Home' Australian Giftguide : Jan Mar 2014 Contents Twig & Moss owners Mel and Amanda take their store philosophy
seriously. So seriously in fact, they have a tree in the middle
of their Maitland, New South Wales based shop. It epitomises
their mission to stock products with a whimsical edge that have been
inspired by nature.
"The tree is who we are---Twig & Moss," the duo explain. "We
always wanted a tree and a perfect situation came up where an
ex-nursery was cutting trees down to make way for a housing
development... so that is how we came to have our beautiful tree in
the middle of the shop showing off our stunning tin panel ceiling and
clerestory roof. It is all about first impressions and impact."
It certainly is and it's evident throughout the store from the beautiful
window displays to the inspiring visual merchandising inside. Both
women have creativity in their blood and describe themselves as
"compulsive creators". Amanda is a freelance stylist and Mel has a
background in art. However, Amanda is the force behind the stunning
window installations which have featured props as simple---yet so
effective---as boats, chairs, wood and doors.
"We pretty much share majority of the roles in the business but Amanda
is in charge of the visual merchandising and making our store look brilliant,
and I am in charge of the technical and social media side of it all."
After meeting seven years ago at their kids' pre-school Mel and
Amanda launched their business because they wanted to get back into
the workforce and had a desire to showcase beautiful homewares. They
started with a pop up shop to test the market and it was such a hit that
when a premise down the road became available they jumped right in.
"We really knew what we wanted... so we put our head down and
bottom up. We started off small... in the back of a friend's shop and
received such huge support that after two months we searched for a
bigger premise," they add.
"We had our eye on this beautiful building which was three doors
down from our pop up shop. We took a chance and just ran with it. The
building was very important as it had to be big enough to showcase
what we wanted to do and be big enough to fit our tree in it.
"We have an eclectic mix of designed and handcrafted pieces from
around the world that have been made with love and respect for people
and their environment. Our shop is raw bespoke living with the aim to
TREE OF LIFE
Two friends with artistic flair have turned their love of nature into a business with
successful retail store Twig & Moss. RACHAEL GAVIN meets the pair.
create an alternative option for those wishing to escape the mass-made
culture and seek something that is unique."
Products include kitchenware, kids' items, magazines and garden
accessories, that are found through internet research and magazines.
Most pieces are handmade by Australians but some come from overseas.
This eclectic stock mix brings in a wide range of customers. "We
couldn't really pick a demographic because we have wonderful
customers who are as little as five spending their pocket money on a
nest or some fake furry animals, to mature men and women curious
at what we will come up with next and buying something unique. We
are also online [and] have sold all around Australia and even over to
Twig & Moss uses social media to interact with and expand its
customer base and focuses on Facebook and Instagram to showcase
the stock in store. On top of retail the store also offers styling services
which its owners say helps soothe their "obsessive compulsions with
moving furniture and decorating".
Despite just one year in business Amanda and Mel have seen huge
growth and interest in their venture. While they say there are too
many highlights to choose from they do count their customers and the
friendships they've made with them as particularly special.
"It brings smiles to our faces looking back at when we first opened
with really what was skeletal stock but now the shop is full and looking
fantastic and still with more creative ideas on the way," they add.
When asked what it's like working with a friend the pair jokes that
it's terrible but say they're more like sisters who cry, argue and laugh
together. "It's so much more rewarding running a store with a friend
or partner... you just get to share everything. There have really been
no challenges... we both have learnt compromise is the key to a good
Amanda and Mel are tight-lipped about their future plans for their
business but if their first year is anything to go by Twig & Moss is
headed for exciting times.
"We have massive goals for our store but it's all a secret," they smile.
"We will keep building onto what we already have achieved and keep
bringing new concepts to our customers and most importantly keep
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