KindFace – The evolving local brand

You may recall the piece we wrote about a local manufacturer, Uren Barsal and their super quick innovative spirit during lockdown in April. An Auckland-based soft furnishing manufacturer, Uren Barsal, quickly needed to adapt in the changing climate to ensure the business, and more importantly the staff had work.

The introduction of the popular Kind Face masks to their soft furnishings product range has been a success with steady sales.  Now with the global COVID-19 resurgence, especially across the Tasman, international orders are ensuring the mask category for Kind Face is productive.

With one innovation making waves another quickly follows, which is what you would expect from an entrepreneurial mind leading the charge. Chris Larcombe, Managing Director of Uren Barsal spent the lockdown weeks conceiving other products his team could produce, to ensure a steady stream of work and diversify Uren Basal’s product range.

With fabric suppliers such as James Dunlop Textiles already at hand and a workforce of sewing expertise ready to go, the next product quickly came to fruition – a travel pillow. But not any travel pillow.  

It’s the story behind Chris’s products that sets the tone. All the materials are locally sourced and manufactured, handmade and constructed wholely from natural or recycled materials. The travel pillow consists of an insert of repurposed shredded memory foam, sourced by Auckland based manufacturer Starfish. It is then covered in Satori Stonewash, a beautiful 100% Mokum linen. On the back of the pillow you will find a pocket which contains a clever elastic strap system enabling you to secure the pillow to headrests, seats, handles etc.

Following the travel pillow came the heat pack – filled with NZ grown flax seeds and scented with dried lavender flowers and covered in Mokum’s Satori Stonewash linen, these heat packs have handy raw cotton cord handles made by Cordall in Levin. Used as both a hot and cold pack, the Kind Face heat pack is the perfect therapeutic relief for those winter aches and pains or as an ice pack to reduce swelling…. and they feel so good against your skin.

Finally they have started producing stylish scented door stops and draught stoppers. Filled with the same NZ grown flax seeds and dried lavender flowers and covered in the Mokum Satori Stonewash linen. Ideal for gifts and functional too, each item has been highly considered in terms of design and materials while ensuring staff and local suppliers are kept working.

Chris has set the bar high when it comes to brand values – “all Kind Face™ products designed to appeal to three key senses; Touch, Smell and Sight. They also satisfy a very important fourth sense - Common Sense. Proudly designed and made in New Zealand to be kind on the environment and economy. We use natural and NZ made materials wherever possible, and minimal packaging – but where required this will either be home compostable, fully recyclable in NZ or at least reusable for another purpose.”

Hot off the press is exciting news for the emerging brand.  Kind Face™ has made it through to the finalists in the 2020 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards. It comes as a shock to Chris and the team to see their name on the list alongside major banks, insurance companies and Tourism New Zealand.

If you are interested in retailing Kind Face products you should reach out to Chris (chris@urenbarsal.co.nz), or if you want to buy something for yourself or friends and family use the coupon code 'friends-of-urenz' in the shopping cart, and save 20%.



Brighten up your Winter

Trends & Inspiration

Dark wet nights and cold frosty days, winter is well and truly here as we escape from work to home, to pull the curtains, light the fire then jump into our winter weight bedding.

Winter often result in deeper hues and thick bulky compositions.  It needn’t be all doom and gloom through these months though as we can brighten up our interiors with fabrics and accessories to give us a good dose of colour therapy.

Colour can be a powerful thing, it is steeped in psychology with colour specialists providing many theories on the benefits of each shade.  By tapping into the power of colour, especially over the winter months we can brighten our spaces and elevate our moods to feel just that touch more cheerful.

To help, we have picked out some colourful and energising fabrics to share, ideas for brightening up your interior spaces whether that be through your cushions, curtains, or bedding: