Johan and Nia Neve are The Assembly Co, a concept that unites creatives who share a common thread
A graphic designer and a legal professional in their previous lives, Johan and Nia began their creative pursuit through a platform many of us use — Instagram. What started as a personal endeavour soon grew, with many fellow design lovers jumping on a bandwagon that shines the spotlight on the simple things.
“Johan first trained as a graphic designer, but decided it wasn’t for him, so he retrained as a plumber,” says Nia. “I worked in the legal sector for a few years, but it wasn’t until I was on maternity leave that I really pursued
a creative change. I started a lifestyle blog, spent a lot of time Instagramming and that’s when we both realised we had an audience that appreciated the same things we did.”“I started a lifestyle blog, spent a lot of time Instagramming and that’s when we both realised we had an audience that appreciated the same things we did”
Going on to launch The Assembly Co in September 2014, the online store features a range of homewares from global artisans as well as furniture made by Johan himself. “As creatives, we love the possibilities of the design process and watching our initial designs evolve through the beginning stages into the final product,” says Nia. From timber serving bowls and linen tea towels to desk lights and tables, these products all share one thing in common — quality. “We draw a lot of inspiration from designers who appreciate simple, clean aesthetics but also place an emphasis on practicality,” says Nia. “The most popular design has been our Nelson desk light. We love this piece! Who doesn’t love a bit of copper around their home?”
Taking the concept of The Assembly Co from online into the real world was a natural progression for Nia and Johan. They recently introduced The Assembly Gatherings, an opportunity for fellow creatives to enjoy a meal together that showcases the brand’s selection of products as well as some delectable delights — homewares, that is. “Many are hungry for community,” says Johan.
With a goal to open their own showroom and warehouse to host events in, Nia and Johan are on track to make a big impact on the local design scene. And Nia has a wise philosophy that helps steer The Assembly Co in the right direction: “Keep things simple and stick to the core values our business believes in.”
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Written by Annabelle Cloros
Photography by Luisa Brimble
Originally from Home Design magazine, Volume 19 Issue 1