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Bevan Whiting and Andrew Veitch

Craft & Object, Design

Neighbourhood Series: An Interview with the Founders of Frontal Lobe

The founders of Frontal Lobe, a sustainable furniture shop located in the heart of Sydenham, talk about turning their passion for sustainability and design from a side hustle into a full-time career and share a few of their favourite local Ōtautahi spots.

Prior to opening their bespoke design studio in Ōtautahi, Andrew was working in retail management in Melbourne and Bevan was a lift designer for an elevator service company in Christchurch.

The creative duo met for the first time back in 2014 after Andrew returned home to Aotearoa and his father, who was coincidentally one of Bevan’s colleagues at the time, introduced them to one another. Immediately bonding over their passions for sustainability and design and shared desire to operate their own business someday, the concept of Frontal Lobe was born.

That same year, Bevan and Andrew decided to devote every Friday to Frontal Lobe, basing themselves at Bevan’s father’s place who had let the two of them transform his garage into a space to create. “While we use a variety of eco-friendly and sustainable materials today, Andrew and I sort of became known as the bamboo guys when we were first starting out since most of our stuff back then was built from bamboo.”

When word caught on and the Christchurch community discovered their eccentric light fixtures, bamboo commuter bikes and other unique pieces, it didn’t take long before they outgrew the space, got the boot from Bevan’s parent’s place and turned their side hustle into a full-time operation. In 2015, they shifted into a new space opposite the Colombo Mall in Sydenham, where they still operate today.

“The aim has always been to create high quality pieces from sustainable materials that impact people’s lives in a positive way.” Stepping into their studio and meeting both Bevan and Andrew for the first time, it was also evident that they’re both incredibly passionate about creating strong connections and putting people first. “Creating a strong community around our brand has also been important to us from the very start. Building connections with our clients, neighbours and the people who pop into our shop is what it’s always been about for both Bevan and I.”

If you live in Ōtautahi, head over to Bevan and Andrew’s studio on 14 Stanley Street in Sydenham to see their beautiful and bespoke furnishings first hand. You can also learn more about their work and browse their collection at frontallobe.co.nz.

Neighbourhood Picks

Ōtautahi holds a special place in both Bevan and Andrew’s hearts. During our discussion, they shared some of their favourite places to pop into during their weekdays in Sydenham and a few other best kept secrets that they’ve discovered over the years.

Best bakery
The coffee and pastries from Grizzly are delicious and the owners are awesome. They have designated volunteers who donate any leftover food from their bakery each week.
Go to gallery
We love the local vibe and contemporary art at Fiksate. The Christchurch Art Gallery is also great. The exhibitions are always changing and our kids absolutely love the space.
Delicious brunch
Hello Sunday definitely has the best brunch in Sydenham and is our go to for a birthday brekky. They’ve got awesome staff, great coffee and the best cinnamon brioche.
Our local
It’s tough to look past the $12 lunch special at Indian Pearl. It’s a family run restaurant on Colombo with excellent and really authentic Indian food.
A best kept secret
It’s not in Sydenham, but Fuse has the best real fruit ice cream in the city. They’re typically parked up on Cashmere Road along the Heathcote River.
Favourite artist
We love the style and anarchy of all of the street art in Ōtautahi and Jacob Yikes’ murals. Ghostcat also makes some really cool miniature pieces.
Spread the love in Ōtautahi by supporting local places and spaces.

This series is brought to you by our Creative and Digital Partner, Publica.

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