Ness was one of the very first people I started to follow on IG. I met her when IG was not even a thing really, back when Finders Keepers markets were bustling and her beautiful ceramics stall would be 10 people deep, all dying to get their hands on some of her work, you'd be lucky to get anything by day 2. I distinctly remember the first time I received something from her label Marley & Lockyer in the post. The box came with calligraphy as the address! Like my name, address etc was all written in the most exquisite of hand writing. There was a beautiful stamp, a hand written note and her message of 'if you must have something in your home, make it beautiful' resonated with me and formed part of the foundation for my business. Her attention to wrapping and delivering her product was a beacon for how I wanted KARMME to be received.
Ness made the clay tags that used to go out on all my parcels, then she imprinted the lace from my mum's wedding gown into those clay discs, some of you reading may have received them. It was the final touch to send my pieces with a little bit of Ness out to KARMME customers.
She has continued to grow her business, but maintained considerately made and thoughtful pieces for the home, that are needed and indeed, beautiful.
Ness recently shared what was in her KARMME tote.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Ness, which is short for Vanessa (but I only get that when I’m in trouble!). Mum of two teenage boys, and Kodah, our dog. I’ve been married to my husband, Mic, for nearly 24 years. I'm also the founder of Marley & Lockyer, a homewares brand I started in 2007. It’s built around my handmade ceramics that I draw my own botanic and calligraphy designs onto. I also paint antique style portraits. All are influenced by my Scottish family and its history. I tend to make pieces that are beautiful to look at, but have to be hard wearing, everyday family pieces.
We live on an old apple orchard in Gravelly Beach, Tasmania, and are currently renovating the old farmhouse.
What do you love about the KARMME tote?
I’ve known Imby since pretty much the beginning, and I used to make small tags for Imby to send out with her KARMME orders with the lace from her mum’s wedding dress. I have three KARMME pieces already. They are my go-to, and now the tote finishes my collection (for now). This tote is perfection- soft, buttery leather with the stunning hand-dyed shibori lining. It’s big enough to keep all my things in as well as a scarf (because Tassie has four seasons everyday) without swamping me. I love the big top zipper, and pockets inside. Just perfection really.
How would you define your style?
It’s fairly laid back. I tend to go for pieces in linen and natural fibres that have beautiful shapes or design features, and I love to pair things with jeans, or linen pants and a black leather jacket. I love a little bit of leopard print on a shoe too, but I’m just as happy in a pair of jogger pants, and a knit top and slides (that’s my studio go-to outfit).
With interiors I love neutrals. My palette is white and natural linen with touches of black metal, glass, old zinc, old bleached pine, lots of vintage portraits, and heaps of stoneware! I collect old Scottish stoneware and love mixing it with my own stoneware pieces. I love an unexpected element thrown in for good measure too, like my vintage boxing gloves (I’m a boxing and kickboxing coach and I used to box). Candles and branches from the garden, and stacks of homewares books on the coffee table and that’s me.
What’s in your bag? And why?
My old leather wallet that I love, car keys with a little wooden highland cow I picked up in Scotland. My phone. My sunglasses and reading glasses, because reading labels at Woolworths is getting harder these days without them! A small tape measure in case I spot an old dresser or table. A notebook, pen and pencil because there’s always something to sketch or write down (I’m a list writer). A small receipt folder for all the receipts you have to keep as a business owner. One of my older KARMME clutches in the most beautiful cocoa brown that holds my stackable Trinny London makeup, mascara, paracetamol, lozenges, bandaids, and the like that can be whipped out at a moments notice if there is a dinner to go to. Usually a beanie or flat cap, and a cashmere scarf…again, it’s Tassie.
Is there anything in your bag that shouldn’t be there?
Definitely a shopping list that should have been thrown out, and a charger cord I still don’t know what it belongs to!
How often do you clean out your bag?
Fairly often. I go between bags, depending on where I’m off to. I like to know where things are.
Where do you see this bag taking you?
Most places. I love having the clutch in the tote, so I’ve always got the right bag with me at all times. It’s so versatile, and I can take everything I need with me. I tend to just stick to the one larger bag, and this has become a firm favourite. The colour goes with all my outfits too. Once we can travel again, this will be a must for everything.
What does your bag say about you?
That I love quality that doesn’t look fussy. I appreciate handmade and the time and effort that goes into it…and that I love the thought that goes into the design of KARMME bags!
Thank you for sharing what's in your KARMME Toffee tote Ness & for being such an inspiration for KARMME.