B-Goods is a textiles and interiors brand that combines bold use of colour, hints of nostalgia and a Scandi sensibility to create patterns that achieve the perfect balance of playfulness and modernity. All B-Goods textile patterns, artwork and products are designed and handmade by Ben and Fi O’Brien in their Somerset studio and printed in the UK. I caught up with Fi O’Brien to find out more about their design process and future plans…
B Goods is a collaborative effort between you and Ben the Illustrator, how do you balance your skills to create the designs?
It’s quite a natural, organic process really. My passions are in textiles, interiors and products, whereas Ben’s mind is filled with illustration and colour. We always begin with a pattern concept which could come from either of us, then we enjoy a bit of mood-boarding and sketching before Ben moves on to illustrating the pattern design, meanwhile it’s my job to give Ben’s illustration an end purpose. Once the textiles arrive in the studio from the printers, it’s time for me to get making!
What are your biggest inspirations in terms of both surface and product design?
In terms of pattern design both Ben and I feed off forests, nature, cabins, atomic ranches and mid century design but in the same moment take great inspiration from cities, graffiti and music. I think it’s the juxtaposition of the two very different forms of inspiration that creates something magical. When it comes to product design I like to think of the best way the patterns can be captured and experienced by the customer rather than simply placing a pattern on everything and anything. To date we’ve been focused on playing with textiles as our sole material, but that is all about to change!
How did you and Ben come to work together as Huddle Formation, and what have been the triumphs and pitfalls of working with your partner so closely?
Ben and I have worked together for almost 8 years now, basically doing what we do now albeit unofficially, hence why we decided it was time to create Huddle Formation, offering ourselves as a multidisciplinary creative studio, illustrating, designing and making! Generally we work really well together with a nice natural flow to our working day. Our minds are constantly ticking with ideas for patterns and products so it’s great to be able to bounce ideas off eachother and run up to the studio and just create whenever we want! I suppose a pitfall is that it’s very hard for us to switch off from work as it doesn’t feel like work to us, but Woody, our 5 year old son, make’s sure that we do!
How long have you lived in Somerset and what are the benefits of living in that area of the world?
We’ve been in Frome, Somerset for almost 3 years now and we absolutely love it! It’s such a brilliant buzzing little town, full of creative people with a really strong independent ethos which suits us perfectly! We also love being able to jump in the car and be right in the middle of the woods in 10 minutes. It’s also easy for us to get to London and Bristol for our city fix, but nice knowing we can escape back to Somerset!
Where can readers buy the B Goods collection?
Currently only via our online store at B-Goods.com, but this year we will be on the lookout for likeminded retailers!
I hear you’ve got big plans for 2015 and we hope to see your new collection at Tent London this year – what have you got in store?
Yes, we are incredibly excited about exhibiting at Tent London! We are currently working on two fresh new patterns that we are equally excited about and experimenting with some new materials, learning and having fun as we go! We are developing some ceramic, wood and upholstered products so it is definitely all go for us at the moment! Just the way we like it
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