In Conversation with Corey Ashford

Image of cutlery

Transforming Daily Activities through Design

22 April 2024

This week, we spoke to Corey Ashford, the creative force behind the eponymous brand COREY ASHFORD. In our conversation, Corey shared insights into the brand's philosophy, creative process, and exciting plans for the future.  

What inspired you to establish your namesake lifestyle label in 2016, and how has your vision for slow, considered living shaped the brand?  

The brand originally focused on oversized, block-coloured linen beach throws that I hand-dyed and sewed myself, as I could not find what I was looking for on the market - the typical genesis of a business. Over the years, COREY ASHFORD has organically evolved to include tableware, barware, incense, and lifestyle pieces. My intention for CA has always been a leisurely expansion and exploration into enhancing daily activities, turning them into elevated rituals, with a focus on fine materiality and a showcase of handmade skill.   

In your creations, beauty and function are equally important. Could you explain how this philosophy impacts your designs? 

There's no point bringing a useable piece into your home that looks good, only to make your life harder through lack of function. Similarly, there are plenty of objects in the world that will get the job done, but they're void of character, charm or enrichment. Whether designing my own pieces or investing in somebody else's, for me, it's about taking the mundanity out of tasks and 'luxuriously lifting the everyday'.  

You've spoken about the inspiration you draw from nature and the simplicity of daily surroundings. How have these inspirations manifested in a specific product?  

A spill of liquid on the table inspired the amorphous appearance of my Cocktail Coasters, while my incense and candle holders are inspired by shells and French baked goods. There is a wealth of inspiration all around us, even in the simplest of daily occurrences.  

Seeing market gaps as design opportunities, could you explain how this concept is reflected in your designs?  

Designing, prototyping and manufacturing is a long and involved process, so it’s one I undertake with thought and consideration. I focus on investing my time in pieces that add something new to the market, both functionally and aesthetically. I live with my pieces long before they’re released to the world to ensure they’re enhancing my daily life and, ultimately, the lives of the people who welcome them into their own homes.  

What is your idea of everyday luxury?   

I believe every moment should be enjoyed and that we can transform simple daily activities into elevated rituals. Eating your takeaway on your best plates or pulling out the good table linen for breakfast by yourself – for me, incorporating good design and fine materials into everyday activities is a simple way to enhance what can otherwise be monotonous.  

What vision do you have for the future of COREY ASHFORD?  

We're already looking at a full 2024, glittered with new products, brand collaborations, and exciting opportunities, taking us well into next year. While we're expanding rapidly internationally, we're also looking at ways to strengthen foundations in Australia, with a physical space for people to experience the forms and scents in person. Ultimately, I look to the future of CA with optimism and gratitude, to be able to do what I love and have it received with such positivity, excitement, and support by the community.