As their eponymous furniture store grows up and celebrates 21 years of designing and manufacturing furniture in Melbourne, Susan and Gordan Tait answer the first of our interview series Twelve Questions.
What is a current influence? Susan: We are both incredibly influenced by the outdoors, particularly the Australian bush. The colours, the atmosphere, the serenity really recharges our batteries. We love just being in the bush, whether walking or sipping a glass of wine beside a fire watching golden hour – magic!
And a past or childhood influence? Again, the outdoors. Gordon spent much of his childhood riding his bike through the bush or sailing on the ocean. I loved being in the garden with my mum or going to the beach and looking at rock pools. I haven’t changed much, although I differ to Gordon, as I love being under the water as opposed to on it, any chance to snorkel, I’m still there.
Melbourne: What works? Creativity is greatly supported by this city, whether that is art, design, craft or food. You can choose to watch, participate or eat and there is a wonderful positivity around this, which we find infectious.
What doesn’t? Swimming in winter.
If you weren’t doing what you do, what other field could you see yourself working in? Gordon: Working in the field of natural medicine. Susan: A full time artist. We’ve still got time!
Last movie/book/album that grabbed you? Really enjoying listening to local band Hiatus Kaiyote’s new album ‘Tawk Tomahawk’. Love that it came out on vinyl!
Favourite new toy, object, etc? Gordon loves new toys, he is currently dreaming about a PX 200 Vespa. I’m just dreaming about a holiday.
If you could change one thing… Working fulltime. Having a family and owning a small business is all consuming, so we are craving more time to enjoy the little things and travel.
On top of your to do list this week? Gordon: “Go sailing!”. Susan: And he means it. But instead we are actually designing and creating a stand for a trade show DesignEx which opens next week.
What’s next for Tait? Gordon is designing a lounge chair for the Breeze collection as well as more diamond sculptures. I’m looking at concepts for urban seating.
If you could give yourself one piece of advice 21 years ago, what would it be?
Is there another 21 years in Tait? Yes, of course. With or without us at the helm.
176 Johnston Street
Fitzroy, VIC 3065