We’ve been fans of yours for what seems like half our lives! In fact, Kate and Alex were together, (pre-Kip&Co!) when Alex bought one of her favourite vintage cane chairs from your old shop, Empire Vintage, back in 2007. So you’ve been shaping Australia’s interior scene for a LONG time. Can you tell us where it all started?
Oh WOW, I LOVE hearing these stories, so many people remind me of what they purchased or a memory from my store all the time…..It does make me feel oh so old though!!! But the memories are everything to me, so thank you for sharing. It all started with a passion and love for markets and focusing on second hand stores……I could never drive by them, I alway had to have a peak and pretty much always bought something to take home with me. I began my career in fashion, as a secretary at Levi Strauss, and quickly moved into setting up the stores around Australia and purchasing all the vintage one off pieces…..it naturally happened and once they spotted my desire to neaten and fold and decorate showrooms (with no prompting) I soon became the merchandiser and collector for all the concept stores. After working there for 12 years, I decided it was time to do my own thing, time to start pulling out my collections and perhaps parting with them .... and it just grew and grew. Particularly at a time when antique stores were just dusty with stock piled up high….I created an inviting store where everything was merchandised, styled and colour blocked……I had no idea if it would work or not but I gave it the best go I could and here I am.
You’re a self described interior stylist, hotelier, collector and collaborator. A lady of many talents! Which comes most naturally to you and which pushes you out of your comfort zone?
Naturally a collector, no thinking required there, it just comes naturally and instinctively - I guess, what pushes me out of my comfort zone is styling someones home and always hoping they love it as much as I do. The hotelier side grew very organically so I took baby steps all the way and have never felt pushed out of my comfort zone even though it was not something I was ever trained in…….once again just good luck, being confident and doing it my way, all the way.