Friday 17 October 2014

Catching Up With Zoe Howard from Cushionopoly

With winter now officially done and dusted (with the exception of a few days here and there!) and the pretty blossoms of spring still popping up all over the place, its once again a good excuse to open the windows, move some furniture around and add some fresh fun colour to your home. 

Today in our catching up with series, Im excited to have Zoe Howard, founder and creator of one of Australia's up and coming interior homewares business, Cushionopoly.

Cushionopoly is an Australian owned business proudly located in Melbourne.  Zoe's designs are fresh, fun, affordable and becoming very popular (you may have seen some of her cushions in the Block Shop!) . I love the combination of a gorgeous classic linen fabric with a contemporary feel of the colour and pattern range.

So, without wasting any more of your precious time, here is lovely Zoe, sharing withus a bit about herself and her wonderful business.

1. A quick summary about you and why you started Cushionopoly.

I grew up in a beachside suburb in Perth, one of four kids – middle child. While studying for my journalism degree I worked at a newspaper in media sales which saw me fall into a career of advertising media sales instead. My passion for travel kicked in and saw me travel to London for a stint of work and play. My husband and I met while working at a magazine which was popular for travelling Australians and New Zealanders – TNT Magazine. After a bit more travel we ended up moving to Melbourne in 2005 and I moved into marketing. 

Three years ago after the birth of my son Gus, I was off on maternity leave for 12 months. Naturally being a first time mother I spent a great deal of time at home with much of it staring at all the improvements I wanted to make (ours was a renovators delight!). Unfortunately being on one wage for a year my budget was somewhat lacking. Being a homewares nut this did make me very frustrated and I looked to simple ways to make updates. So I started out trying to source cushion covers as this was the easiest, most affordable and environmentally friendly way to update what I already had. I looked high and low and just couldn’t find the style, colour or range I had in my head.  Everything was way too expensive or the quality wasn’t there. My mother-in-law is a keen crafter and she helped me re-establish my sewing skills and I started making my own.   When friends would come around to visit they would comment on the cushions and couldn’t believe that I had made them myself. A few friends put in custom orders!

So when Gus was about six months old I started to put a plan in place to build on this idea of creating handmade, beautiful and fun cushions but making them affordable too.

2. Describe your style.
I would say my style is vibrant and fun with clean and simple designs that catch the eye and bring a smile to the room.

3. An average day for you entails…
My day starts when Gus wakes up somewhere between 5am – 6am and then he gets into bed with me for a cuddle while I check out instagram J then it is dropping off Gus to daycare (he is in three days), going to the post office and sending off the previous days orders. I usually drop in and grab a takeaway coffee (sometimes a morning treat) from my favourite local caf√© Pure Italian and then it is back to the studio and I begin to go through my emails and orders and get back to new stockists and plan any social media I might be putting up that day. Lunch is whatever is in the fridge and then usually wait around for couriers to pick up wholesale orders in the afternoon while ordering supplies, working on any new designs and sewing up cushions. Then back to pick up Gus and get dinner started.  

4. Favourite  designers you take inspiration from?
 I work in a very inspiring community of people from fellow designers, makers, crafters, bloggers and instagrammers. I take inspiration froma so many places and images its almost impossible not to these days.

5.The room you love most in your home?
 I love my kitchen! We have renovated our 1960s home over the past year and we went for almost seven weeks without a kitchen (those of you who have kids you might understand that being without a kitchen, especially a sink, is a special kind of hell). So when it was finally installed I have never been more in love with a space then my new kitchen. Close second is my living room which does get all new cushions on the couch probably every three months.

6. Tea or coffee?
Tea definitely! My mum is British so I grew up always starting the day with a cup of fresh brewed tea (no tea bags for my mum and dad!). I love love love Earl Grey tea strong with a dash of milk.

7. What do you love most about having your own business?
I love the idea and feeling of endless opportunity and a sense of freedom to my life. To be able to get out of your business the hard work I put in is so very rewarding.

8. Favourite country destination?
My favourite country destination is Tasmania. My in-laws are poppy and sheep farmers from Cressy just out of Launceston. I spend a lot of my holidays in Tasmania and even launched my first screen printed range The Dark Horse there at Agfest.

9. Favourite colour combinations at the moment?
Peach and mint! It feels so fresh and summery.

10. Three items you can't currently live without?
Family, iphone and chocolate. 

A very big thank you for Zoe popping by and sharing with us her wonderful business.
All images courtesy of Cushionopoly.

And if your having a spring cleaning moment and looking for a easy, affordable and cheerful room makeover, click over to Cushionopoly's online store and check out their gorgeous cushion's. 

You can also find them at the Finders Keepers Markets in Melbourne held tonight and tomorrow.

Stay up to date by following on Instagram (@cushionopoly) and on Facebook.


  1. What a fantastic post Kylie. Zoe is such a creative, lovely, gorgeous girl and I loved reading and getting to more about her. Thanks for sharing Kylie. Great work Zo xoxox

    1. Thanks Yvette….yes, Zoe is a very clever lady and love her designs plus the story behind her business. Very inspiring! Happy weekend xxx

  2. Lovely cushions!! I really enjoy reading about creative, thanks for sharing!


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