Vertone Founders: Interview Series — Part One

In a two-part journal series, we’re introducing ourselves—Michelle Halford and Kirsty Dawn—the founders of Vertone. While you can find out more about us here, we thought it would be fun to interview each other, offering further insights into our work, what inspires us, and how we shape the brand through our different creative approaches.

Kicking off today, with Michelle interviewing Kirsty…

M: I love the emotive style of your photography work and the way in which you create beauty through light and shadows. How do you think this impacts the Vertone brand story?

K: Thank you, I love working with light and shadow to showcase the products’ textures, forms, and subtle details. I would say my photographic approach focuses on the beauty of simplicity, capturing moments that not only showcase the products but also evoke the feelings and experiences they are designed to create, resulting in a visual story that is deeply connected to Vertone’s core values.

M: It comes through beautifully in the way you capture the wood grain and intricate design details of the Aperture tables. And the emotive quality reinforces our brand ethos that our surroundings and the objects we live with significantly influence our mood, thoughts and emotions.

Your background in graphic design also brings a unique perspective. Can you share how this influences your approach to product design for Vertone?

K: I've always loved working with different creative mediums and I’ve found that creative principles such as, colour, balance, composition and shape translate similarly, just applied in a different way. I treat designing the products in the same way I approach graphic projects, and am continuing to learn new ways of bringing an idea from a 2D sketch into a three dimensional product.

M: What inspires your creative process?

K: Nature always! The intricate patterns of leaves, the play of light on water, and the organic forms, colours and textures all influence how I approach my creative process. Also the rhythms and emotions conveyed through music often inspires a mood or feeling. Combining the two really helps push the boundaries of my work I think.

M: I love that. What are you currently listening to?

K: It's always a bit of a mix in the studio, current artists getting replayed include Four Tet, Catching Flies, Tems and some Royel Otis. Although I'll often dip back into the late 90s and early 2000s if the mood needs changing!

M: Our very first Vertone shoot took place in your home, which is currently undergoing some renovations. Can you share a bit about how this came together?

K: We wanted the shoot to feel natural and genuine, like it was capturing a lived-in space rather than a staged one. One of the highlights of the renovation is the beautiful French wash finish we chose for the living area wall (Porter’s Paints French Wash in Double Rubble). It brings a warm and inviting feeling to the space, enhancing the homely atmosphere we wanted to create for our first collection.

M: You created a print series specifically for this shoot, ‘Duality Flower Series.’ What inspired this?

K: I was inspired by the desire to explore and showcase the harmony that can be found in contrasts. The tables in the Aperture Series have a strong, architectural presence with clean horizontal and vertical lines - I wanted to juxtapose this with the delicate nature of the Japanese Anemone, creating a visual dialogue between the print and the tables.

M: How do the ideas for your home influence the furniture designs and future products for Vertone?

K: Living in a 1920s home with its unique character and going through renovations has given me a deep appreciation for pieces that are not only beautiful but that can also easily transition between different rooms and purposes. The renovation process itself has highlighted the need for furniture that can evolve with the home. As we make changes and updates, I find it crucial to have pieces that can adapt to new layouts and designs.