Born of a desire to develop a beautiful place in which to shop that also brings a community together to share knowledge during what can be a joyful yet complicated time, there’s an adorable new arrival in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland’s Newmarket. Alongside their just-opened retail store, Nature Baby has conceived a fresh concept, Community by Nb, which functions as a practitioner room, sustainable community kitchen and space in which to hold wellbeing workshops. We had a quick chat with company co-founder Jacob Faull about it.

MAIN IMAGE The pottery seen here in the kitchen is by Wairarapa maker Paul Melser and the print is by photographer Derek Henderson. ABOVE Nature Baby collaborated with James McNab of Think & Shift on the fit-out. “A lot of the concept came from our own practice and approach, then Think & Shift came in and pushed things to the next level,” says Jacob. “The furniture is all made from macrocarpa, which we love — it’s the most sustainable local timber you can get and smells divine,” he continues. “We designed the pieces in collaboration with Think & Shift, and our amazing makers were Andy Barnett of Unique Creative and Dan Manolas of Manolas Brothers.”

So Jacob, what inspired the aesthetic? Essentially, it’s based around ideas of creation, nature and situationist practices. Guided by one of our core brand values, sustainability, we wanted to respect and work with the industrial architecture of the original 1940s building, with its high stud and big windows, so we repurposed as many materials as we could, cleaning up and reframing elements like the windows and brickwork to make that our base. We then layered in themes around potting sheds and glasshouses. We were also guided by Scandinavian utilitarianism, incorporating a respect for materials and form, and brought in lots of natural texture.

How did your colour and material palettes come to life? We loved working with Natural Paint Co on our colours — they share our belief that what’s best for baby is also best for our planet and, like us, prioritise sustainability, quality, safety and transparency in the creation of their non-toxic products. The custom colour palette came from ideas of nurturing — natural greens and neutrals through to brick reds and soft pinks that have a soothing, calming effect. A good example is the clay-pink, kiln-like practitioner room, which is a peaceful home for our therapists providing wrap-around services like midwifery advice, lactation consulting, pregnancy massage and nutritional support to new families.
In terms of materials, we looked to concepts where there was a relationship of things coming together, kind of like a falling in love of materials that then make new things. All of the joins in our woodwork are visible and exaggerated, which speaks to the whole being greater than the sum of its individual parts, and reflects what we’re aiming to offer.
naturebaby.co.nz

Interview Alice Lines

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