Have you been looking (or dreaming) to update your home with designer dinnerware and custom dining furniture that is like no other? Well, we've recently discovered Black Crate, an Australian brand that is the epitome of contemporary design and sophistication. Famous for quality and texture, their range is luxurious in every essence. We sat down with one half of the brand's founding duo, Ashley Tran-Suzuki to talk where it all began and what an average day looks like for her.
When I first saw your Black Crate collection, I was so impressed by how sleek, sexy and stylish the range is! Can you tell me about the light bulb moment that brought the luxury brand to life?
ATS: The inspiration for a brand with our ethos and aesthetic began when I myself searched for dinnerware and cutlery when Hubby and I moved into our home in Sydney. This was in 2011. I wanted to create an unforgettable dining space when we entertained in our new home and really struggled to find dinnerware and cutlery that I liked. This culminated in the creation of the Black Crate concept in April 2017 with our showroom located at 1/101 Victoria Street, Fitzroy Melbourne opening in July 2017. I will never forget those three incredible months where we brought the brand to life – we worked intensely hard and our hearts were filled with a unique mix of nervousness and excitement!
Black Crate has a very clear aesthetic and to ensure the whole experience is unforgettable, all luxe dinner-sets are delivered in your signature Black Crate. Which set has been the most popular and why?
ATS: The Dante Collection has been very popular and feedback from our clients is that they love the level of texture. It’s not as dramatic as the Genesis range but the texture is stronger than the Nirvana collection.
How often do you introduce and launch new collections to your range?
ATS: Our aim is to add new pieces to our range each season. We are very thoughtful about adding new collections as we view our collections as being luxe, elegant, classics.
What’s next for Black Crate?
ATS: We have a very exciting 6 months ahead! We will be launching a limited edition and Melbourne inspired collection of art work and have also partnered with a very talented Melbourne based Designer to launch our first furniture collection!
A Day In The Life Of Ashley Tran-Suzuki from Black Crate
6am: When I’m in Melbourne, I’m generally up at approx. 6am. It’s then a morning blur of getting ready and having brekky and then I’m generally out the door between 7.30am-8am. Whilst having brekky I will also check Black Crate’s Instagram, respond to any comments, messages etc. and post when we have a scheduled post. As our brand essence and aesthetic is so distinct, I haven’t yet been able to let go of Instagram (yikes #control freak). It’s so important because to me, it’s our third shop-front. First is our showroom, second is the website.
9am: With my Starbucks Iced Soy Caramel Latte in hand (I am a tragic addict and have one every day), I’ll generally be at the showroom by 9am and will spend the next few hours looking at our website stats via Shopify, responding to customer enquiries, assisting with fulfilling orders and merchandising the showroom. I love being in our showroom and there’s no job in the business that I don’t do!
1pm: LUNCH! I’m usually famished by this time! Usually Japanese or Vietnamese around Fitzroy.
2pm: Back at it and the afternoons are all about creative work - whether it’s planning our next shoot, reviewing work from Ex-JupiterStudios (our creative firm) or planning our next marketing campaign. I enjoy creative more and more as the business evolves.
6pm-9pm: When I’m in Melbourne, I generally try and catch up with a handful of close friends that I have in Melbourne and my mum and dad so it’s usually dinner with them during week days.
9.30pm: Home and a quick check of social media channels and respond to any comments, enquiries etc.. Then get ready for bed, as I’m knackered by this time and in bed.
Black Crate's showroom is located at 1/101 Victoria Street in Fitzroy, Melbourne.