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Inscribe’s ideas get elevated with colour

28 Feb 2019

Mother/daughter team, Mary Mortland and Anna Tweedie, are the talented Mt Maunganui duo behind Inscribe Design.

Four years ago, once her children had started going to school full-time, Anna was looking to return to work. Her wish list was to find something with enough flexibility to allow for family commitments and, if possible, allow her to employ her creative flair.

“I really wanted to do something I loved and felt passionate about, rather than just ‘working for the man’.”

Mum Mary, who shares the same artistic flair, suggested they look for a business they could run together. After acquiring a local hobby shop that was up for sale, the pair started experimenting with a laser-cutting machine. Four years later, they have a thriving business creating everything from cake toppers and coasters to wall hangings and incredibly intricate mandala clocks out of sustainable bamboo.

But what makes their designs stand-out is their use of colour. “Other laser-cut businesses often stick to just bare wood, or acrylic,” says Anna. “We really wanted to stand out from the others and offer something unique. We both really love colour, so we added colour.”

“We love the range of colour Resene offers,” added Mary.

When selecting colours, Anna and Mary are guided by interior trends and customer favourites, but also “the colours that appeal to us and inspire us”, says Anna.

 “Sometimes the design comes first then we’ll think about what colour will work,” says Mary. “And sometimes a colour will inspire a design. It’s a mix of both.” Customer will also request a specific colour, which the team can create as a bespoke product.

Their biggest-selling design is the beautiful Te Reo clock. In fact, all Inscribe’s clocks have become so popular they have recently upgraded to a second larger laser-cut machine to accommodate them.

Despite all the growth the business is still run from Anna’s Mt Maunganui property. “We are busy and popular enough that we could take things to a larger industrial level. But we don’t want that,” says Anna. “We want to keep it just mum and I, and be able to still have that hands-on creative input. We put so much love into these products.

“The biggest reward for us is the genuinely lovely comments from our customers. We love receiving pictures of our creations in their homes.”

Anna and Mary in front of one of their hugely popular Te Reo clocks, finished in Resene Riptide.

Inscribe’s colourful coasters are among their most popular products. These ones light up in bright bursts of Resene Grenadier, Resene Turbo, Resene Riptide, Resene Java and Resene Wet N Wild.

See more of Anna and Mary’s beautiful work at

A selection of Inscribe Design products – 3D Name Wall Hangings, Spinning Tops, a Mandala Clock, and various coaster designs - finished in Resene paints.

images Chris Parker, Mary Mortland and Anna Tweedie