Jess D'Abadie is a mother, artist and one half of interior design studio We Are Triibe. We visit her Mullumbimby based home to chat about her art practice, and journey into motherhood.
Jess wears the Mae Dress in True Navy.
How would you describe yourself?
That is always such a tough question! I find it really hard to describe myself, but, I guess what I try to be, is kind & empathetic and what I often notice of myself is that I’m very passionate and driven.
You recently located north to Mullumbimby. What inspired the move?
When I was younger my family and I would visit this region a lot, so it holds really special memories for me growing up; swimming in creeks and exploring the bush with my brothers. My husband comes from an Island in the Caribbean called Trinidad, and his childhood was much the same. We wanted our son to have the same upbringing as we did, so after looking for about 2 years we finally found the place we wanted to call home.
We loved learning more about the interesting history of the cottage on your property. What can you tell us about the previous owner and the fragments he left behind?
We are the third owners of this property, and when we bought it we really fell in love with the old pottery studio on the land. The old timber barn-style dwelling was built by the first person who lived here who was a potter. Our neighbours tell us stories of hearing him get frustrated when his pots didn’t work out and they would end up being hurled out of the studio window into the bush! When we walk along the garden we often find pieces of broken pots and tile test samples which I can’t help but collect. I’m not sure what I plan to do with them all but I love the story they tell. We have been renovating it for the past 6 months to turn into an Air BnB and it’s almost finished now.
A part-time painter and potter—how would you describe your art practice?
I’m always inspired by the landscapes around me. I was born in Indonesia to a German mother and Australian father, so many of my paintings are of the landscapes I grew up around. My parents currently live in the Swiss Alps and when I visited them a few years ago it really ignited a passion in me to paint and that’s where I started. It became a creative outlet from my work as an Interior Designer and something that has been evolving ever since—more recently to pottery which is something I have fallen in love with doing.
Mother to 3-month-old Solomon—can you share with us how your journey into motherhood has been so far?
The whole journey has been such an incredible experience, I have never known a love like this before.
How do you like to wind down of a night? Any rituals you follow?
I usually end the night with a glass of red wine and some chocolate - can I call that a ritual?
What do you love about your neighborhood? Can you share with us the best places to eat, drink and shop?
What I was drawn most to about Mullumbimby was how lush and green this part of the world is. We are 25 minutes to Byron and 15 minutes to a beautiful beach town called Brunswick Heads, but at the same time, we are tucked away up in the hills surrounded by nature. Many of my mornings start at either Bakers & Daughters (an awesome little bakery in town) or a cafe called Punch and Daisy, followed by a walk through the community gardens. I also love the farmer's markets here which are every Friday morning and full of fresh local produce and also home to a little Sicilian kitchen that makes the most delicious breakfast.
What have you read, watched and listened to this past year that has stuck with you?
I read a book called The Continuum Concept which I loved and recently watched 2040 which is an amazing documentary and is very relevant right now.
When it comes to your everyday essentials, what items are you drawn to?
I’m drawn to timeless items, versatile pieces, and a simplified routine.
What are you looking forward to in 2020?
I’m excited for this year, I’m looking forward to going back to work refreshed and recharged after maternity leave, and I’m really looking forward to fully embracing my new life as a mum to our little boy as well.