15 Feb Creative Me – Jenny Vaughan and Simon Young from RE
Under the Oak Tree is…
A meeting place for creative folk. Be inspired by their stories – and shelfies.
Jenny Vaughan and Simon Young, founded the interiors and lifestyle brand RE 15 years ago. Their first store was in Jenny’s converted garage. So, their pop-up shop in Liberty 10 years later highlighted just how far their brand of REcycled, REscued, REstored and RE-found objects had come. Their successful mail order company is a boon for shoppers (like me!) who can’t get to the inspirational RE store in Corbridge, Northumberland.
As part of our Creative Me series, Jenny and Simon join us Under the Oak Tree to talk global sourcing, ‘creative’ desk mess and magpie tendencies…
1. What are you working on now?
It’s Trade Fair season for us. So, we’re sourcing, buying, getting inspired for the year ahead and sampling our new ideas. We design products in house, then commission production both at home and afar depending on the specific skills needed.
2. Describe your desk or workspace?
It’s much tidier in this photo than in real life – creative minds, untidy spaces! Dominating the design room is a long communal table, which is littered with storyboards, sketches, notes, photos and inspirational paraphenalia. We store a lot of materials in the drawers of our indispensable old Drapers cabinets.
3. What’s the soundtrack to your work?
200+ albums (on shuffle), which we continually add to, means we never tire of our shop “play list”. It varies from Elvis to 70’s disco, to obscure World music. We are often asked for the ‘RE mix’!
4. Who or what inspires you?
It’s hard to pin down. Inspiration can come from anywhere and anything – a place, an object, a person or from nature – although colour has always been inspirational for both of us. We are both from fashion design backgrounds – a fickle world, where the seasons fly by so I think we have magpie tendencies!
5. What do you need to create?
Sketch books, pens, paper and glue! We are from a very hands-on, low-tech era.
6. What time of day does your brain come alive?
Mainly in the morning, as the day goes by we find it’s a case of diminishing returns.
7. What advice would you give to someone wanting to do what you do?
Understand and research what you want to do and why. Be driven to achieve realistic goals and delegate the tasks you’re not good at. Stamina and confidence in your own judgement and a sense of humour help along the way. Stick with it!
8. What do you do when you lose sight of your inspiration?
Walk away – it all becomes clear after a good night’s sleep.
9. Tell us one thing about yourself that no one would guess?
Jenny – I love football. I’m an avid Newcastle United supporter.
Simon – I have a room at home dedicated to religious statues and artefacts, I love the aesthetic, although I’m not the least bit religious.
10. What’s next for you?
We have lots more in-house REgd products in the offing, which is the direction the company is taking. We want to always stay ahead of the game – designing, producing and finding unique products as the market becomes more crowded.
We have enjoyed our collaborations with Liberty and The Baltic, so would be interested in pursuing more link-ups with the right creative partners.