Gold Bottom Pots' Nikki Schomer Launches a New Range
With the release of Gold Bottom Pots' new NAMIB collection, we sat down with its founder Nikki Schomer to find out more about herself and her brand.
Since making its debut on the local design scene in 2016, Gold Bottom Pots has grown from strength to strength, presenting an array of hand-cast and -painted fine concrete planters with striking designs inspired by South Africa's rich culture. Now, the brand's founder Nikki Schomer is continuing with her mission 'to make plants proud with beautiful and unique planters' by releasing Gold Bottom Pots' new NAMIB collection. As its name suggests, this offering is inspired by the sand and rock formations of the Namib desert, providing a warm, earthy counterpoint to the brand's monochrome Fields of Gold Collection.
We sat down with Schomer to get to know more about herself, her brand and her collaboration process with skilled African artisans.
5 Minutes with Gold Bottom Pots' Nikki Schomer
How would you describe the Gold Bottom Pots aesthetic?
Bold, quality, distinctive, vivid, graphic.
Tell us more about the Gold Bottom Pots NAMIB collection
The collection is inspired by the vast desert that runs from Angola, through Namibia and into South Africa. The colours have been drawn from the different shades of sand and rock that can be found in the Namib - ivory tones from the coastal sands and bronze and burnt orange from the inland dunes, like those found in Sossusvlei. The design patterns have also used the desert as a point of inspiration and are named individually.
Tell us about your collaboration process and working with skilled African artisans
The term 'collaboration' is exactly how I would describe it. A vision to create and sell a unique and high-quality product is one thing, but it has only been made possible by working closely with a team of Cape Town-based artisans. We believe in a hands-over-machines approach, with all our pots being handcast and handpainted. I have to say that the opportunity to work with so many talented and wonderful artisans is one of my favourite things about the business!
Do you have special favourites among the Gold Bottom Pots pieces you’ve created?
It’s been awesome to introduce more colours to our products with the launch of our new NAMIB collection and I personally love the Dune Planter from this range. Aside from that, our Youth Planter on Charcoal Stone continues to be a bestseller and takes pride of place in my own apartment, perched on top of one of our beautiful Arise pot stands, also made in collaboration with local artisans.
Did you always want to be a designer? If not, what did you want to be when you were growing up?
I've wanted to work in the design field as long as I can remember, but what I wanted to design has definitely changed over the years! From a young interest in designing buildings (undertaking an internship at an architectural firm), I went on to spend several years in the fashion industry and now starting my own interior goods brand. Throughout my career, I have kept an eye on all design fields, drawing inspiration wherever I can – I think it’s important to expose yourself way beyond just your category of business.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
We are a small team and this comes with the positives and negatives of me personally being involved in many areas of the business. With that said, my days generally start with planning the day’s production – what needs to be produced, painted, finished, packed, dispatched etc. Then it’s a few hours of admin and emails before hopefully having a few hours spare to be creative - sometimes this is an opportunity to work on new product or designs, other times it’s editing or posting pics. Later in the afternoon, it's back to production, reviewing the day’s work and fulfilling my other job title of Militant Quality Check Queen!
What is your earliest visual memory?
SA roadtrips in our trusty blue kombi were a big part of my childhood. The happiness I associate with these expeditions is probably why I can still remember scenes from them so vividly. Peering through dusty windows at the golden evening sun setting across desert plains somewhere in the Northern Cape is one memory of many from this time.
Do you have a secret talent?
I'm not sure I would describe it as a talent, but I can hold my own on a surfboard! I try to get in the sea as much as possible, work allowing. It centres me and reminds me how lucky I am to live in Cape Town.
If you could own any piece of design, what would it be?
Uff, I want all the things… this is a big problem when you’re a young business and everything you earn needs to go back into it. But if you can grant me one wish, it would be Sifiso Shange’s Afrimodern Muhle Muhle Server. How I would adorn it with Gold Bottom Pots, my best plants and most precious things!
Which single place should every serious design-lover visit?
Of course I am going to recommend keeping it local! The Zeitz MOCAA on the Cape Town Waterfront is not only home to some of the best contemporary art from our continent, but is also an awe-inspiring architectural wonder.
What do you think sets African design apart from the rest?
Boldness. Ingenuity. Originality. Life! African design seems to have a habit of doing things differently and without apology. As more and more things get replicated and produced on foreign shores, I believe we have an increasing responsibility to invest in and support African design to ensure it continues to flourish.
SHOP more of the Gold Bottom Pots Fields of Gold collection here.
SHOP more of the Gold Bottom Pots NAMIB collection here.