Building a business you adore, with your best friend by your side, as you make time to be present for your growing family ... Could it get any better than that?
If you ask Lauren Emerson and Genevieve Hewson – the founders of Sydney-based textile label Walter G – the answer is “no.” While many would advise against starting a business with your closest friend from childhood, Lauren and Gem are living proof that it can be done – with a healthy dose of success and joy along the way.
With Walter G, they take inspiration from old textiles and new surroundings, working closely with a team of artisans in India to collaboratively produce a tactile range of hand printed fabrics. Channelling the relaxed vibe of coastal living through pattern, fresh colour, texture and nostalgia – their fabrics are designed to be mixed and matched to elevate an interior with both style and comfort. The result? Effortless style with a globally curated vibe.
So if the change in season has you ready to revamp your lounge room with new fabrics and textures, well, you can thank me (and Walter G) later.
What inspired the launch of Walter G?
Walter G is Genevieve Hewson and Lauren Emerson – two best friends who met in Year 7 in Sydney’s North. After graduating Commerce and Design in 2008 and 2010 respectively – they went on to travel extensively, particularly to places known for their textiles – such as South America and Vietnam. Lauren travelled to India to do an internship as part of her degree, and Gen went to visit several times. They completely fell in love with it – and the idea that they could start a textile company was born.
They promptly moved to India for 6 months and immersed themselves, learning everything that they could about indigo and block printing techniques – living in tiny and remote villages. Upon returning to Australia, sadly both of their grandfathers Walter and George passed at a similar time. Walter G is named in their honour – and the business was officially launched at Life Instyle in Sydney in 2012. Lauren and Genevieve believe strongly in maintaining a hands on approach within the business, travelling to India annually and staying true to their passion for the hand block printing process. They describe their brand as lived-in, imperfect, timeless, relaxed, and artisanal. All designs are their own creation, developed hands-on with a team of Indian artisans and completely hand-printed.
What did your careers entail prior to the launch of your business?
We started Walter G when we were both 24, so honestly speaking, prior to that was university and a suite of casual jobs which we used to fund our travel to random textile rich countries around the globe like Vietnam, Peru, Guatemala, etc.
We had little to no experience in running a business and went into it completely blind, without even a business plan. However, this approach tends to suit our personalities, our passion was strong and we thrive in sink or swim situations.
Can you tell us about the business?
Walter G is an Australian-owned and Sydney-based boutique textile house. Taking inspiration from old textiles and new surroundings, we work closely with a wonderful team of artisans in India to collaboratively produce a tactile range of hand block and mud printed fabrics.
Channelling the relaxed vibe of coastal living, through pattern, fresh colour, texture and nostalgia – Walter G’s fabrics are designed to be mixed and matched to elevate an interior with both style and comfort.