INTERVIEW: Natalie Bassinthwaighte

SA: What inspired you to design children’s wear?

Natalie: Funnily enough I think a lot of people think I am the actual designer. Although I have 100% sign off on everything, I employ an amazing team to do what they do best. Don’t get me wrong, the brand and style of everything is very much me!

I have always loved design, architecture, fashion and interior design. With Chi Khi I started the company and came up with the name.  I knew I wanted to expand and grow. Hence why we now have Chi Khi mini, Chi Khi kid and Chi Khi bare skin care. The sky is the limit!    I wanted a kids brand that was cool, edgy, monochromatic, unisex and considered in its design – the rest I leave to the professionals!

SA: Where did you begin your career?

Natalie: My big break was in the musical theatre show RENT…the production every one wanted to be in at that time. I was one of more than 6,000 people from Australia and New Zealand who auditioned, only 22 of us were cast. It was a dream come true!

ChiKhiSS155689SA: What have been some of the biggest obstacles for you?

Natalie: Life can throw so many unexpected things your way. Learning to deal with the highs and lows and dealing with them with grace and dignity.

SA: The main fabrics you use for the collection?

Natalie: Bamboo! It is the most beautiful fabric. The feel has been likened to cashmere! Cool in Summer and warm in winter. Great for sensitive skin too with its antibacterial properties. Kids love to wear it and parents love it too because it is so durable.

SA: The biggest highlight of your career?

Natalie: I was going to say having a number 3 single in the UK with the Rogue Traders, but I feel like creating my business Chi Khi has been a huge accomplishment for me. I have always believed that anything is possible as long as you set your mind to it. It felt like I really did that with Chi Khi.

SA: How do you stay balanced with all your work ventures and your two kids?

Natalie: Ooh that is a hard one. I guess the real answer is I am not always that balanced but I do my best. I do have an amazing husband… We both share all the parenting duties, we both look after the house and we both juggle work…So that helps.. But I do feel most balanced when I have time allocated for myself for exercise. At the moment I am into Cardio Tennis and KX pilates. I am a much better mother, wife and worker when I get my exercise time.

SA: The greatest challenge in your career has been?

Natalie: Probably staying employed! Seriously I don’t know how people do it in this industry when they only sing or only act. It is such small industry and with not that many jobs. So yes, staying employed.

SA: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years of your life?

Natalie: Hopefully I will have a little more down time! Living each day with mindfulness. Creating great work on screen.  Expanding Chi Khi. And last but not least encouraging my babies to be the best little humans they can be

SA: Whats the most important thing to you?

Natalie: Happiness for my family and myself. With happiness comes life and love.

SA: A favourite quote of yours is?

Natalie: Treat others how you would like to be treated. My mum taught me this one and I truly believe if we all did this the world would be a better place for everyone.

SA: A place where you like to unwind or travel to?

Natalie: My husband introduced me to Flinders when we first met and we still go down there every year. It is so peaceful and beautiful. The best wineries are close by, as are beautiful beaches and sensational food.

SA: One of my favourite songs you sang was Someday Soon, how did it feel to bring out a song that so many were touched by?

Natalie: Oh why thank you…!  You know it felt so great to write this song let alone sing it. I felt a very strong connection to it and I feel incredibly humbled that others did too. Last year a man came up to me at a restaurant and told me how much it meant to him. He never thought he would meet that special someone, and he did, and this song made him believe it was possible. There is no better feeling!