In our job as interior designers we get to meet loads of talented people, and at Bibby + Brady we're lucky enough to have built a network of amazing suppliers. One of our favourites is Asha Payton who runs her design and upholstery business, Little & Fox, from her beautiful Te Awanga home. Asha is an inspiration to us, as she successfully runs her business while also taking care of her gorgeous brood of four children - Otis is five years old, Teddy is four years old, and the twins Fox & Pepe (Maori for 'little') are two years old.
Asha has always been artistic and comes from a creative family, but she got to a point in her life when she felt her like her creativity was being stifled. A chance opportunity came about when she wanted to recover an old armchair but found the quotes all too expensive. Somebody recommended a local upholsterer, Beau, whose workshop was next to his home. While the children were being looked after by her husband Joe, or their au-pair, Asha spent as much time as possible at Beau's place where he helped her to recover the chair herself. Now two years later Beau has taught her everything he knows and Asha works alongside him in his workshop doing her own client's projects.
A major influence on Asha was her grandmother, Maddie. She was so trendy, almost before her time, and inspired Asha with her love of colour and beautiful fabric. Her memory lives on in some of her pieces dotted around Asha's home, which is a beautiful and eclectic mix of old and new.
Joe is also very creative and has had a hand in many areas of the couple's home. He made their dining table out of recycled wood, and came up with most of the ideas for their recently renovated bathroom. The vanity is made out of old stadium seats from the Hastings Show Grounds, and the old copper pipes have been reused in the vanity and shower.
Asha's studio is at the front of the house, and this is where clients bring their furniture and ask advice on fabric and colour. With no TV in the house, Asha often spends her evenings on TradeMe, and she loves to op-shop. She searches for pre-loved furniture and homewares and then breathes new life into them with the help of fabric and paint. A range of lacquered lamp bases have proved very popular.
What started out as a hobby, and a way to keep her sanity when the kids were tiny, has blossomed into a booming little business. If you'd like to see more of Asha's work, or contact her about your own upholstery or design projects, pop over to her Little & Fox Facebook page. You can also find her contact details here. I have my own Little & Fox lamp base, as well as a piano stool that Asha recovered in one of my kantha quilts, and cushions made from the leftovers, so I can recommend her with great confidence :)