Humans in hej hej - Summer from KAISO
This week we caught up with Summer Gribble, the creative mind and hands behind KAISO. Summer is a self-taught machinist and leather worker and makes every KAISO product herself from her Auckland based studio. We learnt more about why Summer started KAISO and where she could go if she could time travel.
Summer Aroha Gribble
Introduce yourself in one sentence
Curious, creative, an overthinker, often a little awkward; a baker and a lover of long sentences; Bajan-Kiwi and, most recently, mum!
Tell us about KAISO
KAISO started off as a “what if” blue-sky idea several years ago that eventually took root and grew into a business. I’d describe KAISO as a leather handbag brand with a Caribbean soul, obsessed with the intersection of form and function. I’m personally involved every step of the way from designing the initial concept to sewing the bags in my studio, so it’s very hands-on.
What’s the best damn thing about doing what you do?
I love it when one of my ideas finally comes to life! I’m self-taught and a bit of a perfectionist, so there’s generally a lot of prototypes and fiddling and “how-do-I-get-this-done?” involved on the journey to fine-tuning a design. Being able to see something I dreamt up as a finished and functional object - or better yet, seeing someone using one of my bags - is very satisfying.
If you could time travel once, when and where would you go?
Hmm… if we’re just talking big moments in history I think that being in Europe during the Renaissance would be pretty cool. It’s not really my favourite artistic period, but I think it’d be really inspiring to be around such a creative boom! Otherwise, I’d have to go back to when my mum was still alive. We recently marked 10 years since her passing and there’s a lot I wish I could have asked her - questions that didn't occur to me to ask when I was in my early 20s.
You’re wearing the Moon Trooper Knit in Indigo, don’t you just love it? Tell us why you love it.
Ahh - it is seriously the softest, warmest thing to grace my wardrobe! Besides being snug and comfy it’s also super cute and I love how versatile a classic Indigo is!
The worst thing you’ve ever worn? And don’t even try to justify it.
What I currently throw on to take my daughter out for a walk on these colder mornings is definitely not gonna win any prizes. It’s always some variation of pyjamas, track pants and ugly but warm layers. However, I think the most questionable thing I’ve ever worn was this pair of comically large bell bottoms (and not in a fly 70s way!) when I was in my early 20s… I bought them right before going backpacking. They were too long and they were the only pants I took with me. I tried to hack the bottoms off mid-trip. It was a bad time for all involved.