In Conversation With—Danielle McEwan, Tigmi Trading

Tigmi Trading sources and curates timeless, artisan made rugs, textiles, objects, lighting and art. Inspired by escape, their aesthetic is one of simple sophistication and the timeless beauty of aged vintage pieces, paired with the elegance of modern design. Here, we sit down with founder Danielle McEwan.

Q—Thanks for joining us, Danielle. Could you tell us a little about Tigmi and how it all began?

A—In 2004, Julian (my partner in life and business) and I went on a trip to Morocco where we fell in love with the time honoured, artisanal approach to design and in particular, the rich history of hand loomed rugs. After returning the seed had been planted but it took us a few years to bring the idea to fruition. Really, it was when we relocated to our home of Byron Bay that I found the space and creative freedom to pursue the idea and began curating what would be our first collection.

Q—What is your underlying design philosophy?

A—Our aim is for every piece to have a considered design ethos that is underpinned by socially and environmentally sustainable production and an artisanal approach to the design process that deliver's timeless originality.

Q—What are your most enduring creative influences?

A—Art and architecture are two of my biggest creative influences and where I draw my biggest inspiration. Modernist design is a very close third.

Q—Rather than trends we prefer to focus on materials, craftsmanship and technique—how do you see that notion expressed in your sourcing?

A—When creating and curating our collections we first consider objects under a timeless lens. So much of our collection has been created with ancient techniques and are imbued with hundreds of years of time-honoured skills, crafts and ancestral wisdom and that feature the indelible mark of the maker within them—this to me will never go out of style.

Q—Could you tell us about the Tigmi Rilievo rug collection?

A—Our RILIEVO rug collection is our first in-house designed rug collection that is inspired by master of detail Carlo Scarna. It has always been our vision that we would one day create our own range of rugs, a coalescence of ideas that carried through time. I wanted to be sure that we presented a collection indicative of our commitment to quality and artisanship, but also captured the essence of our brand in the visual language of our designs.

Q—When looking for a collaborative partner what synergies or qualities are important to you?

A—As a slow interiors brand, it is very important to us to only collaborate with brands, people, and partners we feel a natural connection to in terms of values and aesthetics. Our collections are artisanal and have a connection to the natural world—be it materiality, design influence, or form.

Q—Which other Australian designers, artists or creative people are inspiring you at the moment?

A—Indigenous artist Rita Watson—her unique use of bold colour, and graphic naïve style that depicts her story are utterly breathtaking. We were recently very lucky to show some of Rita's works at the studio which was a huge honour. Hunter Amos—a young, local Byron Bay artist—is one I'm watching our for. As for designers, I'm loving Two Lines Studio and his beautifully crafted brutalist pieces.

Q—What's next for Tigmi?

A—Lots! We have a few exciting new in-house rug collections to launch next year along with some locally made furniture pieces that we have been working on for over a year that represent our ethos of considered and sustainable design. We can't wait to get them all out into the world.