A rug obsession

Posted on September 04, 2013 by claire ongley | 11 comments

My current obsession is rugs. I recently parted with our beautiful Vintage Kilim Rug, which I secretly wanted to keep for myself, and am now on the hunt for more unique rugs - both for the store and for our future home. Having just moved back to New Zealand from Sydney five months ago, we are looking for a house to buy, and that house will need to have a space fit to accommodate my 'dream' rug. Here are a few inspiring interiors that I have filed away in my ideas book.
White walls, dark wood floors and beautiful rug. Image via Pinterest.
A stark white kitchen is the perfect stage for this rug. Image via Pinterest.
More white walls, dark floors, antique wood table and brightly coloured rug. Image via Pinterest.
One of the rooms at The Oyster Inn, Waiheke Island where we had the pleasure of staying last summer. The high ceilings and fan made the room so relaxing and airy. I love the subtle tones of this kilim rug.
From subtle tones to pretty in bright pink! Image from Cush and Nooks blog.
White and dark wood make the rug effect work the best. Image via Pinterest.
This cute bedroom is transformed by the bright rug and bench at the end of the bed draped with a cow hide. After looking closely at this image, I noticed our Lodge Stripe Throw on the bed! Image via Pinterest.



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Fathers Day Gift Guide

Posted on August 15, 2013 by claire ongley | 10 comments

In the blog this week we present our Father's Day Gift Guide. Izzy and Jean Co. has a range of Dad-appropriate goodies, including gift boxes containing 2-3 items of your choice.

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Tired tea towels?

Posted on August 08, 2013 by claire ongley | 21 comments

Time to freshen up your tea towel drawer? I don't know about you, but my tea towel drawer is getting a bit raggedy. It might be time to treat myself to a tea towel overhaul! This week we have a new batch of beautiful linen tea towels available in a range of classic designs and colours. They are made in a family business in Lithuania.


Our Rustic Ktichen Towel  is made from thick, soft 100% linen. This tea towel won't be getting raggedy any time soon. The ultimate dish drying experience! $22.

Just a little bit retro. This pretty in peach tea towel is 100% linen. Retro tea towel $12.

Also available with a light blue accent stripe, the Twill Kitchen Towel is a classic. Linen and cotton, $12.


One can never have too many stripes! This linen and cotton tea towel, shown here in Blue and Black, also comes in Red or Natural stripes. Striped Kitchen Towel $10.

All the tea towels have a handy loop so they can be hung on a hook. I don't know about you, but I appreciate a bit of attention to detail!

Treat yourself, or buy one as a gift. 


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Fouta (foo-tah)

Posted on July 20, 2013 by claire ongley | 31 comments

One of my favourite Izzy and Jean Co. products is the fouta towels. I love the range of vibrant colours and the versatility of these traditional towels.

Foutas (pronunced 'foo-tah') were originally used by Moroccan Berber tribes as clothing, although they may have existed in India prior to that. They made their way to Tunisia also, where foutas are still worn in ceremonial costume. Fouta towels are now commonly used in hammam baths and across the world for a variety of purposes.

Beach towel, bath towel, tablecloth, picnic blanket, wrap, throw, the options are endless.

Foutas are a great gift for new mums. The cotton is soft on baby's skin and they come in handy for all sorts of things.

Though not like a bath towel as you might know it, fouta towels can be used as one because they are large, highly absorbent and dry quickly. They are also great for travelling because they fold up much smaller than a regular towel.

Browse our range of fouta towels, in three styles:

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Why Linen?

Posted on July 10, 2013 by claire ongley | 15 comments

I love pure linen bed sheets, and that's why I stock beautiful washed linen sheets from Lithuania on the website. Many people have asked me, what is the big deal about linen sheets? So, I thought I would post a short blog explaining the magic of linen sheets!

Warm in the winter, cool in the summer.

Linen has temperature regulating properties. The linen fibre is hollow at its core which means it provides excellent insulation. Although linen sheets are thick, they are lovely and cool in the summer, yet cosy and warm in the winter. In hot weather, linen actually absorbs heat and moisture which gives you a better night's sleep.

Linen for life

Linen is a durable fabric, so although they may seem expensive, linen sheets are actually a wonderful investment and will last you for years to come. They even get softer and more comfy with age.

Washed linen vs Regular linen

The other question I get asked is, why washed linen? Well, you have to see and feel it to understand. The process of washing the linen makes it softer, and in my opinion, more beautiful. The more you wash the sheets, the softer and more beautiful they become. For linen bed sheets especially, I just adore the look and feel of washed linen.

Good for your health

Linen has antibacterial, anti-allergic and natural PH-balancing qualities!

Good for the environment

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, linen is also organic and environmentally sustainable (linen is made from flax which is a renewable resource).

Linen vs Cotton

Linen doesn't lint like cotton does, and it is even said that it gets whiter with age, unlike cotton and other fabrics which tend to yellow with age.

There you have it. The magic of linen bed sheets is undeniable! 

Take a look at all of our Lithuanian linen range, including table cloths, cushions covers and kitchen towels.


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Made in the USA.

Posted on July 04, 2013 by claire ongley | 13 comments

Today is the 4th of July, which seems an appropriate day to celebrate some of Izzy and Jean Co.'s most fabulous American made goods.

What is it about America lately? There seems to be an abundance of creative businesses starting up, who make really unique and stylish goods - handcrafted, vintage-inspired design and high quality products that revive skills and styles of yesteryear.

At Izzy and Jean Co. we think the story or history behind a thing often makes it that bit more special, and that's why we just had to stock these four American made brands.

God bless Americana!

General Knot & Co

General Knot & Co is a boutique necktie maker from New England. Started by a fashion design director and a technology engineer in New York City, it began with a shared appreciation of fine craftsmanship and all things vintage. General Knot sources the fabrics for their ties from collectors, dealers, estate sales and auctions throughout the US. The fabrics are often vintage or deadstock, which adds to the character and old-fashioned feel of the ties.

Izzy and Jean Co. has a fine selection of the General Knot range. I love that General Knot is reviving the fading custom of wearing a tie. Even if you don't wear a tie except when you have to go to a wedding, why not break one out on a regular day - just because you really like it.

Billy Wolf: Fine K9 Coatery

Which leads me to my next special Independence Day mention, and that is Billy Wolf: Fine K9 Coatery. This Montauk-based designer first made a dog coat out of a vintage blanket after finding that there was nothing in the market already that suited her style. This lead to a whole range of dog coats made, again, from vintage, deadstock and American made fabrics. The coats are finished with salvaged buttons and come with a beautiful handmade label which you won't want to throw away. Billy Wolf prides itself on making durable, quality dog coats using existing resources. Take a look at the Billy Wolf range at Izzy and Jean Co. Catering for little dogs to large hounds, waterproof, fleece and wool, we have a variety of fabrics to suit the most discerning pup.

Izzy and Jean Co. is lucky enough to be the exclusive online retailer of Billy Wolf in New Zealand!! Take a look at our dog coat range.

Etiquette Clothiers

Forging the way in fine quality basics is Etiquette Clothiers. Yet again, all the way from New York! Their classic and sophisticated Italian made socks are a hit worldwide, reflecting their commitment to the traditional craftsmanship and wearable designs of their men's, women's and kids' socks. Like General Knot, Etiquette Clothiers is reviving the idea of dressing to impress. In their words, "a little bit of civility and ceremony, underneath it all". Cheers to that!

Repeat after me, "there will be no more buying of 3-packs of black socks from the supermarket".

Faribault Mill

From New York to the Mid West, we find Faribault Woolen Mill on the banks of the Cannon River in Minnesota. This mill was closed down several years ago, and then reopened by a family who saw an opportunity to revive the wool weaving tradition that had been a part of America's history since its opening at the end of the Civil War. For more about the classic vintage designs from Faribault Mill, take a look at last week's blog.

Don't forget to keep your eye on our news and updates, because there will be more American made goodness coming to Izzy and Jean Co.! You can do this by signing up to our newsletter at the bottom of this page.


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Stock up your winter woollies

Posted on June 25, 2013 by claire ongley | 8 comments

Winter is well and truly upon us, and a nice warm wool blanket is just the ticket to get you through the chilliest days of the year. At Izzy and Jean Co. we are doing our bit to keep your knees warm, sourcing some beautiful wool throws and blankets from two historic woollen mills, both family-run businesses, one in Wales and one in Minnesota, USA. Their products are woven according to the high standards of their forbears, introducing new designs and as well as reviving old classics.


Melin Tregwynt Mill

Melin Tregwynt is a pretty white washed wool mill in a remote wooded valley on the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales. There has been a mill on this site since the 17th century, when local farmers would bring their fleeces to be spun into yarn and woven into fine Welsh wool blankets. Owned by the Tregwynt family since 1912, it now employs around 20 people.

We have chosen several styles from Melin Tregwynt for you to choose from, in broadstripe, multicheck and plaid designs, as well as a lovely plaid cot blanket in rose or blue. So many beautiful wool blankets, so little time!


Faribault Mill

The Faribault Mill is perched on the banks of the Cannon River in Minnesota. This historic mill was founded in 1865, the year Lincoln died and the American  Civil War ended. In 2009, the mill closed after 144 years of proudly weaving American made woollen products. Two years later, the Mooty family reopened the mill. This new generation of family owners have revived the tradition and machines that had lain dormant. The mill is now back in business, re-establishing the mill's heritage and combining it with an optimistic focus on the future.





The Faribault Mill proudly produces its goods from start to finish under one roof. Their designs are often inspired by old blanket designs from the past, like this classic merino cabin blanket

The superb Revival Stripe Blanket is also a reinvention of a classic American trade blanket. It is a truly luxurious and unique blanket, and is double woven, making it incredibly plush and warm.


Secure yourself a piece of American history with one of these beautiful Faribault Mill blankets


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