Whats in a name?

The LUX story really began when we were looking for accessories for our first camper (we are now at camper number three). After visiting a number of RV and Camper supply stores, it became obvious there was a real problem - the industry seemed to be stuck in the 1990s! Lots of beige and navy, un-relatable prints, and most items generally had a mass-produced feel to them. There was nothing really that I wanted to stare at for days or months on the end. Grudgingly I bought the nicest set of melamine cups i could find and stopped with that. 

When we went on to renovate our camper #3, replacing all cabinetry, squabs, curtains and wall covers, I was looking for soft furnishings and again there were very few off-the-shelf options made specifically with campers in mind using quality high performing fabrics, or clever features. When looking for roller-blinds to perhaps cut down to fit our camper even manufacturers here couldn't hep (by way of providing a narrow enough option to ensure the window views are not restricted by bulky blinds). So I made my own roller blinds out of wooden dowel and outdoor canvas. But was I the only one looking for these things? 

And so the journey began and inspiration took hold, and the idea for LUX was born.

So what's in the name? Visually inspired by road trips, colours and landscapes, I wanted this inspiration to be reflected in the name. I chatted with my partner Craig (during a drive to the East Cape) about names for interior products which are exterior inspired. A lover of punk music and clever word-smith, he instantly suggested 'Lux Interior', which was the stage name of the colourful lead singer of The Cramps, who chose this name after seeing a car commercial selling the features of a vehicles 'lux interior'! I loved this instantly, and opted for a play on words to be 'Lux Exterior'.

I spent a long time researching and testing digital printing onto natural fibres, initially for cushions and canvas throws to capture some of photographic imagery from our trips, however this was a rabbit hole i burrowed deep into and got stuck. There are very few printers worldwide with premium quality digital printing and dying technology onto natural fibres, and the pricing was steep. So I ended up making tea-towels as test runs, and found that these could be affordable and transportable art-works to hang - and have become our Collection and Tourist Tea-towels.

During the same period our LUX Pillow Protector was born! I had been trying to solve our bed-pillow storage. All three of our campers had been small, and storing bulky bed-pillows was difficult. I went through a stage of folding them in half and stuffing them into various cushion covers to multi-purpose them in our camper lounge, but the cushions were bulky and narrow. Finally I decided to make a cover slightly smaller than a bed-pillow, and use high-performance (outdoor) fabrics so they would be protected from spills, dirt and moisture and could then be used outside on the picnic rug too. In the evenings we would then unzip them and use the pillow to sleep on, and they were always in perfect condition. This was an instant success for us and we couldn't leave home without them. I added a handle for ease of transport and a full length sturdy zip which could handle daily use. I began to pay attention to where other people with campers were storing their bed-pillows, and more often than not they were either stuffed in a bag somewhere or they stayed out on their bed for all to see, (dribbles and all!) And now as we come across more roof-top tenters, 4WD adventurers and overnighter vans, the need for this product became a no-brainer.

It is important to me that our products are made in New Zealand (where-ever possible) using the highest quality materials we can find, and using local crafts people who are the best at what they do. It is fun to pop in and see these makers, choose fabrics and make on-the-spot decisions as needed. A sustainable business is of the highest priority so we can survive independently of any external factors, which includes making small runs, using available fabrics and resources - including materials which are short-runs, end or rolls, and sometimes those which are destined for the landfill. 

We are choosing ethical and responsible partners who we like to work with. At this stage our environmental stance is to make things locally, and make them with materials that are made to last so they are enjoyed for years and don't end up in landfill. This comes down to choices in fabrics, zips, stitching and the quality of the makers. If something of ours breaks or even gets damaged, we can fix it for you! As we continue on our journey we will look for recycled materials and sustainably made textiles.  We are considering applying for B Corp certification later this year as a way of positively influencing our decision making on an ongoing basis.

I aim to blog on a variety of topics as we continue our LUX journey, in the hope to educate, inspire or maybe even entertain you!

Please get in touch and let us know what you think, or if you are keen to work with us somehow.

And if you are out on the road too, you never know we could be just around the corner from you :)