Meet the Maker – Amy Palmer-Millen, Kookery
Perth-based Kookery creates bold modern vintage imagery, combined with kitchen truths to make kitchenware with a quirky twist. Practical, beautiful and fun, the range includes tea towels, aprons, bread bags and shopping totes. Kitchenware with an eco heart.
For those who don’t know, how would you describe your work?
We create bold modern vintage imagery, combined with kitchen truths to make kitchenware with a quirky twist. We love to play with words as much as our food.
How did the Kookery journey begin, what Is your story? Who or what inspired you to begin in your field?
I started with a black marker, paper, a cup of tea and a little circle of things I love about life: vintage, food, coffee, cook books, beauty, community and sustainable fabrics like linen. I also knew I wanted to make something, and launch my own product.
Too Many Cookbooks not enough dinners was our first ever design. I used a vintage knife, fork and spoon gathered on one of my many vintage hunting trips and then played in my notebook with words, to finally bring it to life. And here it is, Kookery, Quirk your kitchen! A tangible product created from the things I love.
We love quirky, we live for puns, love a little fun and absolutely love it when people connect to our products. We handcraft each quote from an idea and combine it with coffee, tea, wine or home brew, lots of scribbled notes, and our friend Evernote! Our designs come from pieces of kitchenalia, photographed and then rendered in silhouette, showing off their bold vintage shapes. Or they are hand drawn.
We love sharing our love of food, coffee, baking, vintage and love that we have been able to build a little community with the people who love Kookery too.
My favourite part of being the designer is to see it grow from my own head into a laugh, giggle or smile on another person. The joy of gift giving is an integral part of who I am. My grandma loved to give, my Mum loves to give and for me, Kookery creates the perfect functional, beautiful gifts for people who want to share smiles with their friends and family.
What are your current artistic influences and what inspires you to carry on doing what you’re doing?
Foremost is vintage, those beautiful tangible pieces we have in our kitchens that bring us joyful moments every day. We try and celebrate these simple things.
What’s a typical day for Kookery?
I love the flexibility my business can give me,so I can always be there to pick up and drop off my daughter. I can have a meeting in a cafe before visiting stockists and connecting with people one day, the the next I am securely nestled in my office, sending out orders, emailing stockists, or designing something new (my favourite thing). On the dull days, it is counting stock. I am also on social media a lot, updating, connecting and making sure we share our world too.
Which other designers are you looking forward to seeing when you come to Bowerbird on November 25 – 27?
Julie White is one of my favourites and of course the coffee and food vendors are a super treat!
What’s your favourite piece of your own work that will be available at Bowerbird?
We have our new wine tote bags, which are going to be the perfect treat for Christmas gifting, no wrapping needed, with quotes like Wine not?, Once upon a vine, and Have wine bring cheese. We are excited to see how Adelaide responds to them.
What advice would you give other aspiring artists and designers?
Keep going! You will always have self doubt, listen to your gt and make sure that if you are listening to other people, make it a one or two, otherwise you will lose yourself in the noise. There are so many skills to learn. It isn’t just making a product you love, be brave. The fight to be seen in a busy world is tough, but if you are always there and look after the wonderful customers you have, in time, word will get around.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with anyone who is reading this and coming to Bowerbird?
Coming to Adelaide is such a treat and to have had the opportunity to be part of such a vibrant and fun community within Bowerbird. Adelaidians love their food and wine – and I love them for it.