Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"Green" Coastal Living Decor Fabulousness!

Not sure if "fabulousness" is a real word, but this company represents it well!  Enjoy our interview.

Laura's Office at Eco Accents
1.  How were you inspired to create your company, Ecoaccents?   My inspiration really started with my love for the outdoors and particularly with time spent on the coast and in the Florida Keys.  I developed a fascination with sea life and marine creatures that shows in many of our designs.  I am drawn to the look and feel of minimally processed fibers like burlap and natural cotton.

2.  How did you start Ecoaccents?   Ecoaccents started when I took the leap from making pillows for my own use to creating "green" pillows and bags using my artwork and bringing those products to consumers.  

We launched Ecoaccents in January 2011. 
Where are you? 
 Ecoaccents is located in Raleigh NC - right between the NC mountains and our beautiful shore
3.  Why create "green" products?  
Given the choice, I believe many consumers would prefer to purchase well designed and well priced green products over comparable traditionally manufactured products.  Every green step makes a difference.
All natural cotton canvas pillows printed with environmentally -friendly ink, inserts are all made from recycled plastic
4. We love your bright, clean colors and design - why do you think you are drawn to create in "technicolor"? 
 One of my favorite design approaches is to take inspirations from nature and classic motifs like cane patterns, houndstooth and Greek key designs and add something just a bit out of place like vibrant colors.  

 5. What do you feel is your biggest influence on your own design ideas? 
 The natural world has the most influence on my design choices.   Bringing the outdoors inside through design and combining those choices with traditional patterns and bright colors is the core of our design philosophy.

6.. Do you have a design or artist's mentor, someone that has inspired you to push your boundaries?  If you do, who is/was it and why?  
Joe Cox, a great NC artist and one of my professors at NC State's School of Design, taught me to view color differently.  Joe knew no fear when it came to expressing himself through his art with color.
Ecoaccents bright turquoise coral trellis pillows for spring 2013
7. What do think is your true "uniqueness" with your products?  What sets you apart from other home decor companies?  
Ecoaccents is unique in that Ecoaccents products are made with earth friendly components and processes.  We use minimally processed and sustainable fibers, no VOC inks, recycled paper, paper products sourced from sustainable harvested trees and recycled plastic fiber inserts for our pillows.  Ecoaccents is unique in that we combine fresh design with an earth friendly approach to manufacturing.    

Burlap and Natural Cotton Blue Shell Placemats
8. Do you have any favorite eco-green charities that you like to support? 
We are happy to support the Ocean Conservancy.  Another wonderful charity, the Cristodora Foundation, caught our attention with it's thoughtful approach to educating children about the natural environment.  The Cristador Foundation provides inner city children with the opportunity to spend time out of the city and in the country on a working farm that the foundation owns.  This experience allows children to connect with nature on a personal level.  Having children grow to love their time spent in the outdoors is like creating an insurance policy for our earth.  We all want to protect and care for what we love.
9. Does your company participate in any fun green activities in your community?  
We have participated in local river clean ups and coastal turtle nest watches.  We  plan to join NC coastal clean ups this summer.   
Ecoaccents unique soft washed burlap sea turtle pillows
10. What are you, Laura Allen, most proud of?  
Of course, as a mom of three boys - I am most proud of my sons.
11. If you could live anywhere, where would you live and why?  
I would live anywhere with my family but would love for us to be planted somewhere along the intra-coastal waterway overlooking the marsh.  
12. What would you like to try next?  
I have a list of home decor products that I would like to reinterpret in ecoaccents green style.  Stay tuned.. we hope to color your world green!

Can't wait to see what Ecoaccents comes up with next! For a full selection of their beach house pillows, including their unique washed burlap styles, and their fun table linens - check our website, and simply use our handy search bar with the words "Ecoaccents".

 Here's just a few of my favorite examples:

Can't get enough blue seahorses!
Or modern coastal bamboo-style in bright colors!

Hope you all enjoyed having a peek into one of our favorite eco-artists' world.  We love their well-made, durable and affordable coastal home decor, but especially admire their thoughtful approach to saving our oceans... one pillow at a time.

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