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H&G salutes this trailblazing stationery and homewares brand as it celebrates a milestone birthday.
Beloved for its beautiful stationery, Corban & Blair has clocked up 30 years in business. Founded by creative cousins Gillian Corban (above left) and
Amanda Blair (right), the brand launched long before ‘journalling’ became a verb.
“We realised there was a gap in the market for environmentally friendly designer stationery that was also authentically Australian,” says Gillian, a former art teacher. Once she and Amanda, then a fashion designer, joined forces, there was no turning back. Since their 1988 launch they’ve produced designs ranging from their iconic journals to leathergoods, art and homewares, with a commitment to devising useful, innovative and eco-aware solutions. “Our values have changed very little in 30 years,” says Gillian.
Recent ventures include working with indigenous artists and artists living with intellectual disabilities. “Our collaborations are part of our strategy to tell authentic Australian stories,” she says. Gillian and Amanda now employ 12 people and retail all around the globe.
In 2013, the two were inducted into the Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame. The key to their survival? “Being curious, open, adaptive, constantly learning and having a talented team who are willing to change and experiment,” says Gillian. > corbanblair.com.au
Damian Showyin/Studio A Collaboration polyurethane pouch, $46, Corban & Blair.