Based in the beautiful suburb of Vaucluse, Belinda, founder of In the Sac, is passionate about luxury bedding and wearables. When not busy developing and sourcing linen with a little bit of magic and soul, you’ll find Belinda being a mum to Arabella, and juggling three textile companies with her husband, David.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you based and what journey did you take to be where you are today?
We run the three businesses from our HQ and warehouse in Waterloo, New South Wales.
My personal journey began at a young age. I studied textiles in high school, which I loved, but also did very well in biology. Funnily enough, I ended up studying Naturopathy when I left high school, but it was three years into my studies that I realised my real calling was fashion and textiles.
Soon after that I began my career as a buyer for the fashion industry, and I quickly developed a passion for natural fibres and textiles, and the absolute love of working with colour palettes.
I may be giving away too much about my age, but I would say about ten years after that, like most ambitious people, I worked very hard to finally achieve my dream career of becoming the creative director at Martin and Savage, one of Australia’s last standing true textile wholesalers for the fashion industry.
It was about that time that David (my business and life partner) and I knew we needed to diversify the business as we were seeing the fashion division shrinking because most Australian fashion labels were now producing their ranges abroad. And so, in 2010, In the Sac came to life.
It just seemed like a natural progression that we would get into homewares, interiors, and more recently soft furnishings.
What influences and inspires you?
I’ve always been influenced by global trends and of course, travel. Going to exotic places, seeing and experiencing different cultures is where my inspiration comes from, but COVID really put the brakes on that!
I find, like most creative people, an essential need to return to nature.
So from that and working on my colour palette perspective, I introduced more earthy colours and introduced over four new greens in my last few ranges. I personally believe that all colour has a sensory and restorative effect on us, and I’ve found the commercial response to these new tones overwhelming.
Tell us more about your artistic style and the stories you hope to tell with your creations.
My artistic style has developed via an instinctive approach guided by my passion for natural textiles and textures that provide a casual yet luxurious comfort. I’ve learnt to know what will work in a commercial style of product and that comes back to my fifteen years working with textiles.
The stories my creations and ranges tell are unique. My goal was to set up In The Sac as a vertical company controlling every step from the purchasing of the flax direct from the growers in the Netherlands, to the spinning and weaving of the linen, to the final manufacturing of our 100% pure linen bedding and homeware products.
This way I have ownership of all aspects and, most importantly, I’m able to ensure consistency in the high quality of In The Sac linen which is woven in our own specification and is exclusive to us.
At Hegi we’re all about the handmade artisan object and understand the love, time and effort involved in creating. What does it mean to you to have your luxury linen become a part of people's everyday lives?
It honestly feeds my soul. The constant feedback from our retail and trade clients, who are long standing and quality savvy customers, keeps me inspired and motivated. It’s knowing I’m contributing towards their everyday lives by offering a curated range which spans every part of their home from linen bath towels and bedding, to accessories and, more importantly, a blissful night’s sleep. But what is most important to me is knowing I’m working with a product made from linen which is regarded today as one of the world’s most sustainable and biodegradable textiles and ensuring our carbon footprint is minimal.
Do you have any advice on how to turn your passion into a living?
As anyone will tell you, if you really love what you work with, it’s not work! I can sum up my advice on how to turn your passion into a living in four words:
Belief. Determination. Perseverance. Patience.
I believe these four characteristics are what allowed me to achieve the result of working for myself in a field I’m so very passionate about, and that’s developing and producing high quality linens in new textures, jacquards and yarn dyes that are beautiful, durable, and affordable.
I like to say “there’s linen, and then there’s In the Sac linen.”
We’re firm believers that changes, big or small, can positively impact the earth. As a business owner and a mum, what sustainable ‘at-home’ tips can you give our readers?
Great question. I’m also a strong believer in contributing to sustainability and wellbeing for ourselves and our planet. Importantly this starts with us and our home environment. At home I’m mindful to ensure this by guiding and showing our six-year-old daughter Arabella what it means to respect nature and not take anything for granted.
There are many small things we do in our everyday lives that make an impact and they involve making conscious choices. We don’t use any plastics, we have our own veggie patch (which seems to be going great this spring after all the rain), we’ve installed three huge water tanks so we can recycle all the rainwater, we choose furniture, soft furnishings and clothing made of natural materials. Linen is the most biodegradable textile available. It’s created from nature and returns to nature, unlike synthetic textiles and soft furnishings.
Although it might sound silly to some, we don’t have the TV on when we get home, nor during dinner. At home we like to be present with each other.
Designing furniture to us is a form of storytelling, self-expression and individualism. What is your first memory of furniture, and what does it mean to you today?
I agree as I also believe this about our home linen and wearables that showcase a personal expression of an organically luxurious lifestyle.
Recalling my first memories of furniture was when I bought my first apartment in my early twenties and bought all those first-home essentials like sofas, bedside tables, wall cabinets etc., knowing I had expensive taste and couldn’t afford the stunning wall unit I wanted.
So, I put pen to paper and designed a ‘pretty cool’ inbuilt timber wall unit which my father, who is a carpenter, ended up making and I painted it. Not a bad result for an amateur.
Today, in choosing my furniture, I find practicality and comfort important, but I also like to add some unique pieces that are real show stoppers into a space. So I have a few Hegi pieces on my wish list once our home renovation is complete.
Last, but not least, how does intentional gifting make you feel?
Interesting question. I believe gifting has its place, and as a company we do set aside a decent budget in gifting donations every year to many different charities. It makes me feel content and is my way of giving back.