meet some interesting people, whether it is designers, customers, manufacturers, reps, etc.
Some of them have even become friends. One such person is Yvonne Potter of Y DESIGN STUDIO. I have loved hearing about her adventures in China where she travelled to find a manufacturer that could produce beautiful pieces that met with her high standards for quality.
With a Bachelor of Industrial Design, an apprenticeship in Milan and several years' worth of experience in designing, producing and marketing modern furniture, she is well versed in the realities of the furniture business in Canada (which are challenging to say the least), and has ultimately turned to China for the production of her pieces. Some designers will not put too much emphasis on the fact that their products are made in China, but she totally embraces it, even pulling inspiration from it for her designs. Her Vivian Stool, for instance, was inspired by 'working in China, specifically Mandarin characters which are little hieroglyphs.'
She feels passionate about this issue: ‘’It's a shame that the West ignores China like it doesn't exist....it has had so much bad press even with the Olympics... Their quality is improving rapidly (especially all the factories still in business during this recession) so it is exciting.’’ She adds: ‘’ A note to the critics of China - where do you think all the stuff from Pier One Imports and Home Sense comes from?! Not to mention Nine West, Armani Exchange, Canadian Tire, Coach, I could go on and on and on.......!’’
Enjoy the Q & A!
You’ve worked on several projects. Is there a project of which you are particularly proud?
Going to China, and producing my own line of furniture with a Chinese/American manufacturer.
Even if I don't believe in that kind of thing, I'm starting to think that maybe Canadian design company HERO 365 somehow had a glimpse into the future when they came up with the idea for the RC-1 Rain Collector. With all the rain we've been getting here in Ottawa since the start of ‘’summer’’, their rain collector could not have come at a better time.
They’re also proving that they have a finger on the pulse of what’s to come with a design that is not only beautiful, functional, forward-looking and eco-friendly, but also has the potential to change the way we live.
On the practical side, it can hold up to 45 gallons of water (meaning it could be filled at record speed in our part of the country), so you can water the garden, wash the car and the dog or even the kids! Ok, maybe I’m being overly enthusiastic, but you get the idea. You can use it to fill your watering can or even attach a hose to the stainless steel spigot for bigger jobs.
Aesthetically pleasing, it will add a touch of whimsy to your outdoor space. It comes in your choice of monochrome white or monochrome brown. You can also choose to have a brown tank with white legs, or a white tank with brown legs.
Innovative and sustainable, it conserves one of our most precious resources – water – and is made of recyclable materials. Didn’t I say Hero 365 could see into the future?
Now if only we could ship some of that rain to BC!