An Interview with Geneine from LoveHate


Today I’m so happy to be chatting with Geneine Honey, the designer behind the wonderful label LoveHate. Geneine’s path to a forging a self-taught design career as well as her massive support for other independent designers and artists is really inspiring. Each season since I’ve known these amazing Melbourne-based ladies has been exciting. Beautiful shoes suddenly appear, adorable dresses, stunning new ceramics, dreamy and thoughtful packaging, cute stocking, colorful polish, delicate jewels — it’s so fun to watch them innovate and take risks with design. Also, I know they would be fast friends and fun to hang out with. If I am ever lucky enough to make my way to Australia — we’re sharing some wine and listening to Mazzy Star and Belle and Sebastian for sure. ♥

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What are three words that describe the LoveHate line?
Design-led, refined and classic.


Your favorite pieces from the new collection?
I adore the bottles in the limited edition gold lustre and the Hanging Ogee Earrings in rose gold — I have been wearing them every day! It’s not quite summery warm weather here in Melbourne just yet, but I’ve found a few ways to wear the French Lassie Dress already and am really enjoying that because the fabric is just lovely and the cut is so classic.

What does a productive day look like for you?
Mornings are usually spent answering emails and then there is usually some sort of warehouse sorting. Lunch with my very talented assistant, Bonnie, where we discuss new designs — which is our favorite thing! Then some actual designing which could be computer graphics for our manufactures or making samples by hand and experimenting. The late afternoon is usually a scramble to get orders packed before the courier comes.


What is your focus/specialty?
My speciality is probably packaging — I love making the box as much as the item! For LoveHate, my focus has been on making well-designed, beautifully packaged products made from quality materials, such as brass, silver, copper, porcelain, stoneware and so on. I have a good eye for colour and have a knack for creating products that use all of the good things and stay at an affordable price point.

What’s the LoveHate studio neighborhood like?
Our studio is located in Thornbury/Preston it’s 8km north of the Melbourne CBD. Our studio is in a small strip off the main drag, but we have a couple of great local cafés a few doors down as well as an organic grocer and wine shop which is very important for the Friday night studio tidy and wind down with our small team).




Favorite places to shop and eat in Melbourne?
To eat: Isakaya Den for dinner and Little Henri for breakfast. I’m obsessed with Northcote Bakeshop as they have the best bread ever. To shop: I really enjoy High Street in Northcote, Gertrude Street in Fitzroy and Flinders Lane in Melbourne.

Your favorite meal to make at home?
Lately, I have been enjoying making homemade fresh egg fettuccine pasta with caramelised onions, roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, speck prosciutto and Merideth goat cheese. YUM. Also, quinoa with caramelized onion, crushed smoked almonds, goat cheese, rocket leaves and roasted pumpkin — served at room temperature, it’s the perfect lunch salad!

Some other shops online that you love?
Any sort! I really love Wallabuy, Hunting for George, Need Supply and Mon Showroom.

What are your current obsessions?
Velvet, brass, indoor plants, botanical dissection illustrations and raw food cookbooks.

#1 pet peeve?
Non-recyclables in the recycling bin.

Who are some designers and shops that inspire you?
Kade Spade, Sonia Rykiel, Karen Walker and Sessùn.

Who is your personal style icon?
The love child of Sophia Loren and Vivienne Westwood.


How do you relax and unwind?
I love cooking a great meal and drinking a nice glass of red. Also, sitting in front of a roaring fire with my pencil, sketchpad and puppy curled up by my side.

#1 dream vacation?
I’ve been learning Indonesian for the past few years, so perhaps a few weeks on a chartered boat travelling through the archipelago that is Indonesia. Swimming, eating fresh fish, basking in the tropical sunshine, stopping in at small villages and checking out the local craft and culture.

What are you currently reading and watching?
I’m currently reading White Teeth by Zadie Smith and recently finished reading The Rosie Project. I’m not watching much, but if I’m a bit tired, I might sit in bed and watch an episode of Grand Designs on the laptop.

Top 5 records would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?
Stay Gold by First Aid Kit, Complete A & B sides by Dusty Springfield, Boy with the Arab Strap by Belle and Sebastian, She Hangs Brightly by Mazzy Star and “Rockin’ Chick Covers” — a mix I made over on Spotify.


If you could have a super power, what would it be?
Laser eyes, so I could perfectly cut out any shape that’s in my mind without making an Illustrator file first. Super AND super time-saving.

What is the #1 most awesome thing about owning your business?
All the amazing swapsies I get to do with fellow designers!

How did you get into your field?
I was studying art at Uni and just fell into it, really. I made a few pieces of jewellery for fun and, whenever I’d wear them, people asked where I’d gotten them from. I did a few markets and then things took off really quickly. I was given some really big orders from large, indie style chain stores and started selling pieces through a few local shops that supported young designers. I was really busy with school then and making art, so I was really very casual about it for the first 5 years or so.

What is your favorite thing that you’ve ever designed? Why?
My articulated I wish “I was a real girl” necklace and brooch. She is an engineering masterpiece and it took me many months and many, many samples to get her right. The design is about 10 years old now, but it was the early days of laser cutting when I made her. Cutting pieces that small and making her limbs move was quite a challenge! We don’t make her anymore, but I still think it’s a very lovely design.


Tell us about Little Salon.
I started my brick-and-mortar retail shop, Little Salon, to create a space that could sell my jewellery and artwork as well as the work of friends and other local designers and artists. In the early days, I spent a lot of time working with young designers and artists to help them get their designs ready for retail — it was my primary focus for years. We held a lot of art exhibitions and launches for new and interesting work. There were a couple of other stores in Melbourne at the time supporting independent design, but they really appealed to the higher end customers and I wanted to create a space where people like me and my friends could afford to buy good, independent design. Over the years, I became more confident as a designer and Lovehate products now take up most of the store. Things were really different then — like Etsy, Pinterest, Instagram didn’t exist, so it wasn’t so easy access independent design! 11 years later we are still going strong and we still love other local talent. Little Salon has been there so long that it is the sweetheart of the neighborhood. The locals are incredibly loyal shoppers and they rely on us to find great gifts made by LoveHate and other local talent.

Any plans to open another retail space?
Yes! We are hoping to open a dedicated LoveHate store soon and we’re on the hunt for the perfect location!

Anything new coming up that we should know about?
I’m pretty excited about our next range coming up. It is inspired by one of my favourite little holiday spots by the ocean. We’re continually evolving the range so our Instagram feed and Facebook page are best for updates.



Images courtesy of LoveHate.

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