10 Aug 2021

Basil Bangs on staying small but mighty

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Krista Huebner is the one half of Basil Bangs, a range of beautifully designed and high quality outdoor products. 

Truly ahead of the trend launching in 2010 with their thoughtful and functional beach umbrellas, Krista's key to success comes from a desire to keep improving on both design and quality of their product, to always be better and to continue creating beautiful environments for their customers.

Q1: Hi Krista, welcome to the Woman Of Series! Can you tell us what it is you create?
I used to joke that if I worked at a tech start up, my dream job title would be Senior Ambiance Coordinator. In a round-a-bout way, I think I am doing that…helping create beautiful environments for people, in their homes, restaurants and at the beach, through our beautiful products.

Q2: What inspired you to start Basil Bangs?
Basil was started because we couldn’t find a high-quality beach umbrella. There was nothing on the market at all, so we created this niche. People thought we were NUTS. There are now lots of players in this space, but 11 years on, I think we’re still the best (yes, I am totally biased!).

Q3: Can you give us a snapshot of your creative process?
It starts with a design brief – trying to solve a problem or improve on something.

Mike and I are a collaborative design team in respect that Mike’s the technical side, amazing at colours, materials and construction, while I develop the creative concept and what I want the range to feel like, as well as coming up with the ridiculous briefs for him to execute!

We’re driven by wanting our products to be highly functional as well as beautiful, and so are always developing and improving on our designs. There’s never a ‘start & stop’ moment, but rather a continual loop centred around design feedback and a desire to always be better.

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Q4: How do you break the mould and create a point of difference with the brand?

Having a unique point of view is important; working out what sets you apart. There are plenty of copycats out there, so you need to work out early on what you stand for. For us, we are about form & function, quality and good design. Sustainability is important to us, as a fundamental design layer too.

Q5: What single tool or strategy have you found invaluable to your journey so far?
Recognising that you can’t do everything, and there are people who know much more about certain things than you ever will. So, key learning is to ask for help! ask the dumb questions! Don’t let your ego get in the way.

Q6: What is your big hope and dream for your work?
Our goals are that we stay small but mighty. Continually pushing our designs and delivering beautiful, high quality product. And to keep working with awesome clients!!

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Q7: What is the last thing you read, listened or watched that inspired you, and how?
This time of year is so hectic I’m just grateful to stay alive, keep my family going and get through to Christmas. That’s when I usually collapse and try to read a book. In the meantime, I’ve try to listen to a few things…

I love listening to Fiona Killackney’s My Daily Business Coach podcast. She’s funny, real, such a dynamo and absolute gem.

Tim Ferris did a great interview with Matthew McConaughey recently where he spoke about journaling successes and positive things to help you when you’re down, to remember the good things. Really interesting. Plus, his voice *swoon*

My daughter is loving the Harry Potter audio books, read by Stephen Fry. I love listening to them too! Yey to car trips with ‘listening books’. Kate Winslet reads Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree also, which I love.

And who doesn’t love the Nancy Myer’s films programmed on TV at the moment. Love a bit of The Holiday while madly wrapping presents and trying to keep on top of the washing!!

Also, just listened to the last EVER EPISODE (NOOOOO!) of the High/Low with Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes. Devo this is over. My source of intelligent discourse about books and all sorts of other stuff. Truly grieving its conclusion.

Q8: What are your top 3 superpowers?
So – full disclosure – I don’t know. And my brain has officially stopped working because I’m maxed out (oh hey, I’m looking at you, December). So I asked my friend Anika. Thank you Anika. She wrote:

  1. 1.You are a treasure trove of general knowledge that may not get you out of trouble in a conversation but can definitely bide you time when things get awkward.
  2. 2.You can be the most sober and the most crazy person at the party at the same time.
  3. You can cook a meal wearing white pants and they are white when the meal is served.
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Q9: We’re all about women inspiring women. Who inspires you?
Oh I hate these questions! I always think of the answers afterwards!!

I am so lucky to be surrounded by very strong, intelligent women in my extended family and they show me every day how to persevere, be a boss, parent, lead by example, be a better human, cook.

My mum. Everyday. She shows me how being stubbornly positive and optimistic is the way to get through life. She’s also a true creative. So talented and a born teacher. I’m so lucky. I just wish we lived closer so I could spend more time with her.

My friend is a curator, and she has curated the most amazing exhibition called ‘wonder & dread’ for the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery. It’s an incredible show speaking to the highs and lows of our incredible weather systems here in Australia. It showcases incredible artwork by contemporary women artists, alongside our male icons – Nolan, Boyd etc. I’m pumped to see this show when we head south this summer.

Q10: What advice would you impart on the next generation of women, and women in business?
Stop talking about it. Just start.


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