Meet Phoebe Bell, founder of Sage x Clare
We caught up with Phoebe Bell, founder of Bohemian homewares label Sage x Clare, to discover her inspiration behind their hugely successful brand.
- 15 Aug 2023
Sage x Clare are renowned for their eclectic, feel-good Bohemian homewares (not to mention their super-popular Nudie Rudie designs). We caught up with founder Phoebe Bell to uncover the brilliance behind the brand and find out what we can look forward to next.
Sage x Clare has become an incredibly popular brand in just ten short years. What inspired you to create it?
A trip to India absolutely fortified my love affair with artisanal and colourful wares. Soon after, this love affair led me to develop a brand that creates unique artisanal pieces with heart and soul.
We’re beginning to see brands shift toward a more sustainability and community-minded approach. How does Sage x Clare reflect and maintain these values?
We put a lot of time and effort into developing collections that have somewhat of an ‘heirloom’ quality and are made to last. Much care is taken from the beginning to the end of our design and production process. Our products are made from natural fibres, and we work closely with our artisans to make investment pieces that will be treasured over time, encouraging thoughtful buying decisions and ultimately being better for the planet.
Do you have a favourite Sage x Clare product or collection?
Oh gosh, I don’t think I could ever decide! I have a strong creative connection to all the collections we create, even those from years ago. I really enjoy observing the evolution of the brand and its many iterations.
What’s the inspiration behind your new spring collection, ‘Goldie’?
Goldie is inspired by nature's wildness, generosity and free spirit. It draws on the natural cycle of renewal and growth – just as meandering greenery thrives and gardens transform across seasons. It celebrates nature's imperfect and unexpected beauty through patterns, colours and textures that encourage playful clashing.
What was your inspiration behind the Nudie Rudie range? Did you think it was going to be so popular?
Never in a million years did I anticipate the popularity of the Nudie Rudie range! It was designed shortly after my first child, Jude, was born. We’d constantly say, “Nudie Rudie Judie” or “Nudie Judie”, so it reacquainted me with this cute phrase. It’s become synonymous with the brand and features in bathrooms far and wide.
Spring is a fab time to refresh our homes and lift our spirits. What are your three top styling tips for this season?
I love the turn of the season and the ensuing excitement of warmer weather. It’s great to pack away all my thick quilts, blankets, and anything with rich, deep colours and replace them with bright, vibrant tones in airy fabrics. It’s incredible how even the most minor update can make a major difference. A new set of pillowcases, cushions or a rug can reinvigorate a space and give it a completely different feel.
I’m also quite partial to a touch of furniture rearrangement. We often switch our dining and living spaces around with the change of season to tailor them to our lifestyle. For instance, in winter, our living area is centred around a wood-burning fire. In Summer, we swap it to the other side of the room near the open doors and courtyard. Finally, foraging for spring flowers or foliage gives the space renewed energy and liveliness. It’s amazing what you can find in your garden or neighbourhood.
Sage x Clare turns ten this November! What have been your highlights?
I’ve been lucky—there have been so many! I’ve really enjoyed the travel I’ve done through Sage x Clare as well as our photo shoots on location. They often feel like a ‘grown-up’ version of school camp, and I love the opportunity to connect with my team and the crew at these times. Our last photo shoot involved an evening of s’mores by the campfire, and these are the moments I cherish the most.
What’s next for Sage x Clare?
We’ve recently moved into a big, beautiful warehouse and office space. It’s been a long time coming and will enable us to work on creating our dream workspace. We can conjure up exciting new product offerings that were not previously possible due to space limitations. We’re suddenly feeling quite grown up and looking forward to concentrating on improving the brand even more.