Design Hunter™ Q+A with TheSuperCool

For our third MINI Design Hunter™ profile we catch up with Kate and David of TheSuperCool, experts at packing, driving and setting up shop

08 Nov 2012

Your name: Kate Vandermeer & David Nunez (aka Noonie)

What you do: We run a mobile emporium called TheSuperCool

Your latest project: 1. Online Store 2. Shop at SO:ME Space within The South Melbourne Market 3. A series of mobile shops – the next one is launching with The People’s Market in Collingwood December 1.

What is your favourite…

Chair model:  The tait volley rocker chair (sporty, cool, modern but with a twist)

Residential space: We don’t have one space in particular, but we love how many industrial warehouses have been made into unique residential properties in inner city Melbourne. Our ideal living space is an old factory with great signage and inbuilt history that has been modernised for living comfortably. We love internal courtyards and exposed brick walls with shared open loft like living.

Decorative product: The amazing Finnish designed and made Varpunen sacks. They come in a variety of prints and can be moulded by hand into a shape that suits you. You can use them to put your toiletries, stationery, toys, magazines, kitchen utensils etc in. They’re just such a great design and such a unique product. Since we’ve stocked them, we’ve seen customers fall in love with them as we did when we first discovered them travelling!

Functional product: The new range of Kip & Co bed linen we recently got in store. This makes going to bed, laying on bed, making the bed and other things you do in bed look and feel amazing!

Handmade good: Page Thirty Three Essential Oil Burner that we also sell at TheSuperCool. It’s handmade in Australia, its chemistry inspired but with a spiritual context and it just looks so darn supercool!

Re-invented classic: The Eames Hang It All – such a cool piece of modern art/functional design that seems timeless and still relevant no matter what era it’s reinvented for

Meal: We really love South American Food as Noonie is from Argentina, so probably his parents’ bbq food where the meat is cooked and smoked over 6 or more hours – its called Asado.

Restaurant: A cross between Mi Corazon and Rumi – both local haunts where the mix of great food, great service and ambience and cultural yumminess combine!

Drink: Noonie says Dark & Stormy with Havanna Club Rum and I say Mojito with loads of mint!

Bar: We don’t get out as much as we used too, so we don’t have a regular haunt, but some of our faves in the past have been Atticus Finch & when we get together with friends and mix our own drinks at someone’s place as you get the right amount of alcohol and the mix is just perfect then!

Item in your studio: We LOVE our authentic mechanics trolley we bought as our counter in our shop at South Melbourne. It’s had a pretty industrial, working life and now it sits pretty in our shop using its drawers for money, bags and stationery!

Piece of technology: Sadly, it would be our phones, ipads and laptops… how original! From being able to use instagram to share our wares on our phones to checking online orders throughout the day to letting customers know when new stock has arrived to staying in touch with friends and family to reading the news on the phone to listening to music on the ipad as we drove to Sydney when we did a pop up there to generally updating our online store… technology is pretty imperative to our lives!

Historical figure: I love Barbara Hulanicki of Biba fame. She was such a visionary in changing how fashion was perceived in the 60s in London and grew her retail empire to be about the lifestyle and experience. Modern retail owes her a lot.

Fictional character: We got given a miniature cupie doll as a gift when we went to South America some years ago. Our friend wanted us to take this doll we called Pedro as a pretend version of her to see the sights with us and share his experiences throughout our trip. So everywhere we went, Macchu Picchu, Rio De Janerio beaches, Buenos Aires shopping, bars and when we got engaged in Brazil etc… we took photos of Pedro having fun and then we compiled a book for her when we got back called Pedro’s Adventures so she could live vicariously through him!

Vice: Me – Accessories (as an ex accessory designer, I’m a lover of great, well designed and well priced accessories) Noonie – HORSES (he has a toenails share in a horse but is obsessed with them during Spring time!)

Virtue: Noonie says my business acumen and strategic thinking!!! I say my ability to be both creative but business minded.  Noonie – patience and he has the kind of personality that is infectious and makes friends instantly!

Favourite long-distance drive: We spend a lot of time driving to Shepparton to visit my family and when we were planning our wedding, we drove to Eastern View near Fairhaven a lot (we had a 2 day Mexican fiesta near the beach there!)

Between beach, mountain and forest, which do you prefer? Always beach. There’s something calming about water and watching horizons across water. Going for walks along the beach is so underrated for reducing our stress levels and making you feel like you’re really on holiday!

If you go camping is it luxe or rustic? We haven’t gone camping in YEARS but its fairly much in between luxe & rustic. We don’t do hardcore toilets in holes but we have pitched tents before….. we much prefer a snug camping experience over hardcore roughing it but we love a good campfire!

What would you pack into the extra space of a MINI Countryman? STOCK. We always need extra room to fit in our SuperCool product. So extra space is always a plus in our book!

What colour would your MINI Countryman be?  What does this say about you? It would have to be red, just like my hair  – we like that red has power, its easier to spot in a crowded carpark and its our company colour (and isn’t there some saying that red goes faster?!!).

What does the term ‘Design Hunter’ mean to you? Someone who loves the thrill of discovery – whether that’s for a personal item they’re hunting for, appreciating design in its many contexts or following unique designers through blogs and online magazines like habitus. 

MINI Countryman