RUBY LOVES: KELLY THOMPSON

We caught up with the lovely illustrator, Creative Director and blogger, Kelly Thompson to chat about her creative process and garnering a reputation as one of New Zealand's most internationally recognised illustrators.

Read our interview with Kelly Thompson and check out her favourite looks from our RUBY & Liam winter 16 collections....

KELLY THOMPSON - BUNNY STORE & GALAXY TURTLENECK

RUBY Bunny Stole | $109 and Liam Galaxy Turtleneck | $159

Did you expect a career in illustration to take you this far?

I knew that I wanted it to go somewhere, but I never really realised exactly what you could do as an illustrator and the opportunities there could be. I definitely didn't expect that it would grow to me having my own agency and working as an art director. Some of my most memorable experiences would be winning the Escada pitch, speaking at Semi-Permanent numerous times. Taking the plunge to stop drawing all the time and launch my own agency, UNA was a pretty exciting step, I'm sure it will become memorable!

KELLY THOMPSON - GALAXY TURTLENECK

Liam Galaxy Turtleneck | $159

What’s your typical design process?

First, I ask as many questions as I can of the client, figure out what they actually want, ask for examples of things they like, show them things to figure out where their head is at. The most important things are to make sure you're on the same page at the start. Then I do research followed by super rough (and kind of terrible) sketches which I occasionally share on Snapchat so people can see how basic they really need to be. I always accompany these with references of my work so people can visualise what they are going to get. From there I revise the sketch if adjustments are needed, or I go on to tidy line work. Once done I resubmit, make adjusts or move to colour which I do digitally. Then Ta da!

For art direction and consulting the process is a bit more varied and longer. I always meet clients in person or we have skype meetings, there is much more researching, clarifying requirements, mood boards, sourcing of creatives, creative management. It's a bigger process, but I love it.

KELLY THOMPSON - BUNNY STOLE

RUBY Bunny Stole | $109

What has been your most exciting collaboration so far?

I did a really fun event for Maybelline NY NZ a couple of years ago that involved me creating a face chart then flying to NZ and hosting a press day where I ran through the new season products and taught an art class with makeup, I really enjoyed using my skills in a completely different way. Recently with UNA we were commissioned to do the Formula E worldwide racing campaign, a project that ran for almost a year and was seen on LED billboards the size of football fields and all sorts of amazing media around the world, that was extremely exciting because it was just such a huge scale project!

KELLY THOMPSON - GALAXY SKIRT

Liam Galaxy Skirt | $199

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I love taking some time out with pilates, walking by the river near our house with the dog and getting outside as much as possible! I've also just started a personal project called Everyday Girls and am about to do my first sketch for that. The project will be pretty big and run for a couple of years so I imagine so my spare time will be well stacked. I have also launched a new blog where I chat about the industry and creativity. I also try to support brands I love and people like me, who are just starting out

What are your favourite pieces for our latest RUBY & Liam Winter collections?

I've been wearing the Galaxy Turtleneck a lot! I really like how it's a little bit 70's with the golden sparkle as I'm going through a huge disco/70s moment right now. I love the velvet Bunny styles, the velvet Vampire Choker and the red Alpine Peacoat, it's such a good colour for dull grey winter days.

KELLY THOMPSON - VAMPIRE CHOKER

RUBY Vampire Choker | $29

Thanks Kelly x

RUBY LOVES: CHIA

CHIA Image by James K Lowe

For the most of us, we are forever advocating alternative healthy food choices however we are often met by troublesome barriers such as time. Low and behold, New Zealand made CHIA, founded by Chloe Van Dyke, offers us a tasty and efficient way to consume omega 3, antioxidants and essential nutrients all from one good looking glass bottle. CHIA has become a definite favourite of ours at RUBY HQ since its inception in 2012.

We caught up with Chloe's right hand woman and sister, Florence Van Dyke to find out more about their delicious and salubrious drinks…

CHIA Drinks

How did CHIA come about?

CHIA began in our family kitchen. We grew up eating healthy foods - Dad is an age-group champion swimmer and I compete in triathlons so eating nutrient-dense wholefoods has always been important to our family. Chloe, who has a post graduate diploma in neuroscience, travelled to the Himalyas for a trekking expedition in 2011 and took chia seeds with her. At high altitudes she hydrated the seeds and mixed them with blackcurrant powder for sustenance. The impact of the chia seeds was immediately noticeable - they provided sustained hydration, slow release of nutrients and the magnesium eased muscle cramps. Once down from the mountain, Chloe returned to Nelson, teamed up with our father, Ben and they started playing around with the formula. The natural drink business of CHIA was born!

What are both of your roles within the business?

Chloe is the founder of CHIA and oversees everything in the business. Her focus is both on the present and the future. She ensures that CHIA is made and delivered at the highest quality possible and looks to how CHIA can improve, evolve and grow. CHIA is an innovative brand with a focus on health. Chloe's aim is to not just lead the food and beverage industry in healthy options but to bring creativity into a highly competitive market.

My role is in export negotiations and sales. This is exciting as CHIA is growing so quickly. At the moment I am meeting with potential distributors from Australia, China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia to consider how we can best strategize entering these new markets. I am also traveling to Indonesia next month as part of the New Zealand Young Business Leaders Initiative to check out the beverage market there.

We have a fantastic team of CHIA reps across the country who help me out with sales and customer relations in New Zealand. We work hard but we also see the importance of having fun. Giving the mind a break is often when new creative ideas are formed. Giving the team the time to enjoy the outdoors and take breaks is a priority (so much so that the entire team was out of the office for the Coast to Coast last month).

What is it that excites you most about the New Zealand food industry?

New Zealand is a fantastic place to start a business. The local communities in New Zealand are innovative and willing to support small businesses. The food industry is particularly exciting because New Zealand foodies are so passionate and committed to providing a high quality product. Foods like Raglan Coconut Yoghurt and Dovedale bread are first class in their industry - we are lucky to have them on our doorstep!

What's your favourite way to enjoy CHIA?

We love CHIA every way! At the moment I am addicted to bircher muesli topped with blackcurrant CHIA and Raglan Coconut Yoghurt for breakfast (you can find the recipe below).

What’s next for CHIA?

There is so much growth happening for CHIA at the moment that it is difficult to pinpoint everything that is coming next. We have a new CHIA drink in the works. I can't spill the exact flavour but coconut water and chia seeds are the top two ingredients. We are expanding internationally which is challenging and exiting at the same time and we are supporting a whole heap of awesome athletes. One of our key business philosophies is to support people acting on their dreams.

BIRCHER MUESLI TOPPED WITH CHIA

Bircher

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1 handful of sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds

  • 1 handful of any other nuts (walnuts and hazlenuts are my favourites)

  • 1 cup of Carew kitchen almond milk

Directions:

  1. Mix all of your ingredients together and then add water to cover the mixture by an inch. Leave to soak overnight.

TOPPINGS

Thanks ladies x

LOOKBOOK: RUBY 'VAMPIRE' WINTER 2016

This winter, in a flash of ebony black and a gust of romantic mysticism, the RUBY girl hurtles through the underworld and into the arms of Vampire. Classic, seasonably appropriate and not alienated from RUBY’s quintessential charm, this collection takes a walk on the wrong side of town.

Born from recent adventures on snowy Alpine peaks, Vampire’s colour palette is both the ominous grey of a winter day and the rainbow after a thunderstorm. Grey marle, navy and black simmer away while a lustrous elixir of bottle green gives a touch of magic. A coat in spritely fire appears fresh and fun, while its redheaded temper bubbles below the surface. Silhouettes fall soft and gently below the armour of this desirable outerwear, the classic RUBY ruffle playing peek-a-boo from under the signature King Coat, reincarnated in rose pink.

Waterproof knife pleats undercut the collection, with crisp black angles creating an eerie swish with each stride. Silken faux fur, lumberjack check and glitter polka dots cheerfully tickle the senses, countered by the sumptuous teenager that is black velvet. A chambray camouflage brings light to the collection with its playful floral decoy.

Bold and brooding but not without frills, Vampire invites you to dance on the dark side. Every rose has its thorns, after all.

RUBY Vampire Winter 2016 arrives in store & online on Friday 1st April x

Photographer: James K Lowe

Model: Seen @ Clyne

Stylist: Amelia Holmes

Makeup: Lochie Stonehouse @ M.A.C Cosmetics

Hair: Sophy Phillips