George & Willy are a New Zealand design company, formed by childhood friends George Wilkins and Will McCallum. Joining forces straight out of university last year, the talented Tauranga-based duo are already gaining recognition for their work, which follows the simple philosophy of producing honest, handmade goods that will last the distance. Not only have they taken the time to answer some questions for us, they've jumped on board the 12 Days of Christmas series with a very cool giveaway. Read on....
Can you tell us about your backgrounds and how you came to launch George & Willy?
We decided to launch George & Willy after finishing uni last year. We both grew up in Tauranga, but Will spent a few years in Argentina and we have both spent a lot of time at Mt Ruapehu - that's where we met when we were about 13. We've both always enjoyed making things.
You're never too old for a swing! Find a good swinging spot, hang it up and enjoy! The Everyday Swing will take you back to your childhood
What have you learnt along the way?
We have learnt so much this year. After studying three years of business, marketing and design it's been good to put it all into practice. The main thing we have learnt is that if you do it, it just sort of works out. People aren't going to be buying anything from you if it isn't for sale.
What have been some highlights - what are you most proud of?
George & Willy
Any favourite products so far?
It's good because we actually use our products to make the products. We have about six Project Desks which we make all our stuff on.
I've never seen a Wall Mounted Paper Roller like yours before. Tell us about this product - how did it come about?
Will was trying to find a paper roller but the only one he could find was designed for the floor and wasn't that suitable. We decided that there must be other people out there looking for a similar product, so designed one to suit. We use one in the workshop and it's pretty handy - we use it for our shopping list.
My favourite George & Willy product right now, the Wall Mounted Paper Roller is genius!
What are you currently working on? Any exciting products or projects in the pipeline?
Currently we are just busy getting everything ready for Christmas. We have just improved our Project Desk. It's now simpler, stronger and made from thicker plywood. Otherwise we are just trying to nail down the products we have at the moment, while doing a few custom jobs for people on the side.
Cool with an industrial edge, the Rutherford Clothing Rack is simple, strong and designed to last a lifetime
What inspires you - international design, the web etc?
We are just constantly looking and keeping our eyes and ears open for new ideas, and we throw a lot of ideas around between us. There are about 100 things we would like to make, it is just finding the time to make them.
We want George & Willy things to be the kind of stuff you find in your Grandparents’ shed; timeless stuff that you’re not gonna be chucking out in five years. So it’s made well. It’s not trendy, it’s just simple. It’s not overdone or quirky or anything. Just straight up.
The Wood Box is guaranteed to become a faithful friend. I could certainly do with a few of these around home!
Update: This competition has now closed, and the winner has been notified. Thanks to all who entered - we had a fantastic response once again! And huge thanks to George & Willy.