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Interviews

Rita MacDonald-Korth (Source Culture) II

October 1, 2014

What is your favorite product? 

This might be a very unusual analogy, but we feel very strongly attached to all of the products, like parents to their children. We could never say that we have one favourite because we only add items that we absolutely fall in love with. We are looking forward to the time when we can afford to only wear items from SourceCulture…haha…which is a very good sign I believe.

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We love winter’s cold and snow so we invested in a pair of uschanka hats from Hadvari Hats. They are the most beautiful and well made hats you have ever seen and we know it will last a lifetime. One was a bespoke order and the other one a ready to wear item. We hardly can wait for this winter season so we can wear them. The fur is sourced from Scandinavia, where sustainability is very important. Because they are made of natural materials they regulate body temperature most efficiently.

Stitch-less leather wallet

We have also bought a beautiful rugged leather Moose Wallet by The Leather Shop to one of our family members and he loves it. The guys at The Leather Shop from Seattle, Washington (USA) pride themselves on creating leather items that can withstand time. They also have handmade handsome briefcases which are waiting on our wishlist as well.

ES-C-S-002-KA-orange houdstooth scarf

Whom would you bet on for becoming on a short term a famous craftsmen? 

Tough question to answer, we believe all our craftsmen are and will be famous amongst their admirers like ourselves and we are hoping to increase this fan base for them. I can, however, mention you a few newer brands that are might not as well know to everyone yet. ROZSNYAI SHOES, the luxury Hungarian handmade men’s footwear brand, that I believe is on its way to gain international recognition. Those shoes are already highly regarded in Hungary and Scandinavia.

Rozsnyai handmade shoes

JACK ROW, a British brand of novelty luxury cufflinks and writing instruments. The designer and artisan, Mr Row, is a young highly talented multi-award winning goldsmith.

Jack Row B&W

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STRUTHERS LONDON, is a British luxury watch brand. The award winning couple had a successful collaboration this year with Morgan Motors and they were featured in an illustrious American newspaper this fall ( NY  Times – Tradition and Edgy Design in a Young Watch Company).  I will be able to give you more names in a few months when our newest craftsmen we are currently partnering with have joined our site.

Rebecca an Craig Struthers Morgan Motors coll. Struthers London watch Gold version

RICHARDS ENGLAND, a British brand making handmade leather luxury bags. These bags represent stately minimalism, and are made of top quality materials and the hand finishing is par excellence. Currently, there are two models available in the Grand Piano Collection, a briefcase and a holdall.

Paul Richards - designer and leather artisan IMG_9004-BPB1

EDITION Scotland, is a new Scottish knitwear brand specialising in signature cashmere accessories for men. The designer, Jennifer Kent is a creative knitwear designer combining a strong background in constructed textiles with experience in fashion.

Jennifer Kent -designer and owner of Edition Scotland ES-C-S-003-BT (FRONT)-purple birdseye scarf

How can you both manage to keep the egos out of the workplace?

Honestly, it has never even occurred to us, we are very symbiotic. We work with amazing people. Beyond all our craftsmen, we are very thankful and grateful for our photographers in the UK, Flavia Catena, in Hungary Tamas Welczenbach and in Italy Daniele Furlanetto, and our talented blogger Sarah Fox. We are continuously seeking talented photographers and bloggers to partner with us in featuring the handmade and handcrafted lifestyle, items, craftsman/artists, fashion, fine art, travel, and food/wine…

Stella -limited edition watch

What memories do you have of your first order?

We received a phone call from an unknown number (and you know in the UK you get the spam phone calls ten times a day). When the number called third time and left a voicemail we realized it was something different. Next, we were head over hills calling back the number and taking the order. It was an order for a higher priced item, so our excitement level was very high—the more expensive items are, the more difficult to sell online. We were very happy just because it was the first time when we felt like people understood what we are trying to do and “bought in” to our mission. The first order is a memory that will never escape us and on which we will look back fondly.

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What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

Meeting and talking to craftsman/artists, viewing their items and listening to their stories and passion about craftsmanship. We enjoy witnessing old and new hand manufacturing techniques, tools and materials and to showcasing, representing and writing them on SourceCulture.

What’s the most difficult part of your job?

Doing routine work like administrative duties or logistics, even though, these are extremely important tasks they are just not as much fun for us. Updating and maintaining a website is also a very labour intensive job we found.

What shoe would like to make in the future that you have not made yet?

We don’t make shoes ourselves—yet!

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What are your favorite places to spend your evenings?

Together at home is the most relaxing place after a long day of work. However, when we feel a bit more adventurous we enjoy evening walks in Oxford, sitting in good pubs, having a hearty meal, and in the winter, staring at the relaxing dance of the flames in the fireplace. In the summers, we like to visit the US because they have air conditioning and Austria because it has beautiful not overly hot weather and both places have mesmerizing landscapes and delicious food.

What is your favorite word?

Quality and Sustainability.

What is your least favorite word?

“Scalability”. Also, mass manufacturing and waste.

What turns you on (creatively, spiritually or emotionally)?

Spiritually, when people care about something and do not ignore bad things happening. Emotionally, when we have time to be with each other uninterrupted by phones, computers, tablets… Creatively, the excitement with which our craftsman pursue their profession.

What turns you off?

People without good sentiment and a strong moral compass. Also, cheaply made bad quality products.

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What is your favorite curse word?

HOLY SHIT, just think for a second about what you are really saying haha.

What sound or noise do you love?

In the winter, the sound of a fireplace and a bubbling pot of beef stew. The crackling firewood is very relaxing. In the summer, sounds of nature, like when you cut up a watermelon, and the sounds of grilling.

What sound or noise do you hate?

Street and crowd noise. In addition, the whatsapp sound, not that we have it and no offense to anybody who does, but the sound of it is just annoying.

What profession would you not like to do?

Professions where one’s motivation to be successful does not align with rest of the world’s and then all you do in life is gaining on other people’s misery. So basically, any profession where success is a binary situation.

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