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Chloe & Claude

24 May 2016, posted by Rue des Petits

Meet Ava from CHLOE & CLAUDE

24th May 2016

Another beautiful Instagram discovery.... As a French mum of two little girls who has been doing ballet for almost 10 years as a little girl, I have to say, these stripy and ballerina cats do speak a lot to me! I litteraly had a crush on them when I spotted them and I HAD to get them for Rue des Petits!

And then I learnt a bit more about Ava, the lovely young Australian girl behind them! She moved to France a bit more than a year ago and decided that it was the perfect time to start her own creative business, after spending many years working as an in-house graphic designer for large fashion brands.

With the exception of some of the trims on the cat dolls, all of her items are made from 100% french organic seeded poplin (certified by GOTS) and are screen printed in Nantes. She sews them together with her 1920s sewing machine in her home studio in Bordeaux (where she just moved). She uses the best quality materials and try to source them locally as much as she can.... and she took a bit of her time to answer my questions!


>> What is the story behind your brand?

When I first arrived in France (late 2014) I was on the lookout for unique gifts for children to send back home to Australia. I found it difficult to find décor made in France that was french themed without being kitsch so I decided to make my own. I love drawing and working with fabric so it was an easy decision to meld the two together.

>> What are you the most proud of?

Learning to sew on a 1920s sewing machine using a treadle! I found my machine second hand and had it restored so that I can enjoy sewing my creations on a beautifully made vintage machine.

>> How do you find the balance between work and family?

As my husband and I don’t have children I have the luxury of having a lot time to myself. We do have an adopted street cat named Nuggie. I like to call her my “studio assistant” but there’s very little assistance happening! If only cats could bring coffee!

>> What are your future challenges and dreams for your brand?

I started building Chloe and Claude in January so it’s still very much in early stages of development. There are many ideas I have in mind for new products to release this year – perhaps illustrated cushion covers, pillowcases and new tooth fairy cushions. A challenge for me is working with suppliers as my French is far from perfect!


>> You in a few words.

Sentimental, daydreamer, creative

>> 3 things that you like/don’t like?

Like – Cats (I was born a crazy cat lady), my collection of French apothecary jars, Australian coffee - I miss it so much!

Dislike – fast fashion, cage eggs, foie gras

>> Your typical day?

I wake early and work the first half of the day sewing orders. If I have time, the second half of the day is spent drawing new ideas for products and running errands.

>> France for you in 3 words?

Romantic, charming, artisanal

>> Favourite places in France?

Paris (of course!), Bordeaux wine country and Provence.

>> Your style in 3 words?

Classic, Vintage, Whimsy

>> Best childhood memories?

Visiting grandpa and watching Mary Poppins with my sister while eating rice pudding. Tea parties at grandmas. Watching mum working in her art studio while admiring her many pots of pencils, pens and paint brushes.

>> How does it feel to be a French Australian ;-) ?

I feel very blessed that my husband and I have the choice to live in two beautiful countries. Both Australia and France are wonderful places to live for different reasons. Australia for it beaches, sunshine and unique and diverse wildlife. France for its architecture and food culture.




>> Best gift you have ever received?

I was born in Tasmania and lived there till I finished my HSC (BAC). Before I left to move to Sydney a friend gave me a small Huon pine box that contained small slices of Tasmania’s beautiful aromatic timbers. I have this box in my art room, I hold it often and have a little sniff to take me back home.

>> Best gift you have ever made? 

When my sister and I were teenagers we bought a white apron and drew our pets all over it as a gift for Mother’s Day. Mum still uses it so I guess she loves it!

>> Which gifts to your children?

When I do have children I think we will enjoy making dolls together.

>> Which gifts to your friends’ children?

Perhaps a Chloe & Claude creation!

>> Your dream present?

Any art materials make me very happy!




>> How active are you on social Medias? Where can we follow you?

I’m only really active on Instagram (@chloeandclaude). I do enjoy exploring Pinterest for inspiration from time to time.

>> 3 accounts to follow on Instagram?

@lovelettersbytillie - my big sister who makes timber letters for little ones.

@lauvely – I’m in love with Laura’s pirate doll and mermaids!

@leahreenagoren  For some illustration eye candy.




>> Other young designers you like and would recommend?

My husband’s cousin Elise Pezzin has the most beautiful pen illustrations - checkout her instagram @elisepzz

@marlowandmae – Thoughtfully designed clothing for children designed and made by Bek in Australia.

>> One secret you want to share with us?

I met my husband (who is french) at Beijing airport four years ago. If someone told me that I would move to France and start my own little brand I would have never believed it! 



I am so happy to be introducing another very young designer brand to my selection. I really love that part of my job and of the Rue des Petits mission statement ;-) I wish Ava all the very best and lots of success!

Here is her pretty brand page on Rue des Petits, to dream and treat yourself !

I hope she will make you dream too..




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