The Story of Nice Aprons

Nice Aprons is a story about food, a story about love, and it's about things not exactly going to plan.

My name is Paul Holstein and Nice Aprons started as an idea in 2013. Food and aprons play a big role in my life. When I find a spare moment, I try my best to surround myself with anything that has to do with food. Whether it be making it, reading about it, watching shows about it, going out for it and of course go tasting it. I am not sure if it's genetic, though it feels like this kind of thing is in my blood (my brother Shaun is a baker, the other brother Marcus a chef, my dad was a chef and my mum probably beats them all in the food stakes). Food is home and it's love.

Some people are immaculately clean and surgical in their work whereas I on the other hand, am not. I somehow manage to wear 90% of what I am making, hence why the aprons also play an important role in my life.

How it all started.

When I started dating my now wife, Sara (Pictured across), I went out to buy her an apron for her birthday. In my head, we could cook together, wear our aprons and it would be the best. I spent the entire day trekking to every store in Brisbane to find one for her. The aprons I came across came in two styles:

  1. A giant block of utilitarian denim or
  2. Grandma's curtains with frills 

Deflated, I returned home apronless and exasperatedly said 'I just want a Nice Apron!'. On my couch, I punched in on my phone to discover there was no website there and thought – If you can't buy the one you want, go and create it – So I did, and that's how this all came to be.

In hindsight, I wish I thought up a more unique, identifiable name, but it's that initial thought that was what started this journey and so it's here to stay.

Getting underway wasn't a particularly easy thing. I enlisted the help of my mum who taught me to sew – the prototyping began, and after many variations of design, a final design was ready and things got underway.

The guiding principle for the aprons needed to be form follows function. That is, I could only start designing patterns once I had a design that worked well.

Essentials meant the apron need to be:

  • Easily adjusted
  • Have a good length and width
  • Utilise pockets that can be reached and used easily and not act like Kangaroo pouches collecting everything and anything that comes up against them.

From there, pattern designs were created and 10 final designs were chosen for the first run. What makes our aprons particularly unique is that each apron is individually screen printed by hand on giant screens that measure over a metre in length.

What does Nice Aprons represent?

It's not about the aprons – it's completely not about the aprons. I love my apron designs, but what matters most, is the actions created when they are worn. Life is getting better every moment you have one on. When you cook food, it's in anticipation of friends and family coming over, or it's about looking after yourself which is equally important. It's taking the time to find a little adventure and discover things. Time to find singularity of thought and purpose. It's also saying, it's completely okay if you fail. You have an apron on – it's there to catch the trouble.

In my life memories, every special moment usually has been surrounded by hand-made moments, and I treasure them so much – I have never made a chocolate cake for someone I didn't like.  I want people to think when they put on an apron about love. Love of learning, love of their activity, love for themselves, or just love for the people they are making things for.

The dream.

I want people to try, to be encouraged, to laugh at the mistakes and celebrate in the success. To find passion in every moment and to live confidently.