Shopkeeper Interview - Brooke of Saben

I have been a huge fan of New Zealands Saben by Roanna Jacobsen for a very long time now. My favourite bag in my wardrobe is none other than Saben. I follow them closely online. They look like a damn fun team of humans that's for sure. I am stoked that Brooke, Sabens brand manager (or resident trouble maker as some would say) agreed to come on board and answer some questions for us here at Milo and Mitzy.

Tell us the story behind Saben, how you started working with Saben?
Can you believe we are celebrating our 15th year?  Roanne started the business after living in New York, the start was very organic. The brand is dedicated to (and the namesake) of her late grandmother Sarah Saben, a sophisticated, elegant and inspirational women.
I came on board 4 years ago fresh out of a Fashion Design degree. Saben had an office role open which I threw myself at. I didn’t even own a handbag at the time. I remember going to my interview holding my diary and phone - Now I have a beautiful and varied collection that I am so proud of! Each piece is different and celebrates the varied design techniques and handbag silhouettes.
Since my first day I have thrived on every challenge and now I travel with Roanne to Bali twice a year and assist her with design and production. Back in the office I manage the brand, sales and marketing. It is a small team – so we all work really closely together to get things done.

Who or what inspires you?

Inspiration for Saben comes from everywhere. When in Bali, we are literally, waking, eating, sleeping, dreaming for the collection. Inspiration comes from the street and from international designers. I look a lot to street style photographers for trending shapes and how people are wearing there handbags (of that moment)
Personally I am inspired by surrealist artist Salvador Dali, the late Alexander McQueen, on an everyday scale I look to total babe (and winning at life) Lindy Klim as well as the amazing people I am blessed to be surrounded by.

Favourite blogs/books/magazines/recipes?
Local blogs that I am loving:

I think the major home/interior sway comes from the fact I am trying to redecorate my place…. While saving for my own home.
I also love the Lonely Girls project (I am obsessed with Lonely Lingerie)
International blog that I am loving: J. Crew have a great blog, as does Kate Spade. And how can you go past Humans of New York?
Shesssh – I actually had no idea, I read this many?!!! I could keep listing…
Recipies: I have just mastered the BEST(!!!!!!) pulled pork recipe from Sarah Wilson AND… Nadia Lim is always good for tasty (and relatively easy) meals, my favourite is the shitake beef stir fry
I could share with you nanas afghan recipie, but there is no point – no one can make them like Nana and Poppa. What is it about that, ‘made with love’. I could devour the entire batch in one go!!
If we were to visit your home town what would you suggest that we do to fill the day in? We want shopping/cafes/creative bits and bobs.
I would start with a power salad and soy latte from Shore Road café, then drive out to Piha find the waterfall, grab a pie from the local store (chicken mango and kumara) battle with the waves, climb lion rock then have some handcut chips and a milkshake on my way back to town. If you have any energy left go for dinner at Coco’s Cantina on K’rd and then mooch on down to the Wine Cellar and see who is playing OR dinner and drinks at Bedfords Soda at Ponsonby Central then more drinks and dancing along Ponsonby Road.
Shopping: Ponsonby Road: Miss Crabb and Sass and Bide.  Herne Bay: Tessuti (Dear Jervois has just opened there – great eat treats)Takapuna: Lana Boutique is great spot, right by The Commons and Mexico – another perfect partrner for drinks and eats. You also cant go past the Auckland night markets (different suburb each night) and La Cigele markets in Parnell on the weekend.
Whats next for you? Any secret projects you would like to tell us about?
We are in the throws of 15th birthday celebrations, (Have you seen the limited edition Miller birthday bag?)And I am planning the next production trip to sample SS15 in Bali. We do have a secret project in the pipeline. Two words: jewellery collaboration!
Personally: I have just come home from a holiday, so it is back to stashing pennies. (Booorrrrring!)
You are too funny Brooke! Thank you so much for joining us. I look forward to seeing whats next for the team at Saben.
Amy x

All images  via Saben Facebook Page with thanks.

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