Our story so far...
Some of the worlds best products exist purely through their founder having to scratch their own itch. This was definitely the case with me and creating Australia's first large, waterproof, designer picnic rug.
I love picnics, always have ... But I was constantly disappointed by the small red plaid material picnic rugs, which was the only rug I could get back in the early 2000's.
You know the ones, red and black flanno looking rugs that barely fit two people let alone a family.
It wasn't just the size and the design that let these rugs down either, if the grass was dewy, you couldn't use it without getting a wet bum. If the grass was dry, you would have hours of entertainment afterward trying to get the grass seeds or sand out of it before packing it away.
So for years I tried to find a picnic rug that had a backing that could be used on wet grass and sand. Bonus points if it had a design that resembled something other than plaid, unfortunately I was unsuccessful in my search.
This was in Spring 2008, and it was the moment when I made the decision to start designing a picnic rug collection that was big, beautiful and most importantly with a backing that could be used on dewy grass or sand and be easy to clean.
It took a couple years to get it happening, but my first collection dropped in Summer 2010 ... and was an instant hit. I did the markets mostly, around the Central Coast / Hunter regions of NSW. I did this for a few years until my girls started school and weekends became way more precious.
So I made the tough decision to sell the business to a wholesaler that had approached me in the past to sell the business.
Fast forward to 2020 when the pandemic gave us more free time than we knew what to do with. I started to take a look into picnic rugs again, to see how things had evolved while I was gone. To my surprise, my old business had not changed at all and the new players that had entered the market hadn't nailed the perfect rug either.
None were using recycled materials despite the technology being so good around this now. Some of the large rugs were made from two pieces of fabric, so had seams through the middle of them. The perfect rug still wasn't out there ... This is when Emma decided to start working on another collection.
If I was going to make a return, I had to be able to craft the perfect picnic rug, which is ...
• Made from fabric, made from recycled plastic bottles to save them entering landfill and waterways.
• This fabric had to be able to be treated to make it water, sand and stain proof.
• The fabric had to feel luxurious when treated and needs to be able to be machine washed.
• It had to be able to be made from a single piece of material as not to have visible joins through the rug.
• The rug needed to be high quality, lightweight and in a range of designs to be the envy of ever person walking past.
I somehow managed to tick all the boxes and some, so approached my old business owners to buy it back, sadly they declined and Saltwater Picnic Co. was born.
My mission with Saltwater Picnic Co. is to provide a range of large, gorgeous, eco friendly luxury picnic blankets that are water, sand and stain proof and machine washable to picnic fans worldwide.
More than that I want to be a business my two girls would be proud of.
So using recycled fabrics and planting a tree for every rug sold is just the start. I know that we will have to constantly evolve and use our community to help leave the planet better than when we found it.
Seeing families and friends getting together outdoors, having fun and creating memories is something that fills my cup. As a parent I experience the struggle of keeping my kids off screens and have found creating adventures around picnics as an enjoyable way to do so that everyone enjoys a day out where the only screen in sight is sunscreen.
Hopefully I see you out on an adventure somewhere,