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Inspiration Bomb – Polli

Hello and welcome to this week’s Inspiration Bomb, the making of which involved a flight to Sydney, several pieces of delicious home-made zucchini-loaf, and a lovely chat with Tess, co-founder of brilliant Sydney-based design company Polli.

Photo Courtesy of Finders Keepers

Maja and Tess: Polli Founders. Photo Courtesy of Finders Keepers.

Polli began over ten years ago when Tess and her buddy Maja decided to combine their skills and see what they could come up with. Basically, the whole thing went BOOM (in the best way possible), and now, most of you reading this will have either worn or spied enviously upon a Polli piece.

I love that they’re not only a really successful business but also clearly a very Big Hearted kinda business; they have created one of THE BEST working cultures I’ve ever witnessed and, on top of that, their boldly coloured home-wares and jewellery are made using sustainable materials and practice (quick time-out: by sustainable practices, I mean a human-being makes them, not some fancy hi-tech robot with 17 arms and pincers for hands, which is one of the things I loved SO MUCH about walking into their sun-drenched upstairs studio in Sydney). All up, their pieces are now owned by tens of thousands of good-looking and super intelligent people all over the world, and they really are one of the most stylish BHB’s I have on my books.

Generous too! For example, earlier this year when I started making a wish-list of all the companies whose stuff I loved, who made the kind of products that my kind of people might be interested in, Polli was right up top of the list. I was thinking that, if I was lucky, they might give us a door-prize. But when we wrote to them with a “hello”, they responded immediately with a YES, and a “Let’s make everyone rings in the BHB colours!” answer. Wild. Crazy. SO very generous!

See the beautiful rings! BHB Conference Gift Bags, 2013. Photo by Anna Robinson

See the beautiful rings! BHB Conference Gift Bags, 2013. Photo by Anna Robinson.

I’d like to mention again that our very special Inspiration Bomb artiste for May is illustrator, author and one of my very best friends in the world Rachel Power! Yay Rachel! Along with being a wonderful, all-round ace lady, Rachel also authored the most honest book in the world on the topic of artists who are mothers, The Divided Heart, AND spoke at the BHB Conference 2013. She is a true multi-passionate and we are honoured to have her on board.

So on that note, here’s to filling your life with big bold ideas and radiant colours,

And also! We’d love to hear your thoughts!! If you have any questions or comments about Polli or Rachel or BHB or anything at all, please let us know on our site (just under the video link!)


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  • Rach Dice Mac

    When I was a child I liked to…dance around my garden listening to classical music, pretending I was doing what (I thought) ballerinas did. I’ve never had a dance lesson, had never been to the ballet, but I danced to every corner of my garden with abandon.

  • Chantellee

    When I was a child I liked to play with plants and flowers, crushing them to draw on the rocks with their colours or making them into potions to help the princesses(my cousins). #BHBwin2014

  • When I was a child I used to like…. Climbing up onto my dads back while he read the newspaper on the floor and pretending to read over his shoulder. It was like a indoor human horse back ride and an attempt at education all in one. ‪#‎BHBwin2014‬

  • Rebecca Hart

    When I was a child I liked to make dioramas using shoe boxes. They would have coloured cellophane lids and be filled with plants, miniature pictures and other oddments. When I would look through a pin hole in the side of the box I would see a world bathed in red or yellow light. I would imagine myself in this magical world…then make a different one. #BHBwin2014

  • Deb Taylor

    When I was a child I used to like typing poetry on my Grandfather’s typewriter, drawing in the dark (because real artists would be able to draw anywhere!), climbing the tree in the front yard so I could see the drive-in screen at the top of the hill, singing like an opera singer alone in my room, and dancing naked.

  • Jules Galloway

    When I was a child I liked to make mud pies and write stories. Now I make raw desserts and blog about it!

  • Amy Tinderbox

    When I was a child I liked to create all manner of clubs and creative projects (complete with self designed logos and what might now be called mission statements) and lead people around on adventures, imagining we were detectives, scientists, magicians, rockstars, the list goes on! My base was my treehouse, can’t wait to have another treehouse studio one day : )

  • Jody Galvanator

    When I was a child I liked to spend hours singing along to my big brothers records, especially Blondie and The Clash and pretend one day I’d be on a stage doing that………..and here I am doing exactly that! #BHBwin2014

  • Amie Sexton

    When I was a child I used to hang upside down in a tree, pondering the world from a different perspective. #BHBwin2014

  • Ash Lee

    When I was a child I used to make castles and towns out of big boxes and play and imagine for hours. I even had a drawbridge and a mote… ah to be a kid again!

  • Sunday

    When I was a child I used to be a fearless creator. One of my favourite pastimes was drawing and I remember spending an entire Christmas holiday down at my grandparents beach house drawing a portrait of every member of my extended family. After my grandparents passed away, we found that my grandmother had kept them all and they were such a precious thing to inherit

  • when I was a kid I had tea parties on the balcony with the green tree frogs as my guests

  • Dyani Stagg

    When I was a child, I liked to find snails in the garden and paint their
    shells in rainbow colours, then put them back in the garden and see if I
    could find them again the next day. I also liked to make my dog milkshakes for breakfast. #BHBwin2014

  • Tara Axford

    When I was a child I liked to play ‘museums’ , I loved to create the shop and make ‘woofits’ from scraps of fur and googley eyes to sell. #BHB2014

  • Tessa Broadby

    When I was a child I liked to go to the beach with my Grandmother. We would collect shells to make jewellery with, and make homes for crabs with all the rocks. While the beach was so close to her house, it used to take us a good 30 minute stroll to get there, as she was so old and arthritic – but she still always made the effort, knowing it was my favourite thing. The things we did for the happiness of our loved ones! #BHBwin2014

  • brigitte benary

    When i was i child i loved to watch my mum over the kitchen bench make our absolute favourite hedgehog cake, the best part was to lick the wooden spoon and get our little fingers right into the sides and bottom of the deep cooking bowl till it was absolutely spotlessly clean,when i think about it makes my heart sing and i can’t help but smile with joy……….

  • Catherine Devanny

    When I was a child, I loved to craft (and I loved teaching my little sisters to craft too, when they would let me!). I’m so glad to find myself crafting again, and sharing the fun with a child who also loves creating xxx

  • Sheryl

    When I was a child I use to love making little drawings & greeting cards… I use to set up a mini gallery/shop in my room when my grandparents use to visit and would sell them to them for 10-30cents each. #BHBwin2014

  • Pilar Tronzik

    When i was a child i liked to….
    1. Collect the round leaves of mums ‘money tree’ and take it to the corner shop to try to buy Redskin lollies.
    2. My sister and i would dye shoes laces in food dye and try to sell them out the front of our house (whilst I listening to Daniel by Elton John – for hours!!!)
    3. get up in the night when mum had made a cake (it was always chocolate) and lick all the icing off and then get water and smear the rest of whatever icing was left to disguise my naughtiness….

  • Ebony Courtney

    When I was a child I loved all things music. Listening to records and tapes! Playing the piano and spending hours perfecting recordings from the radio to make awesome mixed tapes. #BHBwin2014

  • Catherine Brown

    When I was a child I liked to dress up in my Mum’s clothes, layering them ridiculously and taking pictures of me looking “gorgeous” (c’mon we all did it!) #BHBwin2014

  • Claire Smith

    When I was a child I liked to climb a tree with a book and a granny smith apple and stay up there for hours. #BHBwin2014

  • Susan Clarke

    when I was a child, I always hung around the adults … listening to them sing … and sang along. Either with their consent or in secret … if it was after my bedtime … I was raised in a Barbershop Harmony family … I always wanted to do anything singing related … When I was at uni .. everyone knew when I was coming around the corner …
    because they could hear me singing ….

  • Sue Stergo

    When I was a child I liked to paint, sing and dance. Not much has changed, I still love doing all these creative activities. #BHBwin2014

  • Kerry Weymouth

    When I was a child, I liked to spend my days, climbing,exploring and playing under the garden hedge (the garden hedge my great
    grandmother planted) #BHBwin2014

  • Jenny O’Keefe

    When I was a child, I liked to listen to John Farnham’s Whispering Jack on my walkman and climb trees.

  • Guest

    When i was a child, i would imagine a future where my life would be like a “cussons imerial leather” advertisement https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeprH418xr0 (here is a little trip down memory lane for those children of the 80’s)

    • Renee Bufton

      sorry everyone! I can’t seem to remove this enormous link to the ad i mentioned when i tried to post it!

  • Renee Bufton

    when i was a child, i imagined my future to look something like the “cussons imperial leather” advertisement (do yourselves a favour children of the 80’s and google the add from 1984, unfortunately i can’t seem to add the link here) #BHBwin2014

  • Donna Fearne

    When I was a child I would lie on the lawn and find shapes in the clouds during the day and sleep with the window open and the electric blanket on at night. I was constantly in trouble for reading too much and being told to ‘got outside and play’…I imagined that as long as I was brave and did everything ‘right’ then being grown up would be easy and even though I desperately wanted a sibling to play with I spent hours designing self sufficient farms where I lived alone in the wilderness of my utopic future……..xo

  • Kristy Saunders

    When I was a child I used to do cartwheels and handstands for hours with my best friend and neighbour. Build cubby houses from the couch cushions. Have home made custard for any of my toys birthdays (which I still remember the dates of for some of them). Make dolls clothes on my kids sewing machine. Climb trees with my brother.

  • Elizabeth

    When I was a child I liked to sit somewhere quiet and imagine the immensity of the universe… even at 6 I think I realised how physically small I was in the world, but how amazing it was that I was even here – kinda put things in perspective… I liked to balance that seriousness at 6 with some painting – which always filled my soul… even then. That and playing with Tonka trucks – what can I say 🙂

  • When I was a child I liked to dwell in the wonderland of my imagination where anything & everything was possible….my creativity was limitless & joyous ….

  • ingrid gaiotto

    When I was a child I liked to perch on the edge of a rock, a cliff, a tree, a shed and fly… I stand in a quiet place, so, for the moment, choose not to engage in social media but winning a ticket to the BGB conference would be another flight for me, if you’d be my rock ledge… #BHBwin2014

  • Anna Ross

    When I was a child I used to make my sister play supermarkets with me. We used to pull all of the food out of the cupboards and ‘stack’ it in an orderly fashion all over the lounge. I always dreamed of working in a supermarket.

  • samantha pereira

    I used to make beads from Fimo, then sold them at school…$1.50 for the bead, $1 for the leather to wear it on. I had a logo (with help from the dot matrix printer) and made little paper bags with my logo that I could seal up. It didn’t last long, but I ended up breaking even. I keep thinking of that when I wonder what the hell I’m doing making stuff and trying to sell it now!

  • Detail Collective

    When I was a child I would DANCE around the kitchen table & GET MY HANDS DIRTY SCULPTING with the home made pastry Mum & Gran would be making #BHBwin2014

  • Holly Marsden

    When I was a child I used to lay on the lounge room floor where the sun rays would shine through the windows onto the carpet and pretend they would give me ‘super powers’ #BHBwin2014

  • Jessica

    To win a ticket to BHB I will share something slightly embarrassing. When I was a child I used to make up imaginary worlds along with the languages, customs and music to go with them, whilst riding my bike up and down the street for hours at a time : ) One world was called ‘Coland’ and the language was ‘Colish’ and I imagined it to be a sort of perfect paradise where every person and creature flourished… perhaps like how the world was before civilisation? I guess I still have that as a goal tucked away somewhere : ) #BHBwin2014

  • Trudy Moore

    When I was a child I liked to wear my tights on my head while I jumped on my bed, pretending I had lovely, long pigtails 🙂 #BHBwin2014

  • Guest

    “When I was a child I liked to listen to the Rocky Horror Picture Show in the bath and then record my own songs on tape (in the bath). I used to perform Madonna songs in my bedroom alone, I hated baths and loved being in the bush covered in dirt. I would make films starring myself as the lead and every other character… ” #BHBwin2014

  • Sally Davis

    When I was a child I used to know and sing every word of the Rocky Horror Picture Show then record my own musical songs on tape in the bath. I used to play alone in the bush for hours, coreograph my own Madonna dance routines and would make my friends from next door watch me sing and dance on the roof (I never let them up they had to watch!). I also made many films starring myself as the lead and every other character… #BHBwin2014

  • Emily

    When I was a child I liked to make up radio shows, recorded on tapes with my sister and brother. Our hit song was “Give me some money to help myself!” (sung by a koala whose trees were being chopped down). #BHBwin2014

  • Sue Summers

    When I was a child I liked to go adventuring. Adventuring for me was sometimes from inside my head, through drawing animals and creating my own characters (like some hairy critters with floaty eyes called Greeblies) writing in my diary, or listening to music in my bedroom for hours. Or it was heading outside and exploring the world around me: climbing any trees I could reach the lowest branches of at my house; taking the day to wheel around the suburbs, and down long and winding storm drains on my bike; and later, in high school, riding my pinto horse Ben to the hills near my house.

  • Liz Christiansen

    When I was a child I liked to wish I was a mermaid. I couldn’t swim very well but it never stopped me dreaming!! #BHBwin2014