Can you tell us a bit about you and how you came to work in the world of colour?
Pickleson was founded and is run by myself, Rachael, and my partner, Alex - we’re a couple and have recently made the move from East London to East Devon.
I've spent much of my career working as a Social Media & Influencer specialist, creating strategies and campaigns for luxury brands online and is the reason we have (we hope) quite a pretty Instagram feed.
Alex has a background in film and design, and has worked alongside some of the world’s biggest brands in the luxury, lifestyle and travel sectors, often with a focus on sustainability. He came up with the branding and designed the packaging. His role is mostly making sure that everything we create looks great and suits the aesthetic of Pickleson as a whole.
In terms of our route into the industry, we have family connections in paint and - as a result - we have always had a real interest in interior design. We decided to take everything we’ve learnt from our respective careers and do ‘what we do best’ to 'sex-up' what was a pretty tired industry.
We have amazing, experienced manufacturing partners who have allowed us to create a range of colours that we believe are bold, unusual and exciting, whilst not compromising on the quality of the product.
Do you have a favourite Pickleson colour at the moment, and why?
This changes almost daily, but at the moment our favourite shade has to be our newly launched, Cheeky Tan. This shade is a great example of how personal a lot of our colours are to us. It was matched from the cheeks of our dog, Patchos, who we rescued from Crete back in October. As well as being an objectively lovely colour, we have a real soft spot for this golden shade and we're donating £10 from every Cheeky Tan order to the shelter we rescued him from. You can read more about this here.
What does sustainability mean to Pickleson?
For a lot of businesses, using the word 'sustainable' can cover all manner of sins (sometimes literally). What we set out to do is create a paint brand that is truly sustainable. Many paint companies create 'sustainable' or 'eco-friendly' paint ranges. However, a lot of them still use oil-based ingredients in their recipes or use toxic masking agents in order to claim that their paint is odourless. On the other end of that spectrum is paint that is made from genuinely eco-friendly ingredients. This sounds great but in reality, it can mean the paint people put on their walls is, to all intensive purposes, a living thing... It means it is susceptible to mold and will need repainting pretty frequently. This obviously means a higher level of production, which in turn results in a higher carbon footprint at a manufacturing level; it also means the consumer uses more paint products, more frequently; turning the good intentions into poor results.
Our paint is water-based and as low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds) as possible, but is created using enough non-toxic additives to make sure that it is really durable and lasts a long time, meaning people need to paint less frequently. Our recipe also ensures that our paint dries quickly and doesn't smell, without the use of toxic masking agents. This, we believe, makes our paint truly sustainable. For us, it's about finding the right balance.
Another choice we've made is to opt for hand-painted paper samples over glass sample jars. These, paired with our recycled envelopes and soy ink, is a much more environmentally friendly way to get our samples in front of our customers.
We don't live in a perfect world and there are environmental consequences to running a vast majority of companies; ours included (shipping being a major part of that). We believe that language around sustainability is sometimes confusing and often misused. What we are doing now and will continue to do is strive to make an excellent product in the most responsible way we can, knowing that we need to grow in a way that helps protect the environment and our consumers.
How might Falcon be incorporated into your everyday life?
Well, this is the beauty of Falcon... It literally is used in everyday life. To our mind, Falcon's pieces are a thing of beauty, but they're also incredibly practical. We'll set out a table peppered with Falcon when we have pals round and we really love the newer ranges that use lovely punchy colours; an overtly boozy sangria served in the Pillarbox Red Jug has become a particular favourite this summer. But we also use the Pie Set to bake pies and lasagnes or present a leg of lamb on the Serving Tray. A rummage through our fridge / freezer will also inevitably result in you finding a Pie Tray harboring leftovers!
The simplicity of design makes it beautiful, hard-wearing and resistant to fads, meaning you'll likely find them in people's kitchens for decades to come, unscathed by time.
Is there a specific dish that you might personally make using any of our Falcon products?
The above answer may be a bit of a giveaway but yes, of course! Sangria in the Pillarbox Red Jug, a deep Lasagne in the Bake Pan, Greek inspired slow-cooked Lamb and Potatoes in the Serving Tray and always, always Cauliflower cheese in the Pie Dish.
Where do you get inspiration from this time of year?
Two first class tickets to the sea, please! A large part of our range was born out of inspiration from our travels around the Mediterranean, and we fall even more in love with the shades and combinations we find with each Basilica we walk into or Osteria we stumble into for lunch. We've just got back from a trip to Florence and Bologna and we could create an entirely new range from what we saw there. That being said, what's really affirming is that these trips often remind us how (not to brag, but) glorious our existing range is, and why we must always back some of the braver shades. Oyster Red makes a lot of sense when you see the shutters of a Nonna's kitchen window and Cicchetti Yellow always slaps after seeing multiple variations of it on the render of Italian houses.
Are there any local companies you'd like to shoutabout? Where do you usually eat, drink, and source ingredients in your local area?
We've just moved to Devon from East London and its impossible to ignore the amazing things happening down here with food and drink... The Pig at Combe is always fantastic, Glebe House is doing some wonderful things and then over the border in Dorset is The Hive, a fantastic little pizza hut on Seatown Beach (outside The Anchor) called Seatown Slice, and most recently, we've fallen in love with The Parlour at Bredy Farm near Bridport. It's a family run restaurant serving beautiful Italian dishes, fresh seafood & Sunday roasts that'll have you making involuntary noises. It really is fucking excellent! Then, for fresh local produce to take home, we love Darts Farm near Topsham. It really makes you feel like you have your life together when you buy a massive tomato from Darts Farm.