Sunday, 16 August 2015


Photography: Erika Raxworthy -

John and Nia Neve have collated a unique collection which is both ethically and sustainable handmade and complement and fit with every day life

Tell us a bit about Assembly Co and how it was formed?
To be completely honest, our business was formed in an hour during a car trip home after a visit to a chain furniture retailer and were shocked at how mass manufactured products and expensive they are!
At this stage, Johan and I have always talked about being our own bosses and working for ourselves, we both have been dabbling with furniture design and Johan making them and we’ve always been creating our own furniture pieces for our home so we thought – “Hey! Why not give it a go?!”.
We sat in the car with a piece of paper and wrote down exactly what we envisioned for our business and wrote endless lists of possible names until we both agreed that ‘The Assembly’ embodied everything we saw our business to be.

Why ‘The Assembly’?
A very integral part of our business from the very beginning was to never make it all about ourselves, or the money. We wanted it to be bigger than us!
We wanted a community, a place that like-minded creatives can partake in, and most importantly a platform to support those small guys who are designing and creating just like us. We spend a lot of our time networking with other local and international artists, makers and creators in attempt to support their creative forms, hence why you will also see products that are made by these guys in our shop.

How did your career begin?
Johan dabbled in fine art, studied graphic design and decided that a creative desk job wasn’t for him so he re-trained as a plumber. After 5 years of doing a trade, he decided to mesh his love for design, creative pursuits and the practical hand skills that he learnt from his trade together.
I (Nia) have always had a love affair with styling and photography, but didn’t decide to really pursue it until after I took maternity leave (from the legal industry) and had all this time at home to waste.
With my lack of drawing skills I would put sketches of furniture and design pieces for Johan to attempt to make, and spent a lot of time styling and photographing anything/everything I could get my hands on.

Can you tell us where you source your gorgeous homewares from and how do you select the right item for your store?
We really believe in handmade and quality, and we always take those two things very seriously when we consider what products we will stock in our shop.
Most have been made by local artists here in Sydney but we’ve also been collaborating with international makers and designers lately, which has been such an exciting process.
We also make sure that the artists’ aesthetics are in line with that of ours, that the product/item will be cohesive with other items in the shop and most importantly, that they are ethically and sustainable hand made.
In all honesty though, 99% of the time we know we have the right product when we see something and we think “GOTTA HAVE THAT!”.

What do you love the most about having your own store?
That we get to have 100% say in everything we do. Oh and the occasional sleep-ins!

Who are some of your favourite designers?
Fog Linen for homewares – Yumiko just gets it. Simple designs that is sustainable, ethical and aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.
Henry Wilson for furniture designs – also simple, elegant, practical and long-lasting which a lot of furniture places don’t offer these days since everything revolves around mass manufacturing and imports.

What do you consider to be a must have item in your home?
White walls – you can never go wrong with them. It’s amazing what freshly painted white walls will do to a home!
A large dining table made out of wood – our family spends 80% of our home time gathered around ours.

What has been your biggest highlight?
We’re about to open up a pop-up in Surry Hills in July so getting the contract for this has just been by far the most incredible highlight.

Do you have any advice for our readers who love all things for the home?
Invest money into furniture and furnishing pieces that will transcend time; items that don’t go out of fashion very quickly.

What do you foresee as the next big trend?
Marble, marble, marble!


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