Discussing Vietnam, signature palettes and best sellers, we get the tell-all behind ZAKKIA’s successful homewares from Founder and Creative Director, Sara Lundgren.
Taking the homewares realm by storm, Sydney-born brand ZAKKIA has introduced a wide, ever-growing collection of handmade products to the market.
Their success has skyrocketed since their launch in 2014, with design-lovers (including us!) not being able to get enough of these beautiful, iconic styles.
From tableware and décor to storage and hooks, ZAKKIA has something for everyone to fall in love with. The handmade production process, inspiration behind each collection, and timeless design concepts are truly special.
Sara Lundgren, ZAKKIA’s Founder and Creative Director, shares with us what really goes on before ZAKKIA products hit the shelves, and which design is her personal favourite…
Could you take us back to the start? How was ZAKKIA born and what was the vision?
ZAKKIA was created from a love of handcrafted objects and a passion for lasting designs. Our first collection was released in late 2014 after a year or so of development and prototyping.
With every product being handmade, it is a continual process of learning about different materials and understanding how they react to certain things.
From the very beginning we made the decision to partner with small, family-owned makers to create our products. Each of our makers specialise in a particular material and many of them have passed their techniques down through generations in Vietnam.
We love the collaborative relationships we have built with our extended team in Vietnam and because of their involvement, each product has its own personal story.
ZAKKIA products are so unique. Could you give us an insight to the handmade process and its importance?
Absolutely, this is one of our favourite parts of ZAKKIA! Every product in our range is designed hand-in-hand with our makers. We have an idea about the shape or use we want a product to have, and from the beginning we work together to create something that ticks both style and function boxes.
Some of our makers have been producing homewares for over 900 years in their family and they are always keen to make suggestions based on their experience working with a particular material or kilning technique. We can’t separate ZAKKIA from handmade, it’s a vital part of what we do.
We believe in buying once and buying well, which means thinking consciously about the product and how it has been produced. At ZAKKIA, we love nothing more than sipping our tea from our own special mug, that is unique to any other mug there is, and I think people who buy ZAKKIA enjoy the same simple pleasures.
What is the inspiration behind ZAKKIA’S signature monochrome palette?
It wasn’t really a conscious thing. I’ve always preferred simple, unfussy colours so it seemed natural to reflect this in our collections.
We always focus on creating products that ideally last for many years rather than being influenced by seasonal trends, and I think a monochrome palette makes that easier.
What are the design concepts behind each collection and how do they evolve?
Our collections are largely influenced by the natural materials we use. We try to find a new material each season and explore a way of incorporating it into our range in a different way.
This season we are experimenting with terrazzo, which has typically been used as a floor covering and was popular in the 1970s.
We like the way a simple shape can be transformed into something interesting by a new material, so you will often find that we continue the same style across seasons but introduce it in a new material or texture.
We want every product to be versatile and suit many different uses and rooms within the house, so that also influences the kind of products we create.
What is ZAKKIA’s best seller and which is your personal favourite?
Our concrete range has been a strong seller since the beginning, however, we are seeing a shift these past few months since releasing our new terrazzo range.
Personally, I always hold a soft spot for our Dala Horse because it is a typical Swedish icon that reminds me of home.
Who would be ZAKKIA’S dream collaborator?
This is a hard one! There are so many amazing designers and creatives out there I don’t think I can choose.
In the past when we have collaborated with people we always look out for someone who shares the same love of good design, natural materials and value for the handmade process.
We wouldn’t mind breakfast looking like this every day! Yummy meal set on ZAKKIA’s Concrete Round Tray, Natural.
What’s next in store for ZAKKIA?
We have just launched ZAKKIA in Europe so that is our big focus at the moment! We are managing most things from our studio in Sydney along with the help of some agents on the ground, so it’s been a big process with a lot of learnings along the way.
And finally, for those of us who are super curious, what does ‘ZAKKIA’ mean?
ZAKKIA is actually a variation of my grandmother’s name! It’s also my sister’s middle name and she will always remind me of that whenever I say the brand is named after our grandmother.