One of the interviewees in our book Conversations with Creative Women is Melbourne designer, artist and entrepreneur Cristina Re. In the book, Cristina gave some insight into how she built her brand to become a market leader and household name, recognised internationally for it's elegant signature feminine style. Since the paperback version of Conversations was released last year, Cristina Re's product line has expanded to include more beautiful products. We spoke to her to find out more...
It's been a year since you were featured in our book Conversations with Creative Women - what has changed at Cristina Re since then, as a business or in terms of your own personal inspirations or goals?
It has been an exciting year for the brand.
Our customers love for our brand and it’s signature feminine style in designer stationery, luxury bath & body products has led us to set style standards for the home with our new High Tea Collection.
Every woman deserves to indulge in beautiful things that give pleasure and nurture the soul and our High Tea Collection gives every woman the opportunity to create this opulence in their own homes.
Our collection is made from the finest quality porcelain and trimmed in none other than 24CT gold plated to set your event or celebration apart. Customers can select from elegant Tea Cups & Saucers, a splendidly gorgeous Tea Pot and a sophisticated 3-tier Cake Stand and vintage cutlery to create a beautifully decadent High Tea experience of their very own. This last year we have seen an expansion of bold new colours for summer.
The Cristina Re brand is a trusted resource for women in Australia to inspire creativity and style. Personally, my aim is to continue to remain at the forefront of design, to remain true to my philosophy of turning the ordinary into extraordinary.
A recent trip to Rome inspired your new High Tea Cutlery Collection. Can you tell us about that trip and what the collection entails?
I was born in Rome and I delight in many trips back to discover rare treasures that can be found in the cities forgotten laneways at antique markets.
On one such recent trip, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon an oiled timber box emblazoned with a gold emblem, where I found a set of ornate and tarnished gold plated cutlery. Even in their tattered state their grandeur was unmistakable. I turned each sizeable and weighty treasure over in my hand. My mind alighted with images of Kings and Queens from eons ago who might have held each piece in their hand. Each fork and spoon engraved with delicate detail, steeped in history, and rich with stories of a glorious love affair with food.
For as long as we have been in existence the human race have fashioned utensils to aid with our consumption of food. The art of the cutlery dates back to the Stone Age and survived through both the Bronze and the Middles Ages, with the furthest advances being made in the Iron Age. In this day and age we have a plethora of technology for the design of unique, long lasting and aesthetically beautiful cutlery. However, in a wide spread search of the globe I have not been able to find a set of quality, affordable and tasteful gold plated cutlery to adorn my High Tea Table and to complement my High Tea Collection.
After years of searching and months of designing, I bring you the Cristina Re High Tea Cutlery Collection, from my table and with all my heart. Each piece from the Collection is gold plated piece of my collection is lovingly and ornately embellished, combining timeless vintage with modern quality. The Collection includes Cake Fork and Cake Spoon sets, Cake Knife and Cake Server.
We're giving away a Cristina Re 'Christmas Gift Packaging' set comprising wrapping paper, gift cards and decorative accessories, to one lucky Conversations eBook customer. What are some gift-giving traditions that you hold dear?
I recall childhood memories of growing up in Rome, where Christmas comes to life in the streets with large-scale trees inside piazza’s and dotted throughout the city. The whole city comes to life at Christmas and the celebration is best served with gorgeous family and friends. Festivities are ordained with a large array of food, suppers and dining and grappa. Throughout my teenage years to current day, I celebrate with traditional Italian panettone and delicious home made cakes and wrap these up in layers of cellophane and speciality Christmas papers in a decorative table setting set admist the backdrop of an ever-colourful Australian summer. Co-ordinating with name cards, speciality napkin rings and paper decorations, my table setting plays an important part at Christmas – bringing to life to the dining experience. We top it off with the hand-made paper cards of course!
What lovely new things can we expect to see in the Cristina Re range or at 'Where a Girl Goes' in Collingwood next year?
Where A Girl Goes continues to inspire creativity and celebrate time with your most loved girls. Next year, customers can continue to enjoy the signature High Tea experience from Cristina Re and will be able to participate in the loving tastes of our new special blend Cocktail Menu and new uniquely created Macaron-based desserts. Drawing on the brands inspiring signature flavours, the cocktails and sweet treats will be served daily from Wednesday to Sunday beautifully presented and testament to the creativity that reigns true in the Cristina Re brand.
For the lovers of paper and craft, new workshops will be introduced talking to new paper trends, colours and inspirations for 2013.
The Cristina Re brand will continue to turning the ordinary into extraordinary – we look forward to a very exciting year ahead.
Cristina Re is featured alongside many other talented local women in our book, Conversations with Creative Women - now available in digital format for your computer, iPad, iPhone or Kindle. Visit our shop and purchase your copy before 3pm on Friday 14th December 2012 to go in the running to win a Cristina Re Christmas Gift Packaging Set valued at $150. See more details here.