Kendall Knox scours curious corners of the earth to find rare objects with old souls. Each, thoughtfully curated drop date is announced to the Olive Atelier community via Instagram or email, and operates on a first in, first served basis. When the last piece is collected, the Atelier doors close once again, and the space is reinvented rarity by rarity, until ready to rebirth a new arrangement of curious collectables into the world. It’s a charming process driven by sustainability and bringing the texture of history into the modern world.
Here, we chat with Kendall on the true definition of ‘objects with old soul,’ and the power of texture in the home.
M+E: Right now, there is just over 9 days until your next drop lands, with no online shop available in-between. Tell us about this approach to online retailing, how does it work for the brand?
KK: We source from all over the globe and drop inventory as we receive it. We strive to offer one-of-a-kind, fairly priced goods and further to this, an innovative, awe-inspiring experience. We open doors only when we drop, and in between we close doors and reinvent the space piece by piece. If and when we offer an online experience, we’ll want this strategy to be replicated, no two drops will ever be the same. That’s the charm.
M+E: How long will it take you to source one drop, and how often do they occur?
KK: We are, quite literally, always sourcing. The journey from source and selection to showcasing at the Atelier can take anywhere from 3 - 6 months. We’ve developed strong relationships with our vendors to ensure we’re constantly scouring the most curious corners of the globe for Objects with Old Souls. We drop every two weeks.
M+E: What defines an ‘object with an old soul,’ and where do you find them?
KK: One-of-a-kind items with charm and character, that are a little rough around the edges, and that embody that of an old soul, or are in fact, vintage or antique by definition. We thoughtfully source from Turkey, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Greece, France and more.
M+E: Is there a place in the world most rich in these specific objects?
KK: No one region or story is more important than the other. All our objects come with their own history and wisdom to share. Most vessels we source from Turkey, for example, were used to store olives and olive oil in the off seasons. Our vintage elm wood benches from China, were once used as school benches for children. When we source in new countries, we’re not necessarily looking for the greatest abundance of any one object, but rather the stories we can honor and share with our community.
M+E: In your opinion, how do these pieces make a space feel - how do they contribute to the mood/experience of a home/work environment etc?
KK: By prioritising used and worn objects, the charm and charisma of a space is immediately enhanced. To us, texture is a color. It creates an ambiance and a tranquil atmosphere. We like to create spaces that conjure elements of nostalgia and inspire curiosity.
M+E: What are some easy ways for us to incorporate natural texture into an end of summer tablescape?
KK: The easiest way is to incorporate natural elements. A wood breadboard overflowing with in-season provisions, locally foraged florals … vintage linens. We sprinkle objects throughout, maybe our vintage marble bowl, or our wood riser to uplift condiments or freshly baked bread. By creating layers, you’re subconsciously texturising.
M+E: You used to work alongside our wonderful Founder/Owner Kelly Davies-Green - what was one thing she taught you?
KK: Kelly is such a ray of light. She taught me to trust my intuition, and she empowered me to do so, every day. On a personal level, she has always been a deep source of inspiration for me, to remember and appreciate nature and stay grounded. Success is not about wealth, or clout, or status. It’s waking up with gratitude, surrounded by those you love, and doing what fulfills you. Kel taught me that.
M+E: You must travel a lot, where is your favourite place to visit and the last memory you created there?
KK: Honestly, home. Sydney, Australia is my favorite place to visit. It’s always a whirlwind of family gatherings, seeing friends and their (new and growing) babies. Dipping my toes in the water and long, hot, sunny walks. My last memory in Australia was my engagement to my now husband. By the sea, dressed in MAURIE AND EVE. A very special one indeed.
M+E: Go-to dinner party playlist?
KK: I have a Spotify playlist called “rock your world”, don’t ask me why. It’s a mix of Still Woozy, Logic, Young the Giant, Rex Orange County … just good vibes.
M+E: Cause you are passionate about?
KK: Sustainability. In building Olive Ateliers, we were mindful to ensure we prioritised sourcing and retailing vintage and found objects. Additionally, we’re striving for Carbon Neutral certification by the end of 2023, and starting the process to follow Zero Waste practices in our facilities.
M+E: Last book you read?
KK: Sadly, it’s been too long in between books. But I thumb my way through my favorite book of Japanese poems whenever I get a chance. Don’t worry, they translate each poem to English, I’m not quite that sophisticated.