Barbara Chung is a designer

NannaB.x Concept Store is the creation of graduate architect and maker of things, Barbara Chung. A self confessed paradoxical 'sleepy insomniac', Barbara's day job is at small architecture firm allows her to spend late nights working with polymer clay, timber and leather to create eye catching jewelery pieces. The NannaB.x concept store is evolving from its genesis in polymer clay necklaces to provide an outlet for various 'handmade experiments', testing and refining material possibilities.

Fast facts Business: NannaB.x | Location:  Online -Melbourne, Victoria

What is NannaB.x to you?

NannaB.x began as a hobby, a way of testing creative ideas. I started with fashion accessories because they are of a small scale that tests very easily.

At the moment it is evolving as a platform, because I really enjoy making things, creating and sharing ideas beyond polymer clay. I love having the freedom of just doing whatever you want creatively, the flexibility of testing and rejecting or refining new ideas.

I started NannaB.x working in with my personality, I’m a bit of a homebody, I have a large amount of small creative ideas, and I created NannaB.x as an outlet for all those random ideas that keep me up at night!

How did you get to this point? What did you study, what other experience lead to today?

Well, my background is in Architecture, and in our industry people tend to wear alot of black! So much black! Which is I guess, an architect’s way of presenting themselves as a canvas, and allowing their creativity to come out through their designs. Being surrounded by that, I wanted to design something that adds to that, as a little, ‘standout’ item. At first I thought, maybe I can direct this to designer-y people who need a bit of colour! To break their monotone, in a way complimenting and contrasting what their default fashion setting is. Of course, Nanna B.x has grown and has a much wider appeal than just monotone architects!

Is this what you planned to do 'when you grew up'?

It’s what imagined, both the architect part and the creative part. Growing up, I wanted to be an architect and the whole craft making ‘thing’, as a career it was never something I saw sustainable potential in. I always saw it more as a hobby, for fun. It was always there in my life, and now, I am trying to fuse the two together somehow. So yes, this is what I planned. (laughs)

NannaB.x hits the big time, with a feature in a big name international blog! What does it say?

(pauses) ...uummm… Confessions of a Sleepy Insomniac! (laughs)

I’m still trying to figure out what it is NannaB.x wants to be known for. I’m currently refining what it’s wants to be. The Etsy store has recently become a ‘concept’ store, to allow more freedom of direction in the future.

How long has NannaB.x been in development?

NannaB.x been around in reality for a little over a year. In my head, the idea has been swimming around, probably for several years, the idea of creating and selling, and NannaB.x is the result of all that.

5 years in university being creative for credit limited my free creative thinking time!

I would have started thinking about a venture like this since I was in primary school! My sisters and I would play games at home, where, we each had our own bedrooms and we would play this game called ‘shops’ (classic game!), and we would arrange our rooms into stores of some sort, and we would visit each others stores and ‘buy’ things. I would say from an early age I thought, one day, maybe this could be a reality somehow. The whole idea of a maker-seller was always there in my mind.

Where do you find inspiration?

Everything! Is that too broad? I think day to day, things you come across, you extract elements from what you see, for example some of the rings I've made are really like, say rocks, so simple yet so beautiful. I wanted to recreate that rock texture in my rings. Very ordinary things, yet finding beauty in the colours and textures, and of course the neutrality of architects!

Where do you spread the word about NannaB.x?

Alot of it is from word of mouth, and very supportive friends! Beyond that, all the usual social media, although for NannaB.x it’s mostly Facebook at the moment

Pop quiz

  • Tea or coffee: Tea! All tea is good!
  • Love, Like, Hate; being on time,  quirky designer watches, running out of time. I clearly have issues with time! (laughs)
  • Want - learning or opportunity?; Opportunities
  • Need - apprentice or expert?: Expert, especially in terms of business modelling, all the things they don't teach you at uni!
  • Superpower: Invisibility

Friends of NannaB.x

Barbara’s other passion is macarons (yum!) Since March 2010 The Macaron Diaries  has been whipping up and sharing 1001 varieties of these delectable delights, whilst answering reader questions and going on epic sweet adventures!

Hanako.K is a maker of delightful things

UDMK  is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary design studio in Richmond

Miss Cakepoppery is a cake pop maestro

Klaus Goods makes beautiful/functional leather and canvas wares

How can I contact you?

NannaB.x website