It has been 26 years since Shelley Simpson founded Mud Australia, the iconic Australian ceramics brand she runs with partner and business manager James Kirton. Yet in some ways, nothing has changed – every piece is still handmade in their Sydney studio, and core colors remain constant so customers can continually add to their collections. Below, Shelley shares what longevity means to her and her expert tips on incorporating color into the home without giving in to trends.
Tell us a bit about your background. Have you always been creative?
I’ve always liked making things with my hands and building things. I’m a very hands-on person. I like baking and singing – I always played in bands in my 20s. I never studied art or music, which I think allowed me to think about my business as a creative outlet, yes – but not as my art form, which can be challenging for a lot of ceramicists.
You founded Mud in 1994. What are some of the things that have remained constant in your business, and in what ways have you had to be agile and innovative?
My design sensibility hasn’t changed a lot. I still design with the same needs-based approach and a lot of our range has remained constant. While our business is always evolving, growing, stretching in different directions, people have always remained at the core of what we do. Mud truly feels like a family that is constantly growing as our business develops.