Tour Beck Wadworth's Monochromatic Auckland Home and Office
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, creative and founder of An Organised Life, Beck Wadworth, welcomes us into her home.
You know who really deserves a tidying up special on Netflix? Beck Wadworth. The New Zealand-based founder of luxury stationery brand An Organised Life could give Marie Kondo a run for her money when it comes bringing order and structure to your life and home.
After a six-year stint in Sydney—which included a busy few years juggling her fulltime gig at Bec & Bridge whilst launching her own brand—Beck made the move back to her homeland to work exclusively on An Organised Life.
Her home in Auckland’s coveted suburb of Parnell is everything you’d expect from the fashion-forward entrepreneur—classic, minimal and meticulously organized, of course. Everything here has a place and a purpose, from the impeccably curated coffee table books to the classic brass candle sticks adorning the mantel.
A masterclass in monochrome, black wooden floorboards and stark white walls provide a classic foundation for Beck to build on—with oak wood furnishings, black and white photographs and metal-framed mirrors adding depth and texture throughout the space.
Fresh, relaxed and perfectly pared-back, Beck’s abode is a testament to the fact that sometimes, less truly is more.
Hi Beck! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?
I make stationery.
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
I guess I’ve always been a maker and I’ve always been very hands on creatively yet very organized—a strange combination, but it works for me! I’m constantly making new products and content, I just keep adding to that to-do list of what I can make!
When did you start your business, An Organised Life? And what gave you the impetus to create your line in the first instance?
I always relied on a diary year after year to write down my important dates, lists and goals. When I moved to Sydney I wanted a diary, but I couldn’t find one that was functional yet had an element of style to compliment my monochrome and minimalistic aesthetic. I realised there was a gap in the market, and so An Organised Life was born. From there I designed my first diary, found a printer and bookbinder, produced just 300 diaries, and started on my marketing and PR plan! They sold out in three weeks, and there was no turning back after that!
Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start? Where does your inspiration for new products come from?
I’m always trying to fix a problem or help others organise a certain area of their life, or hoping to inspire others through products and content. I don’t have a set rule on how many products I need to launch a year, I keep it pretty flexible so I can ensure they are the best of the best. For example, the Wedding Planner took Greta (founder and editor of Together Journal) and I a year to design and create because we spent the first six months interviewing so many people in the industry, as well as real couples to ensure we made the best possible Wedding Planner.
I also always get my best ideas at the strangest of times. I could be triggered by a one-off comment someone makes or a quote or an artist or a problem a friend has and think, “I know how to help and organise that part of their life”. I’ve learnt over the years to go with my creative waves. The business side is daily but I love it—and I just prioritise. I’m definitely a workaholic.
Are you self-taught in photography, and how do you continue to hone your creative skills whilst juggling a business?
I studied photography in high school but apart from that I’m completely self taught—I love it when I have the time to shoot for AOL. I studied Graphic Design at University and I think that has been such an incredible creative skill to have as my base, I still use it every single day.
What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to grow your creative business?
Staying true to our core values of creating functional yet beautiful products and content that organises busy lives.
What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt since you started your business?
Each year has brought different challenges as we have grown. When I first started out, it was the challenge of the unknown and that everything was a 'first’. Now, we are facing challenges around how to manage the growth in a strategic and structured manner.
What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your business?
I have had many incredible moments as my brand has grown over the years—the diaries selling out each year, collaborations with some of my favourite brands, seeing my products in the hands of customers, going full time, getting an office, and bringing on my amazing team are just a few that come to mind.
Do you have any advice you’d give to your younger self/someone looking to start their own business/go out on their own?
I was so naive when I first started AOL but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think it was actually a bit of a blessing, and I say that to a lot of others who’re just starting out. Looking back now, I definitely threw myself in the deep end. But I was always in it for the long haul and was happy to learn, develop and grow.
I’m a very realistic person, so to lower the risk I launched An Organised Life with one single product that I felt really confident about. I only did a low amount of units and because I came from a creative background it gave me the space to learn all the business and operations side without being too stressful or overwhelming.
My advice would be to identify your strengths and weaknesses early, be as hands-on as possible at the start, learn, work hard, be patient, and overestimate rather than underestimate!
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?
We have lived in our current home for 18 months.
How did you initially know this was the space for you?
When we moved back to Auckland from Sydney, I knew that I wanted to be in a space that was light and a proper home, I didn’t want to be in an apartment. It took us a while to find our current rental, but as soon as I walked in and saw the wooden floors, character detailing and serene views, I knew it was the one! Having so much light is really important to me since I work from home in NZ.
Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?
No, since we are renting, we didn’t make any changes. However, we had so much fun planning all the interiors and working on everything room-by-room! We sold all our furniture when we moved so we had a full fresh start!
What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
My interior style is very minimal, relaxed and pared back. I love fresh white walls and wooden floors, and I prefer to add texture and tones rather than lots of colours! Less is more for me. I also wanted to ensure I added lots of personal touches that reflected us, like our framed film photos from our travels and my favourite candle scents that create a really nice atmosphere.
What are your favourite pieces in the home?
I love our statement chairs in the bedroom and lounge from Boheme Home & St Clements. They suit my style perfectly! I also adore the shelving, mirror, and hanging rack in my home office. And of course, our beautiful bed linen!
Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?
YES! My saved folder on my Instagram is filled with wishlist pieces to finish the space, including some new artwork, another floor-length mirror, and potentially a bigger dresser for our bedroom that we can utilise for storage.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
I love my home office and lounge area equally! I spend a lot of time in those two rooms.
Tell us about your bedroom.
Because we used the main bedroom as our office, we have taken a smaller space for our bedroom, but we love it. It’s light, warm, and we have a beautiful view of trees out our window. I love hearing all the birds when I’m lying in bed in the morning. We have kept everything minimal and relaxed in the space with our neutral bed linen, statement chair, and Tonk stool. Our dresser features all my favourite bits and pieces including my scents, jewellery, artwork & more.
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
Stay true to your style. Less is more!
Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?
We have just launched our new season collection including 2020/2021 Mid Year Diaries, the WORDS Collection, and Gift Sets, which is exciting! And to coincide with this launch we announced our alignment with One Tree Planted, where for every diary sold we will plant one tree. Next on our list is the arrival of lots of new downloadables and some really functional and informative organisational content for how to organise your home, workspace, and life in general. Watch this space!
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