Starting her Sydney-based, leather accessories brand KARMME came from a place of practicality for Imby Langenbach. Having founded the brand after an injury and wanting a well-designed yet beautiful bag to keep all her daily essentials, Imby has since come to design handmade leather pieces which are inspired by her travels, especially those with her family, 4-wheel driving through the unseen landscapes of Australia.
Name: Imby Langenbach
Location: South Coogee, NSW
Profession/ Business / Passion / Creative Outlet: owner/designer for KARMME, a leather accessories business based in Sydney.
Star sign: Sagittarius
Quote/words to live by:
“Loving kindness is a freedom of the heart, a luminous blazing radiance.”
- Itivuttaka (1st Century BC)
Favourite places to visit:
Describe your typical day:
I try to get up, wake my three daughters for school, go for a walk and dip in the ocean before getting back and see them all off to school. Breakfast, coffee and then to the studio which is next door to where I live, very lucky, no travel involved! Each day is quite varied but generally in the mornings I catch up on emails, wrap and send out orders, try not to waste too much time scrolling IG! Then I might need to see my makers, leather supplier, fabric supplier, dye fabric, work on a new design, update website or think about/organise a photoshoot. I work on our building business as well, which involves design and accounts all before I get ready for the girls to come home from school. I call it shift three of the day, afternoon tea, after school activities, dinner homework etc. I can’t work too much at night so it's usually catching up with my husband before bed!
Is your design approach intuitive or measured? How so?:
Very intuitive I think...I like to design things that I need, so they are practical but I try to make them beautiful. The business started when I wanted something to put my phone, keys and wallet in after I’d had neck surgery and didn’t want to carry a heavy shoulder bag anymore, I just wanted something simple, practical and beautiful so I made it. That’s how all the subsequent designs have happened, a need then fulfilling it with a beautifully designed and made product.
Where do you draw your creative inspiration from?:
I am inspired a lot by the colours I see particularly when we go on family holidays. We road trip often so I have experienced the vast land of Australia and seen a lot of its raw beauty. The colours are so mind blowing and I’m often dreaming up a collection as I stare out the window. I love exploring the texture of the leather, so the shapes are often inspired by the fall of the soft supple leather I use.
What's your most memorable Australian location?:
We have road tripped from Perth to Cape Leveque (West of Broome), Alice Springs to Darwin, Darwin to Cape Leveque and recently Perth to Sydney with smaller road trips on the East Coast too. Cape Leveque which is about 250kms west of Broome in far North West Australia is one of the most magical place I’ve ever been and I’ve travelled extensively throughout the world. Its remote, a red dirt road that you bump along for 4 hours gets you there and then the colour of the water, the iron rich cliff faces and white sand make it seem almost unreal. The first time we stayed there we were in our 4WD tent on the cliff and woke to an incredible sunrise that I’ll never forget.
I thought that was my favourite place until on our recent trip we went to far South West Australia, 100 kms or so further from Esperance to a place called Wharton Beach, this blew my mind. Turquoise/aqua water with the finest powdery, squeaky sand. We walked to some remote beaches from our caravan park and had the beach literally to ourselves, such a special place and time for us.
Advice you would give to your younger self:
It's ok not to be into music and stuff that your friends are into, one day you’ll know why you always need to create it's how you regenerate.
With these hands I…
make. I make things that I think are beautiful and that I want to use every day. I take care to make things that last well, are practical and versatile, do not follow trends or seasons. I share a little of me each time a piece of KARMME passes through my hands to those who choose to support my business.
Photos by: Kaitlyn Bosnjak