Marc Hendrick, founder of Slowdown Studio, kindly agreed to answer some questions for us about the origins of Slowdown and the nature of collaboration.

What made you decide to start Slowdown Studio?

I had been working on a bunch of freelance design projects, mainly in music and fashion, where I had transitioned from designer to art director. It was an exciting process working with so many talented people to create things with a range of artistic styles, and I guess that informed the collaborative nature of Slowdown Studio. It became a home goods company because I was able to source some great textile producers in the US, and well, I was getting older! I was suddenly square in the demographic of people wanting nice things for the home.

Marc Hendrick, founder of Slowdown Studio, kindly agreed to answer some questions for us about the origins of Slowdown and the nature of collaboration.

 Collaboration seems to play a massive role in Slowdown's process-- tell us about that: how do you choose designs, and how does it become a throw?

We have a few different ways of choosing designs and collaborative partners. Firstly, we used to run an annual art comp where we would receive thousands of submissions. This was such a fun process sorting through all the amazing entries, and we discovered so much emerging talent. We have been so lucky with the number of artists who have reached out to work with us over the years. We also reach out to artists to commission a piece, and that’s a totally different approach. With submissions, we are choosing existing artworks that we think will translate to textiles, but when we work directly with an artist, we can only guide them, and the design process is a lot more fluid and surprising! Once we have the final designs, we work with an artist at our respective mills who will translate the artwork so that it can be either knitted or jacquard woven. The knit blankets are straight forward as they can only be block colors, but the woven blankets can have a big variance based on the artist’s interpretation. Thankfully we have someone who knows exactly what we like and the final product is always perfect.

What do you think lends to a good collaboration?

I think good communication is the best recipe for good collaboration. Over the years I’ve learned the best way to guide an artist without being too specific with what we want. It’s important to give direction but not so much that it limits their own ideas. It also helps when an artist has a decent body of work in the style that you like. And of course they have to be super talented, which everyone we have worked with has been!

It can definitely be said that throws are Slowdown Studio’s signature, but you also produce puzzles, prints, and socks– are there any new types of products you’d eventually like to try out?

 Yep we’ve been working on some other new products for our core line. The most exciting products for me are when we collaborate with other brands to put the Slowdown Studio spin on their key products. For example, the pools we do each year with Mylle, and the umbrella/beach chair sets we’ve done with Business & Pleasure. 

Where do you see the company going? Is where you are now what you were expecting when you started?

This is a tricky one! Things changed a little when I moved back to Australia in 2020, where I’m originally from. So I think the future of the company will probably be to make its way over the Pacific, and let that process open up some new opportunities over here.

I asked you what made you decide to start Slowdown Studios, but what makes you want to keep it going? What inspires you on a day-to-day basis to keep creating?

Honestly, it’s just a fun company to work for. We get to create new things and work with new people constantly. It never feels dull with everything that’s going on.

This last one isn’t exactly a straightforward question but bear with me: One of the reasons we gravitated to Slowdown Studio– other than the design and quality of the product itself– is your ethos behind it. One of the guiding philosophies of our brand as a “slow luxury” boutique is that luxury is more than just an item itself, but the experience that lends to it. It’s even in your name: Slowdown Studio. How do you feel you’ve integrated your philosophy of slowing living into your business, products, and/or brand as a whole?

 The name Slowdown Studio came about when we were just selling woven blankets. Our blankets are very versatile, but really they just allow you to be lazy in multiple locations! I’m an active person when I want to be, but I truly relish relaxation and laziness! Switching off, being around art and nature is the most energizing thing for me, so that became the ethos for the brand, and has informed the types of products we make ourselves, as well as the other brands/products we sell in our shop.

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Slowdown Studio

Timeless, sustainable lifestyle goods handmade in Quebec, specializing in market bags + pouches

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