Issue no. 3
Tara from Provider Store
Provider Store is a destination specialising in daily tools for the home. Each piece is either handmade by Tara Bennett or by local and international creatives that she has met along her travels.
Provider explores the concept of slow living, with an emphasis on creating ethical and sustainable products.
It was when Tara travelled to Japan for the first time that she was overwhelmed by their culture. Noticing how the Japanese had obvious respect for their belongings (there was no dirty cars, streets, no rubbish) and it hit home at how different we lived our lives in Australia.
Tara was influenced by her realisation that as humans, we want everything now at the cheapest price, once the trend changes, we throw it and go to the next thing. Whereas everything in Japan was so well thought out, simple, timeless, yet practical.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from a few things. People is one… I find motivated people inspiring, which is quite contagious.
You can often find me standing in the design, architecture and even cooking section at Kinokuniya flicking through books. I often take a notepad and write and draw things I see or if a good idea pops into my head. I also draw inspiration from Japanese craftsmanship. I love that the Japanese master one thing and then make a whole living out of it.
What do you find challenging about following a creative career path?
I actually started my career out as a copywriter, so the initial challenge was getting used to putting your work out for people to see/judge. Much the same when you’re making and designing things. Financially, a creative career can be a hindrance but when it pays off (literally and figuratively) it’s super rewarding.
The Japanese way of life has had a major influence on you. What do you hope to instil in Australian consumers?
The difference I noticed about the Japanese way of life compared to Australia is that people make things to last, they respect their belongings and design is so practical. I find in Australia it can be quite trend driven and people will want something at the cheapest price and then get rid of it once the next things becomes cool. I am hoping to show people that they should be making more intelligent purchases – things that reduce wastage, are made to last and that tell a special story. If something has meaning to you then you will want to keep it and pass on the message. I am also big on recycling. All my candles are designed to be multi-purpose - once they burn out you’re left with a Japanese tea cup or vase. You can even bring it back for a refill if you want another candle.
Do you think its important as a creative to continually evolve and challenge yourself?
Yes 100%. As a creative if you don’t challenge yourself and evolve then things can become boring. I think there’s always room to learn new skills and hear more stories. I am constantly on the hunt for other creative people all around the world to learn and grow from.
Do you have any upcoming projects or exciting things coming up to tell us?
Opening the studio/shop was the biggest so far. I am starting to work with more people and workshops in Japan, which is always exciting. I have also just started wholesaling internationally so you will soon be able to buy Provider products overseas.
You can find Tara at her newly opened Provider Store shop in Surry Hills
(381b Riley St) or online at providerstore.com
Tara's products are also stocked at Incu, Maple, Godspeed, Goodhood London, The Lab (to name a few)
Follow her @theproviderstore