Here we are, finally getting a chance to fill you in on what has been happening in the world of Such Great Heights!
If you have been following our journey for a while, you will know that in 2015 we travelled by ship to the USA with our two young girls to spend 6 glorious months working and living in New York. This was the most incredible experience; our children developed an appreciation of how big the world is, and we explored the realms of what is possible for our brand.The bright lights of the big city had an impact on us in many ways. Most importantly, it shone a light on exactly what is important to us, both personally and professionally.We even made a list...
* Creating products that inspire children to engage in rich, imaginary play* Making only high quality pieces from natural materials that people truly value and will last a lifetime* Working ethically with artisans in Australia and the USA, who are masters of their craft* Collaborating with artists and makers whose work brings an exciting element to our brand* Surrounding ourselves with clever, dynamic, interesting people who can teach us many things* Weaving the threads of our adventurous spirit into our work* Creating our own life story and making brave choices. You only live once!
Since then, we have begun a new and wonderful partnership with a brilliant community workshop, from a small South Australian coastal town, to produce our stunning Nostalgia Collection of Timber Toys. Psst, keep your eyes peeled for an amazing new addition to the Nostalgia Collection, coming soon!
And... in late 2016, Ryan accepted an opportunity and we have embarked on another adventure. This time, we have moved the family to a very special corner of the globe, Byron Bay, on Australia's east coast!And there we have it, on the eve of our 5th anniversary of Such Great Heights.
Here's cheers to the next 5 years, may they be just as fruitful and adventurous!Ryan and Jo xx
In an historic 17th century building on the banks of Amsterdam's Amstel lives the Hop family - Sanne, Wim, Ole (8), Hannes (5), Pippa (3) and Kaatje (1).
Sanne is a woman of many talents, who has seamlessly transitioned from a career as an historian and copywriter, to photographer, stylist and full time mum to her tribe of 4 blonde beauties.
We are honoured to share some recent pics of our 'George Truck and Gretel Dolls High Chair' taken within this divine home. We are totally in love with the palette, textures, history and Sanne's natural eye and less is more approach.
Ryan and Jo xx
Such Great Heights
Sanne Hop - https://www.instagram.com/sannehop
"Nostalgia - it's a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone - a feeling of a place where we ache to go again".
Such Great Heights proudly introduces 'The Nostalgia Collection'. The 5 piece timber toy range has been designed in appreciation of the authentic shapes and superior craftsmanship of toys from simpler times. A nod to the familiar classics, with a light, modern reinterpretation for today's children. Contemporary colours and unexpected textures are cleverly woven through the story to bring continuity to this distinctive keepsake collection.
Meet the characters of the Nostalgia Collection;
The Florence dolls cot - inspired by the heroic nurses of modern day and of those from yesteryear.
The Gretel dolls high chair - Elegant, graceful and genteel, she makes feeding dolly a pleasure.
The George truck - Is solid, strong, and noble. Like a true workhorse, he will dependably wheel your treasures around for many generations.
Humpty - is a charming fellow with a tendency for getting himself in a scramble!
Roger rattlesnake - this friendly chap likes to slither around and make interesting shapes with his body and has a clever trick... His tail really rattles!
These simple, timeless pieces have been designed to draw children to rich, enduring imaginative play. Adults too will appreciate the sophisticated and sentimental aesthetic of the range and display them with pride in their homes - no need to hide these away behind cupboard doors when the visitors arrive!
Designed and photographed by Such Great Heights and made traditionally by hand in a community based workshop on South Australia's Fleurieu Peninsula. Built robustly for the rigors of childhood play. These timber toys will be treasured not only by today's children, but by the next generation.
The Nostalgia Collection is available exclusively online at www.suchgreatheights.com.au
Always, for the dreamers xx
* Nostalgia quote by Don Draper of Mad Men
Today, Daisy and I went out in search for props for our upcoming new product shoot, and stumbled across an Aladdin's Cave.
In a suburb not so far from where I grew up, a curious little Dolls Hospital has sat for many decades. It's so tiny and the lettering on the facade so faded, one could assume it's closed down. But the scattering of vintage dolls prams and dolls houses in the front window has often caught my attention, though still, I've never been inside. Until today.
Entering through the doors, you feel at once like you've stepped onto the set of a film. In this dimly lit space, with its old fashioned decor, there is a heavy sense of nostalgia. The walls and much of the floor are lined with glass cabinets, housing dolls in droves. Tiny dolls, dolls that stand 1 metre tall. Dolls of every ethnicity, dolls in knitted booties and handwoven straw hats. Porcelain dolls with pretty faces and lifelike hair, newer plastic babies with knitted clothes and booties, some kind of creepy looking dolls that must have been 60 years old. There were collections of vintage plush toys and vintage Barbies. And every doll accessory a little girl could ever dream of. Our little doll loving girl was in HEAVEN.
Chatting with the owner, Marisa, we soon learn that this business was originally operated by her parents, who had a passion for restoring vintage dolls and a knack for building wooden dolls furniture. It's been years now since they've passed, and Marisa has continued to operate the store from it's humble abode and carry on this family tradition. Her eyes light up talking of the rarest and most beautiful dolls in her collection, it's clear that this is a passion project that is close to her heart.
The Dolls Home is kind of like the anti-Kmart - here there are no glaring fluorescent lights and rows upon rows of mass produced licensed toys made by machines. Rather, everything is lovingly made, preciously cared for and preserved. Toys with history and oozing character, like they've stepped out of the pages of an Enid Blyton tale.
This quaint little place really feels magical. Maybe it's the dolls, or maybe it's the devotion and preservation of a family trade that's so admirable.
Oh, and we found exactly what, or should we say, whom, we needed for the photo shoot. I wonder if you'll be able to pick her? Stay tuned...