An Interview with: Sam Agus Nessa
So Sam agus Nessa, we're all very excited about your upcoming launch in the shop so we thought it would be nice to find out a little more about the dynamic duo behind all these lovely products.
Let's start out with an easy one, Tea or Coffee?
Nessa: DEFINITELY tea and lots of it!
Sam: A big mug of tea for me, please.
With your new range of furniture and new products, and the reimagining of some of our favourites like the Teach candleholders, it feels like you've done a massive amount of work on your designs recently, almost like this is Sam agus Nessa 2.0. Who (or what) would you say has been your biggest design inspiration?
The arrival of our baba, Fiáin, into the world combined with the dreaded lockdown gave us the opportunity to reflect; on our home life, work and design process. The importance of human connection and relationships became much more important for us, because it had been taken away with the lockdown and pushed our work in a much more honest direction. We have always been really passionate about Irish vernacular furniture and architecture – the pared back, simple aesthetic and utilitarian nature - and locally sourced Irish materials has also informed our new creations.
You've got a great tagline for the business - designed to make you smile, it's very succinct and accurate. It took months of deliberation to come up with ours, so I'm wondering if it was obvious or did it take a long time to work out how to describe what your design ethos is?
It was the question we asked each other throughout the design process and when explaining this to a business mentor they laughed and said that it was a great tagline. It was as simple as that!
I know sustainability has always been a huge part of your brand right from the beginning - but I think when products are as charming as yours this often gets missed out in the conversation. Can you tell us a bit about your green pledge?
We are very passionate about our green credentials and we are probably guilty of not vocalising our green pledge clearly enough. We use locally sourced, Irish timber, the majority of which is wind fallen, in all of our work and we strive to use local suppliers when we can. One of our packaging suppliers is only 45 kms away and the other is 4 kms from us! We use recycled materials when available and 95% of our business is either recycled, recyclable or biodegradable.
You folks are real champions of Irish design and always recommending other designers. Tell me, which other Irish designers do you really admire at the minute?
We absolutely love Irish design and we are so proud to know and be friends with so many incredible and talented people. A few that stand out for us are Isobel Egan, ceramic artist from Co. KIldare. Brian O'Loughlin, a sculptor also from Co. Kildare. Criostal Na Rinne, a hand cut crystal workshop in Waterford and Liadain Aiken Knitware, a fashion designer in West Cork. All are brilliant and lovely to boot!
While there are definitely challenges to running your own business, what would you say was the best thing about working for yourselves?
The freedom to work and create in a way that suits our family.
What's your dream design commission? / Is there an object you really wish you'd designed?
Thanks a million Sam Agus Nessa, it's been lovely catching up with you and I'm really looking forward to seeing you on the 29th in the shop where we can see all these delightful designs in the flesh.
Sam & Nessa furniture Launch:
sam agus nessa (agus) designist
Thursday 29th June 2023
We’re thrilled skinny to be stocking Sam & Nessa’s new range of homeware & furniture. Two of the cleverest, most hardworking Irish designers, we’ve long been fans of Sam & Nessa’s homeware and are delighted to be able to offer you their new range of furniture to boot.
To celebrate we’re having a wee launch in the shop on Thursday 29th of June and would love to invite you to pop in for a look, have a glass of wine and chat with Sam & Nessa themselves. We'll have a selection of their furniture on display, including the forum bench and barrog arm chair, and a selection of their newly launched homeware items such as the Le Chéile candle stick holders and newly redesigned teach candle stick holders and if anything catches your eye we’ll have 10% off on all their lovely products on the night.
In keeping with their excellent environmental credentials, all furniture is made to order, and prices include deliver to anywhere in Ireland. Average lead time in 6 weeks but we’ll keep you well informed about progress along the way.