We had a lovely discussion with Carola Pojer about her inspiring work.
Would be great to hear about your background and how you started both of your companies One of a Kind and House of Auster?
Well I’ve studied Photography and Performing Arts and got in touch with ceramics when I was 18. But due to my studies and moving to Vienna, I did not continue working with clay until 2021, when I founded ONE OF A KIND. It just started as a hobby (like almost every business I run) after becoming a mom. I needed a creative outlet and a space where I could clear my head. Ceramics are perfect for that. Though I never intended to sell my ceramics, more and more people asked me on my Instagram account @oneofakindclay if they could purchase something. So I started my small batch production. Every pieces takes up to 4 weeks to be finishes, since I make everything from scratch (even the glaze).
House of Auster is a brainchild of my business partner Andrea and I. The idea started almost 7 years ago, when we’ve visited New York and their amazing concept stores. We thought that a shoppable apartment is really missing in Europe - it’s such a modern, zeitgeist approach to retail. A place where you can buy every single piece you see - but in an apartment character, not stuffed with product like a physical store would be.
And after so many years thinking about the idea we finally had the courage to start planning, 2 years ago. Especially after the Pandemic, where we all got to focus more on our home, this kind of concept is very NOW. And people in Vienna are so excited, the feedback is amazing. We will also launch our Webshop houseofauster.com in a few days, where you can buy unique tableware and decoration (including some ONE OF A KIND pieces) from mostly Austrian and German brands.
How do you divide your time between your companies, and how much they support one another?
I actually run 3 companies as I also work as full-time photographer and content creator at @carolapojer haha - But all my expertise and creative force lie in these 3 brands so they definitely support each other. I try to be in the ceramic studio 2-3 times a week, I work at House of Auster every Friday and 2x per month on a Saturday (doing sales) and the rest of the week I work remote (for bookings, buying, social media etc)
For carolapojer it’s different every week but usually I shoot with my photographer 1x per week and the rest of the content I create on my own. Some weeks and months I get to travel a lot and a lot of (fashion) events are happening which makes it pretty stressful from time to time. But as long as I do everything with passion and joy, i can cope with it pretty good. Better work hard than be bored :)
What inspires you in your aesthetics and design process?
Art, Architecture, My childhood, Geometrics and Textures.
How does sustainability affect your choices when it comes to design and materials?
Well, clay is super sustainable as it is a natural material that can be recycled and reused. I also like to design versatile and timeless pieces to give them more purpose. My mugs can also be used as small plant pots or storage for things. The Snack Plates function as serving plate but also as jewelry dish or Makeup palette.
And if you take care of your ceramic pieces it will last even longer than yourself.
How do you choose the brands and designs you show at House of Auster?
We only feature European brands with a special focus on Austria and Germany. Family businesses, small companies, local manufacturers. Important for us is to feature brands that don’t have a platform yet in Vienna (or even Austria). that’s why you get very special pieces at HOUSE OF AUSTER. I think currently 95% of our pieces are only available at our shoppable apartment, finding and providing those „pearls and gems“ is definitely our USP.
What do you recommend people to think if they want to be responsible and eco- conscious consumers?
Buy less but better. And: think twice before you buy. Does the piece really gives you value? Does it make your life easier, prettier, more convenient? Can you use it a lot?
When it comes to clothing try to come up with several outfits from your closet that you’d style the new piece with. If you can’t come up with at least 3 Outfits the chances are high that you’ll wear it not quite often...
Any inspiring artists, brands, or anything you would recommend to follow right now?
I really like the account of Berlin artist Anna Zimmermann, whose art is also available at HOUSE OF AUSTER. And I like velvet dynasty for inspiration and Brittany Bathgate for her fashion content.
Thank you Carola!