The two Jennifers of Jones & Co are so in tune, they finish each other’s design ideas. Owner Jennifer Jones will say, “I’m thinking pastels for the next season” and creative director Jen Sampson will chime in, “Washed-out gelato!” which is just what Jones was going to say.
Together they design 500 to 600 items a year for the new Bondi homewares and gift boutique as well as for the online wholesale business that’s just celebrated its 10th anniversary.
The store is on a tree-lined street a few blocks back from Bondi Beach. Pale yellow bi-fold timber doors stand open, welcoming customers into a light-filled space lined with simple wood shelves that showcase beautiful vases, plates, and decorations. A second room is full of ferns and succulents with an array of white ceramic lamps lighting one corner.
Design inspiration comes from everywhere.
“We’re bowerbirds,” says Jones. “We hoard and collect everything. I travel a lot; take photos of things like tiles on the street, wallpapers, the colours of buildings. We get inspiration from magazines, fashion catwalks. It never stops.”
Everything is handmade in the Philippines by the sons and daughters of makers who once created goods for Jones’ parents old exporting business. “My dad called up all his old friends who had pottery and bone china factories and said, ‘my daughter is thinking of doing something in Australia.’ We went to the factories and I met the sons and daughters who had taken over from their parents.”
Textured, acid-yellow plant pots are wheel thrown, made with clay from Santo Tomás. Jones & Co sells them planted with a succulent or fern.
The most popular item is a dramatic bowl painted with a special glaze that, when fired at a high temperature, results in an iron-like texture. Blue glass is melted into the centre of the bowl, creating a dark, watery depth. Small pieces also do well. Jones deftly stacks a miniature blue platter and dipping bowl for someone who loves tapas. She adds in a set of wood-handled cheese knives and a beaker for sangria.
“People love coming in and playing around with pieces,” she says. The way she regards her creation with satisfaction, it’s clear Jones loves it too.
Jones & Co
2A Jacques Avenue, Bondi Beach
(02) 9130 7652
Mon–Wed, Fri–Sat 10am–6pm