Meet Amalie O'Neill. A graphic designer, soon to be graduate of Central St Martins, stylist and creative director behind the newly established Minimal Affair - a London based decoration design studio. They not only offer stylish and elegant bespoke balloons for any event, they offer a creative service to decorate and style your event to your needs.
I met Amalie last year through our friends at Earl of East London. I recently did a photo shoot with her to create imagery to help launch Minimal Affair. Her energy, passion and determination was infectious. It was such a fun day and the beautiful setting in House of St Barnabas in central Soho was a dream to work in.
Here are some photos and an interview from the day.
// What inspired you to set up Minimal Affair?
In all honesty Minimal Affair started completely by accident. I was trying to find decorations for my 22nd birthday party but I was so fussy about the way the decorations looked that I couldn't find anything I liked. I had to sift through lots of primary coloured balloons and foil happy birthday ones before I realised that if I wanted some attractive decorations I would have to make them myself. I ordered balloons and glitter and all the bits I needed off eBay and then made my own balloons. The party went really well. I enjoyed transforming my apartment into a different world through styling and decorations and the balloons were a hit with the guests. I realised that there was very little on the market for the design conscious customer. I started up an Instagram account to see if there was a demand by photographing the decorations I was making at home, and the business has just organically started from there!
// Where did the name Minimal Affair come from? Is the brand name is reflective of the style you project?
The name Minimal Affair came about after a brainstorming session. I wanted something sophisticated but that says what it does on the tin. Minimal Affair is essentially aiming to bring an element of understated luxury to the events and party world. We focus on whites, natural tones and use a lot of greenery in our work. Through our work we create a stripped down and natural look for any event without compromising on that ‘wow’ factor.
// What is the ethos behind the brand? What sets you apart from the other decoration balloon companies out there?
The ethos for the brand is simple really. We want to create beautiful balloons for beautiful occasions. We aim to bring a fresh and creative perspective to a crowded and often overwhelming industry.
I think what sets us apart from other balloon companies is the creative eye and awareness of design that we apply to everything we do. Coming from a design background allows me to apply my knowledge of typography, space and image treatment to all elements of the brand, which gives it a coherent identity. We are trying to carve a path for ourselves as the go-to decoration studio for those looking for a little understated luxury at their event.
// What are the products and services you have on offer?
We sell our full range of balloons online at www.minimalaffair.com for people to buy as one offs or in larger quantities for them to get creative with and inflate at home. Alternatively, if people live locally to our studio in Islington, we give them the opportunity to collect the balloons inflated. We also offer an events decoration service for weddings and parties, for which clients can contact us through our services page.
// What are some of the clients and exciting projects you have worked on so far?
A client that we work very closely with is Lamplighter London who are a modern calligraphy, decorative lettering and illustration studio, based in East London. Lamplighter London have recently published a calligraphy book called ‘Nib + Ink’. Part of the launch was a Calligraphy workshop hosted by Chiara at the furniture store Habitat at their gallery space on Kings Road. The event was neon pink themed and we were asked to cover the whole back wall of the studio space with balloons and greenery. It was great fun and so lovely to see all the different creatives come together to create a magical event. My particular favourite element was when Chiara wrote directly onto one of our large 36 inch balloons by hand!
// Do you have any upcoming exciting plans on the horizon for Minimal Affair?
Yes, the feedback over the past month we have been running has been great. There is a demand for more sculpture-like pieces that really occupy the space. We are currently working to try and develop ways of making the more sculptural pieces interact with the architecture of a venue. We are also looking at pre-printed designs and collaborations with artists to really push the limits of what people see as ‘balloon’ decorations.