Ruby & Rome

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Ruby & Rome

Ruby and Rome are so much more than just the names of two adorable staffy dogs, it’s also the name of a local up-and-coming home décor brand created by Kyle and Ali Smith. Forte had a chat to Kyle about how they first started out, their favourite things and being stocked at places like Frankie Say Relax.
What made you first decide to start Ruby & Rome?
We started making pieces of furniture for our own home and received a lot of compliments about our designs. One Sunday we were feeling impulsive and registered our business name and it took off from there!
What’s the story behind the name choice?
We wanted it to be a family business and at that stage our family consisted of two staffies called Ruby and Rome. We thought it had a nice ring to it so we ran with it.
And what do you do aside from Ruby & Rome?
I’m a glazier by trade, so I install showers, splashbacks, pool fences and the like. Ali has been a primary school teacher for a few years now and she loves it. We are expecting our first child in June so Ruby and Rome home décor will be a strong focus for Ali while she takes maternity leave.
Can you give a brief run down of the products that you make?
We make a range of unique furniture and home décor. Our most requested items are our study desks and concrete pots however we are always open to new ideas and suggestions from clients. We use recycled timber, concrete, and other products that fit with our style.
Home decor really seems to be booming as a trend, what sets your products apart?
Our furniture, like our homewares, are all handmade in Geelong and not built in a large scale factory. We love that we can speak to clients and create unique and custom-made items for them.
Have you both always been pretty DIY and hands-on kind of people?
I’ve always had a keen interest in building, having grown up with a father that was a carpenter. I remember doing woodwork at school and loving it. While Ali has always had a keen eye for interior design and is quite on trend with her home décor choices, so we make a great pair.
Do you both have the same taste in design?
When we built our first home together we were surprised about how much we agreed on when choosing the colour scheme and furniture. We both love items that are modern with an industrial feel to them.
Do you have a lot of your creations in your home? Do you have a favourite?
Yes, we basically built all the large furniture items in our first home, from the dining table to the study desk! We are currently renovating our new home and are excited to try some new ideas and concepts. Ali’s favourites are the concrete succulent planters, while my favourite is the up-cycled door dining table.
We saw you’d been involved in the pop up markets at King of the Castle and at the Night Jar Markets, is it more rewarding working markets because you really get to interact with your clients?
Yes markets are the best! It is hard work sometimes getting everything ready in time to display, but it makes it all worthwhile when we get to interact with, and get positive feedback from different people in the community. We love meeting the other local designers and stall holders and we really just have a lot of fun.
What shops do you frequent in Geelong and surrounds?
Frankie Say Relax is a fantastic homewares shop that stocks some of our products, and we always need to resist buying half the things in the shop! We also love Timber Zoo where we get most of our beautiful timber from.
If shoppers were to buy just one of your products, what should they buy and why do they need it in their home?
Our concrete succulent planters have been massively popular and are really on trend so we would definitely suggest one of those! Our cheeseboards are another recommendation, especially to use for those beautiful sunny afternoons to serve some wine and cheese on.
Thanks for having the chat with Forte, is there anything you’d like to add?
Thanks for taking the time to get to know a little bit about Ruby and Rome! Hopefully we will see you at a market someday! For any furniture or home décor enquiries we encourage you to email us at [email protected].
You can purchase Ruby & Rome’s products at Frankie Say Relax (77 Preston St, Geelong West), at the NightJar Markets in Geelong or by emailing them.