What Would They Know? Manuela of Dandi

by | What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Polka Dot Bride

Originally posted on Polka Dot Bride on December 11, 2008


Today’s expert is Manuela Strano- one of the gorgeous creators of Australian home wares brand Dandi. This isn’t Manuela’s first time on Polka Dot Bride, Manuela was also the creator of the origami lotus flower napkins I featured in July.

Tell me about yourselves?

We are 4 trained Industrial Designers who share a passion for beautiful and functional objects for the home. We love colour, prints and patterns!


How did you come up with the idea of starting a homewares business?

There was nothing available in bold prints so we thought we would start designing our own! We all love designing and making things for our homes so it only seemed natural to take this path. The business grew from there and we now have over 100 products in our range.

What is the ‘mission statement’ for your business?

To make the world a fine and dandi place!

What inspires you?

There are so many things that inspire us! We love to travel and see new places. We love looking though blogs everyday (including this one!) to see what others are doing. We are amazed and inspired daily by the creativity of others! We also love books and magazines as a constant source of inspiration. Nature is also a huge inspiration to us.

How would you describe your ‘style’?

Simple, feminine, bold and whimsical.

How do you keep your ideas fresh and different?

We are constantly thinking about new designs and patterns and take inspiration from everything. This allows us to constantly have ideas which are innovative and fresh.

Are you working on new products to add to your business? How do you decide on the colours and designs for your products?

Yes, we are currently working on two new patterns to be launched early next year across a few products. This will be our biggest range of products launched at the one time so we are very excited! All our designs are a collaborative team effort so we all have a say in final pattern and colour selection. We use a co-coordinating colour palette so that all our products can be mixed and matched!


What sets you apart from others?

Dandi produces great quality products with gorgeous packaging that make our homewares great for gifts. We keep up to date with current trends and really think about what the consumer wants. This makes our products not only beautiful but functional as well. We also have a typically Australian theme that runs though our product range and sets us apart from overseas brands.

Since the introduction of our sustainable bamboo range we are trying to take the business into a more environmentally friendly direction.

Design is not just a job for us. We live and breathe it and are constantly coming up with crafty ideas and making things in our spare time. You can see what we get up to on our blog: www.fineanddandi.blogspot.com

What do you see for your business in 3 years time?

At the moment most of our stockists are in Australia and NZ so we would like to be shipping more product overseas. We hope to have a larger product range including many new patterns and products. We would also love a flagship store in Sydney by then!

Can brides set up ‘wedding wish list’ with you?

Yes, our products can be found at ‘The wedding list company’ and ‘wedding gifts direct’.

What sort of linen/homewares should brides buy when setting up their first home together?

Firstly it is important to have a style that runs throughout your home. Place mats and napkins are great for everyday but a beautiful set of table linen is a must for entertaining!

Are you able to ship your products overseas?

Yes we can ship our products overseas.

What are your favourite wedding ideas?

We love anything handmade and original to give a wedding a personal touch. Being designers of homewares and napery we also love a beautiful table setting!

What are the biggest mistakes you see brides making?

Not personalizing their wedding. It is important that the day is a reflection of the couples style and personality. This can be done easily with a colour theme or a recurring motif from invitations, to table settings, cakes, flowers, bonbonnier and more!



Cleverest ideas you’ve seen?

Recently I made over 100 origami lotus flowers out of Dandi napkins that were placed on each table setting with a chocolate inside. They were an absolute hit! They are a fabulous idea as they look great yet are not expensive. (You can see Manuela’s flowers here)

5 things a bride should consider?

– To decide on a theme/style/colour that reflects your personality and is constant throughout all the elements of the wedding.
– Beautiful invitations, – we love gorgeous and original invitation that bring out the personality and style of the couple.
– A photographer who’s work reflects your style. Photos are memories you can keep forever and a good photographer will capture the energy, beauty and personality of the day.
– A gorgeous table setting – It will make your guests feel very special to be celebrating your day with them.
– To always remember that as special as a wedding day is, it is important to not lose sight of the bigger picture and to have fun with the preparations!

Thank you Manuela for joining Polka Dot Bride today! Be sure to check out Dandi– perfect for Christmas presents or to put on your registry!


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