celebrating a creative and sustainable Christmas

The festive season always gets us reminiscing about where we first started. Four years ago, we made our first family Christmas tree out of leftover hardwood and the seeds of One Two Tree were sown. We realised we had created something wonderfully unique: an eco-friendly, sustainable, stylish and quality handmade alternative to the throw-away traditional tree. Unlike the plastic ones, we made something that would last a lifetime. One of the perks of this job is seeing all the beautifully creative ways the One Two Tree Christmas Tree can be decorated and re-decorated every year.
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We’re constantly conscientious about the impact we have on the planet and the purchasing decisions we make. As a result, we’re inspired by quality natural materials, movers & shakers of handmade craft and honest design. We’ve always stuck to our roots of creating beautifully finished handmade objects and simple design solutions for the home. Our products are made from sustainable woods right here in Australia. Staying mindful is the key – and this time of year should be no different. Here are some of our our tips for decorating and celebrating Christmas in a creative and conscious fashion:

  • Buy quality items to last
  • Shop locally: support your local community, local craftspeople, designers and small businesses!
  • Shop second hand for vintage / unique kitsch decorations
  • Use your hands and get hand-crafting: there are stacks of tutorials and templates you can find online to get you started. See our previous blogposts for inspiration.
  • Research sustainable products and materials: involve natural materials for that rustic / fresh feel – think sustainable woods, clay, yarn, organic fabrics, sea shells, pine cones, native plants and flowers
  • If you have kids, get them involved for a fun crafternoon activity
  • Up cycle
  • Incorporate decorations from previous years for a fresh feel
  • Refresh decorations from previous years by giving them a little facelift: a fresh lick of paint, watercolours or adding some glitter
  • Energy efficient LED lighting
  • Limit plastic, packaging and cheap disposables
  • Recycle and redecorate wrapping paper / packaging / gift boxes
  • Simplicity: less is more

This Christmas, remember to watch the waste – everything we use, buy and discard everyday makes an impact. ‘Tis the season for giving, so give a little back to the Earth what you have taketh during this year’s passed. We hope these tips get you inspired this season.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and festive season, from the One Two Tree family to yours.

creativity + motherhood: interview with child magazine

Thank you to Jenna from Child Magazine for interviewing and featuring us in their blog under Creativity + Motherhood. This is definitely a humbling moment for One Two Tree. And also perfect time to stop and reflect on our journey thus far. We’re feeling inspired and motivated to get cracking into the new year. Read below for the interview titled ‘Sustainable Family Home Décor’ with our Creative Director, Lucy McNamara and Child Magazine.

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Jenna Templeton, a lover of all things handmade and Australiana, spotted One Two Tree’s Aussie treasure boards on Instagram and interior mags and had to find out about the people behind these beauties. Today, she chats to co-creator and business owner Lucy McNamara about her sustainable and Australian-crafted home décor and about raising a family in Bondi Beach.

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One Two Tree all started when we began looking for our first Christmas tree. It was going to be our first Christmas as a family with our son Ziggy and we were looking for beautifully designed, well-crafted goods that would endure many Christmases to come. Chopping down a plantation tree for such a short time didn’t appeal and neither did the cheap plastic versions. We were looking for something more environmentally friendly, when it occurred to us that we could make it ourselves! So, we created our first tree using leftover hardwood from my husband’s landscaping contracts, tweaked the design and incorporated sustainable wood. Once we were finished, we realised we’d created a unique, eco-friendly, stylish alternative to the traditional Christmas tree.

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We feature many of our products around our own home in Bondi Beach. My boys absolutely love helping to set up the Christmas tree each year and refused to let us take it down for weeks. Being a mother has inspired me to create good quality, sustainably-made products that kids can enjoy and decorate their rooms with, in particular the Treasure Board and Alpha Prints.

My Treasure Board

All of our products have a natural feel and are sustainably made in Australia using sustainable hoop pine sourced from Queensland. We have an amazing manufacturer based in Melbourne who produces all of our plywood goods. Our linen prints are all hand-sewn (with 100 percent linen) archival prints and printed using acid-free inks. The ceramics are all handmade using earthenware clay at our studio in Alexandria, NSW.

My background is in fine arts, film and television, sculpture, leather and fashion. After becoming a mum, since starting One Two Tree, I can now add product designer to the list. Creativity was always encouraged by my parents growing up, especially by my mum. She used to say I was a creative little thing, as I started handcrafting and designing things from a young age.

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My kids inspire my work and the love of running my own business also keeps me inspired. I have a strong passion for design and creating beautiful interiors – beautiful objects for homes and for children. Having a broad range of customers but focusing on the children’s audience and seeing gaps in the market keeps me motivated.

A typical work day for me involves the alarm clocks going off at 6am, followed by getting the kids dressed, fed and bags packed for day care and if I’m lucky, breakfast for myself. I’m in the studio part-time – Antony and I decided to get the kids into day care after having baby Rhodes, so I could have three days to just focus on my work. The rest of the week, I’m home as a mum. There’s no typical day in the office for me. I work on everything from the design process to organising couriers, or replying to email enquiries. One day we can be crafting ceramics, or doing photo shoots – everyday is different.

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Our studio is part of The Nest Creative Space, a communal creative space for artists, designers and small businesses. Everyone here is so hard-working and dedicated to their craft. It’s a very encouraging space and we’re so fortunate to be around such talented and delightful people – it’s a beautiful place to come to work.

The creative process for us is like a journey where things just sort of fall in to place. It’s a very organic process. We start off with an idea, research it, the design process goes back and forth and various iterations occur. When I have an idea I have to see things from start to finish. Sometimes they happen very quickly, but sometimes they take months and months.

In 2016, we’re working on a set of Australiana-themed wooden toys and trinkets for our Treasure Board. Storage solutions and shelving designs are also on the cards for the year ahead.

I love being Creative Director and watching the journey of each product from concept to where they are now. One of the perks of the job is when customers share the pictures of our products in their home – knowing we’re designing sustainable products that people enjoy and want to decorate their homes with. Time management, running every single facet of the business and staying organised are still challenges for me. In saying that, I enjoy the freedom of having flexibility in the days I work and it works well with family as well. It’s hectic but I love it!

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People often say parenthood changed them. Do you feel that’s true for you? Absolutely, it’s made me work harder and it’s changed my perspective on life. You kind of go around with blinkers on before having kids and I think being a mother’s made me become much more patient, considerate and aware of everything around me. My favourite project to have worked on is being a mother – raising my two boys in conjunction with Ants.

We’re all about celebrating Australian motherhood and creativity on child mags blog. What does it mean to you to be an Australian creative, who’s also a mother?
I feel like I’m a part of a very creative team of Australian mothers who are fearless, fierce and not afraid of doing the hard work – we get in there and get it done! There’s amazing and inspiring things happening on Instagram at the moment – a huge community that’s full of homeware designers and talented Australian designers.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with other mums who may be trying to combine their lives as creatives and caretakers?
There’s no rush! Take things in baby steps and somehow find a harmony and balance between being creative, being a beautiful mother and focusing on your children. Set yourself small goals, you definitely can achieve it!

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Lucy McNamara, 35, is Creative Director and co-business owner of Australian sustainable product design brand One Two Tree, with her husband Antony. She’s mum to boys Ziggy, 4, and Rhodes, 2. They live in Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW, and love sharing their daily life via Instagram. You can see their latest handcrafted collection via the One Two Tree website, blog and shop.

Interview: Jenna Templeton

feedback from a beautiful customer in Italy

This morning we received some lovely honest feedback from one of our International customers in Italy which we thought we would share with you all. We literally posted this tree to Italy less than 48hrs ago. Bravo DHL! We’re very impressed with your international express shipping service. We’re just so happy to receive customer feedback about our One Two Tree. We encourage any of our customers to email us with their feedback and or send in pictures of their decorated One Two Trees. We hope this feedback helps with any of our discerning buyers.

Dear Antony + Lucy + Ziggy

Hey, the courier just rang at our door and delivered our one two tree!

Our one two tree looks as great as I had it pictured when I ordered it, but feels even better once put together.

Whatever sealer was used on it (if any at all), it’s matte, not glossy, so it looks and feels more natural.

Another point that was not to be taken for granted: with both screws positively tightened, it’s sound and firm, no wobble, no swing, no play, you’d say solid as a tree.

The beauty of its proportions belies the fact that this won’t tilt (your worry #1 in terms of product liability, when something is of interest to kids). And, though not my case here, I doubt even the most adventurous toddlers will dare climbing it!

Only pity, in my view, is that the one two tree logo is stamped not on the visible side of the base plate, but on its underside: of course we’ll tell everyone what this is, what its name is, who does it and where to find it… but the idea is so bright that it deserved to show its brand in full glory, so you could pride yourselves from the distance each time one looked at it.

Hope you’ll sell tons of these, anyone who’ll buy it will fall in love with it, and with the idea behind it. It’s one of those things where each and every buyer would feel like “had I had this idea myself, I would have marketed it exactly this way”, from name to brand, from video to visual communication… even the music background to the video is right!

This will keep us going for ages.
Hope the one two tree business will do the same for you, too.

Wholehearted compliments,

Daniele

show us your baubles

Nothing beats a beautiful shiny bauble on your Christmas Tree. We styled our One Two Tree using two boxes of baubles purchased from David Jones. Even better yet would be some your your Grans hand me downs with that lovely vintage patina. We spiraled the branches so they where evenly spaced and twisted them in three perfect full circles. Choosing branches and colours at random, we spaced the baubles so that they wrapped around from top to bottom.

One Two Tree is a very convenient size for most houses or apartments. Here, we showed how lovely it can look placed by the fireplace, by the window or even the kitchen bench.

one two tree branding by mark trzopek

 

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We couldn’t be happier with the way our One Two Tree branding turned out and we owe all of our good looks to Mark Trzopek. We’re lucky enough to personally know Mark and were familiar with some of his previous works so we knew we could expect something exceptional. We are not sure Mark had any idea of what sort of trouble he was getting himself into when he took on the One Two Tree brief because as far as clients go we are extremely fussy. Luckily for us he is just as dedicated to perfectionism as we are. Mark really took the reins on the brand design. In keeping with our green ethos, he delivered a smart and environmentally conscious product. We asked Mark a few questions about One Two Tree.

Can you sum up how you tackled the project and your thoughts behind the imagery?

This project sought its solution from the need for packaging that functioned and suited its purpose. The packaging needed to hold a heavy and bulky wooden product that could be re-used, shipped internationally, whilst also having retail appeal/presence. The branding solution originated through the business/product name and the ethos of simplicity and ease. The triangle device represents not only the primary material for the products, woods/trees, but also the easy and simple assembly, as evidenced through the 3 sided shape and its relationship with the wording One Two Tree. One side of the packaging makes use of a  axe silhouette, which is a nostalgic play on the old tradition of going out to fell the families Xmas tree. This brings an element of playfulness and tradition to a new and modern Christmas tree alternative.

What inspires and influences you as a graphic designer?

Well thought out ideas and execution. Less is always more. Art and museums. Surfing and beach culture. as well as making things outside the field of graphic design.

Describe your style as a whole?

I try not have a style in my commercial projects, but adapt what is suitable for the individual product/company and their objectives.

What will you be working on in the next coming months?

– More packaging/branding.
– Annual program for a Sydney based arts & dance organisation.
– E-book branding.
– Branding/rollout for a new cafe/bar coming to Sydneys Northern Beaches.

And hopefully lots more unexpected projects in the new year.

You can email Mark at marktrzopek@gmail.com with any web, design or branding enquiries.

welcome

Welcome

Welcome to our official One Two Tree website! We’re finally live and ready to spread our little Christmas tree far and wide. Remember that shipping to destinations within Australia is free until Christmas!