Claudia Zinzan is the Auckland based co-founder of Father Rabbit. Aside from the day to day runnings of the business, Claudia's other main role is as the head buyer and her background as an interior design has leant itself to cultivating the aesthetic Father Rabbit is known and loved for. We thought a photoshoot at Claudia's was long overdue and we hope you enjoy.
Featured products: Hotel Magique Green Tout Est Magique Print
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF, YOUR HOME, AND WHO YOU LIVE WITH?
Our home is in Titirangi on a ridge overlooking the bush sharing the Titirangi streets with a zillion kererū, ducks, chooks, kingfishers, tui, and one peacock.
In the family we have Nick and I, Tony (11) and Michaela (7). We founded Father Rabbit 10 years ago. I trained as an interior designer and Nick was a camera operator in the film industry. We have 2 cats, a 12 year old tabby and a 2 month old tabby kitten.
Our home is sunny. We face north-west up above the trees overlooking a beautiful valley surrounded by nikau, pohutukawa, and kahikatea. Our house was built in the 1950s and majorly extended in the 70/80s so now it is a three-story wedding cake! It had so many dated features when we purchased, but we are slowly refurbishing.
DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL HOME OR STYLE PHILOSOPHY?
I really love to bring colour into my home through books, art, flowers and decorations. For the most part I keep the larger items neutral. Most people assume that Father Rabbit is a minimalist but he loves a “liberty” esque interior as much as an all white “Kim Kardashian West” monochrome interior.
I haven’t had the luxury of “renovating” my house in a grand way, we have painted but really I’m just making the best of what we have. It’s where old Father Rabbit shop furniture also goes to die! Haha.
The home enjoys natural sunlight, views into the native bush and the cosy fire which makes it so lovely already. We have two big sofas so it's a very comfortable and inviting space that our family enjoys spending time in together. I love fresh greens, shades of white, nautical blues and reds, and mixing in vintage rugs and natural textures.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE ITEMS IN YOUR HOUSE, SENTIMENTAL OR OTHERWISE?
My favourite items are my anglepoise lamp, the Max Thomson paintings (from Tessuti), my Maison Levy cushions (from Madder & Rouge). I adore our vintage table handed down from Nick’s parents.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE SPACE/ROOM IN YOUR HOME?
I love our downstairs bedroom. It’s on the ground floor - it stays nice and cool in summer - perfect for sleeping in. It’s very spacious with lots of room to fold washing and you can swing a cat.
Featured products: White Pitcher
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED HERE AND WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD?
We have lived here for 7 years. We often head down to French Bay for food truck markets on the weekend. French Bay is stunning at high tide. My son Tony is down there on Saturdays learning to sail. We are also lucky to have a library, art gallery and a yoga studio on our street.
Featured products: Hotel Magique Fleurs De Mer Print
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE HOME INVESTMENT?
Investing in a beautiful sofa was key to bringing our living room together. I’m on a mission to find more beautiful art now. I have caught the bug! My first “proper” painting purchase recently was from Ali at Tessuti - The Max Thompson vase and the stunning camellia tree. Which is a nod to my memories of my grandmother’s camelia trees in her garden in Papakura and we have a pink camellia tree just like in the painting at home in Titirangi.
WHATS ON YOUR PLAYLIST AT HOME?
Oh I have so many shazamed tracks mixed in with RnB and hip hop - Ria Hall, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Drake, Cardi B, Nadia Reid to name a few!
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS YOU KEEP THE BALANCE BETWEEN YOUR HOME AND WORK LIFE?
I make sure my weekends are mostly not working. I do work the odd day throughout the year in the stores when somebody is sick but I generally stick to a 9 - 5 pm Mon-Fri schedule. But I’m always checking emails round the clock. I enjoy it! That’s only when I have reached the end of tik tok ;-)
TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORK CAREER - WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE BIGGEST MILESTONES AND ANY BIG DIFFICULT MOMENTS?
Biggest milestone was our 10 year birthday last year. I love it when we create new products. We have set up a beautiful Father Rabbit stationery brand and also our new brand Lettuce which includes puzzles and cards. I’m really proud of them.
I have had difficult moments. Once I made an incredible accounting mistake (I coded some things incorrectly and they ended up on the balance sheet rather than the Profit & Loss). Just like that when I thought we were profitable one year, it all disappeared. That was a massive learning curve early on to pay really careful attention to our accounts all throughout the year not just when you are wrapping up the accounts. Plus always look at your balance sheet regularly, not just your income!
Featured products: Assorted Pallares Knives
WHERE DO YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FROM FOR THE FATHER RABBIT OFFERING AND AESTHETIC? AND WHO'S CAREERS DO YOU ADMIRE?
I really look at timeless interior design, artists and my personal memories of the homes of my grandparents and aunts & uncles. I love merging Father Rabbit’s products with other beautiful interior stores like Tessuti, Madder & Rouge & Tony Sly.
The careers I admire are a lot of local women like Mimi Gilmore, Juliette Hogan and I am obsessed with Maggie Marilyn and her beautiful stores and clothes!
Featured product: Father Rabbit Wooden Clothes Drying Rack
WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH SOCIAL MEDIA? HOW HAS THIS PLAYED A ROLE IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE?
We’ve always valued Social Media, it’s been crucial for the growth of Father Rabbit. Honestly don’t know where we would be without it! We love hearing from customers and seeing how they’ve incorporated the Father Rabbit aesthetic into their homes and wardrobes.
WHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT OVER THE NEXT TWELVE MONTHS?
Finally launching our Father Rabbit peg hooks. We have the most incredible selection of Christmas decorations coming and collaborations that I can not wait to launch.
Featured Products: Sansceuticals Range
QUICK FIRE FAVOURITES
BOOK: Culture Code | Daniel Coyle
FOOD: Oysters! 100 % my favourite
BEAUTY PRODUCTS: Emma Lewisham, Sans Ceuticals and Chloe Zara
WISHLIST: A Tennis Bracelet | Needs more diamonds lols.
CITY: Rio De Janeiro
PODCAST: The Detail | RNZ
ADVICE: Just start...
SONG: Manawa Wera (Ria Hall)