A beach babe at heart, 25-year-old Lauren Quigley made all our summer dreams come true when she launched her gorgeous bespoke bohemian baskets, aptly named Bahskets, last November.
Hand crafted by French Moroccan market basket artisans and embellished in Australia with Peruvian & Indian handicrafts – this season it’s blush coloured tassels – her bahskets have been popping up on the arms and shoulders of fashion lovers, market goers, flower buyers and sun worshippers across the country.
Describe yourself in three words:
Thoughtful, creative, chatty
Where did the idea/concept for Bahsket come from?
I was working in a role that was very report based, customer service focused and social media heavy and I needed a creative outlet. I was working a contract role and it was looking like the work I was doing would dry up after the project I was working on finished. I was lost! Paired with that, I’ve always loved accessories, bags, pom poms and tassels and I’ve always liked a challenge. I wanted to ensure my digital skills were up to scratch and was interested in building a website. I have a background in marketing and fashion and wanted to combine those skills and see where it took me. Bahsket came to life when I was looking for an affordable basket with beautiful embellishments. I found it difficult to find a good quality piece under $100 and decided to make my own label. The bahskets are made in Morocco and the tassels are made in India. It’s all put together here in Brisbane before being sent out to customers.
How long did it take for your idea and plans for your business to become a reality?
I was in Bali on a boat over to Nusa Lembongan when I had a couple of little business ideas. I jotted the notes down in my phone and didn’t give it another thought for about 6 months. I was working at and sampling for the other idea when I hit a roadblock. I asked a close friend which she liked more and she was a lot more interested in Bahsket. From there I contacted different artisans in Morocco and it started to blossom! I then had a bunch of bahskets but no tassels I was happy with. I’d sampled and emailed hundreds of different people and nothing was quite right. I eventually found someone with samples that were a little bit closer to what I wanted. I sketched up ideas, sent colour swatches and after a lot of back and forth, sampling, customs and slowwww shipping, we had a tassel.
You’ve got a real international flavour going on with Moroccan, Peruvian and Indian features on your baskets, do you get to visit all of those countries when putting together each new piece?
Both Morocco and Peru are on the list but fortunately with the internet you can connect with all these places so easily. This year I have travelled through Bali and wider Indonesian islands and Europe to seek inspiration and see what’s going on across the world. I have been so inspired by my travels through Vietnam and especially up through Sapa where a lot of my original tassel inspiration came from. Their handicrafts are so beautiful, colourful and incredible. I was also very inspired by the crafts I saw in Chiang Mai in Thailand, so intricate and vibrant.
Do you do a different coloured set of tassels for each season/collection?
Yes! That’s the fun part. We launched with beautiful bright tassels and had limited availability. Once they sold we launched our blush pinks for mid to late 2017. They’re proving super popular and we’ve had a lot of love for them. I was so surprised and humbled at how quickly our brights sold out so I quadrupled the order for our blush pinks.
Do you have plans to expand your offering?
I would love to include new pieces but they have to be the right fit and be accessible for my customer. I’m all about quality, craftsmanship, and price. What’s the point of having a beautiful piece if it’s unaffordable?
What would we find in your Bahsket right now?
Right this second it’s filled with washing! and clothes that are going to Vinnies. Usually there’s a towel, bikini, sunscreen and moisturiser and some little calico bags to keep all the precious things away safe from the sand.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
Spell & The Gypsy Collective reposted a photo with a bahsket and that was very exciting! Besides that, I am always so excited and touched when a friend of mine wants a bahsket. If i’m producing a product that my close friends genuinely like then that’s success to me.
What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?
A beach house, please and thank you!
What’s your ideal way to spend a Sunday?
The beach. I am happiest when I am near the water. I love escaping the city and driving down to the coast early. Breakfast and coffee somewhere cute and then sun, sea, sand!
What are your hopes for 2018?
The puppy! and the beach house!