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Few and Far is winning fans with its combination of a relaxing store environment
and unique products imported from exotic locations, writes RACHAEL GAVIN.
Sometimes life moves too fast and we move too fast with it but
hidden away in the beautiful South Coast of New South Wales is
a haven for people who don't like the hustle and bustle of modern
consumerism. Described as a "slow shopping experience", Few and
Far is based in Huskisson. Its customers are encouraged to wander,
relax, switch off from the world outside and take their time browsing.
Tara and Danny Solberg opened Few and Far in 2009 after careers
in graphic design at a surf company. With a passion for interiors and
interior design, Tara had a feeling there was something else she was
meant to be doing. The thought of opening a homewares store hadn't
occurred to her or her husband until they were inspired while talking to
a store-owner friend.
To create the store of their dreams the Solberg's---with the help of
Tara's father---restored an old shop into a stunning space complete
with tree stumps as support posts and ambient lighting. "It was
hard," explains Tara. "Really hard. When we do things, we tend to
dive right in and do them to the best of our ability... and this was one
of those things.
"The shop is now completely unrecognisable to what it was when we
first signed the lease. We completely stripped it bare---we rebuilt nearly
all of the walls, added walls, added ceilings, added big ceiling beams,
erected tree stumps as support posts, lined walls with wallpaper, and
pulled up the entire floor and re-laid it all, including having to saw up
weird mounds of concrete in unexpected areas inside. Few and Far
would definitely not have the same feel/environment as it does today
without renovating, that's for sure."
Few and Far stocks furniture and homewares sourced from Australia
and overseas. The duo imports about 60 per cent of their products and
would like to increase this amount but needs to keep a balance to serve
the wide variety of customers who shop in the store.
Products at Few and Far reflect the Solbergs' passion for travel. They
visit China, Indonesia, Turkey, Morocco, Africa and India to find an
"eclectic mix of new and old items... that can be introduced to any
interior". By importing their own goods, they can create a unique
offering at very reasonable prices.
"We carry a broad range of products," Tara explains. "Being based in
Huskisson on the South Coast, we find that we need to have as much
variety as possible as it is a very broad market. We have to look after our
local customers as well as attract visitors to the area from overseas, and
Sydney and Canberra mostly. Many of our customers from Sydney own
holiday homes in Huskisson or Vincentia so are down quite regularly."
Although Few and Far opened during a tough time in the year
following the global financial crisis, it has managed to survive and
continue to grow. Tara says opening night was one of her proudest
moments but looking back the business has come a long way.
"I believe the reason behind this is that we've never had the chance
to get 'comfortable'. The next year after opening Few and Far we
opened another store in Huskisson called Indigo Love, which sold a
small collection of homewares and furniture as well as men's and ladies
clothing and accessories. The year after this we bought a little cottage
just off the main street, performed yet another major renovation and
moved Indigo Love into there. The year after that we started a wholesale
business selling all of the pieces we import," she adds.
Indigo Love is separate to Few and Far, while the two stores both
sell furniture and homewares they each have different styles. This
means they sometimes attract different customers. Tara believes
Few and Far's size and positioning as one of only two furniture and
homewares stores in Huskisson---the other being Indigo Love---makes
it a destination store, inspiring people to travel a long way to visit.
Few and Far also has an online store. Its owners connect to customers
through blogging, Instagram and Facebook. However, they find
consumers still want to see and feel things in person.
"We've had an amazing response," Tara adds. "We receive lovely
compliments every day, which is so rewarding and reminds you of why
you work so hard and put in so much effort all of the time."
The Solbergs say they can't pinpoint a top moment as there have
been so many highlights since starting their business and it's likely
there'll be even more if they continue to provide unique products in the
ambient environment they've created.
"We have big goals and big plans. We are always thinking, always
planning and always dreaming of new and exciting ideas. We would
love to be able to expand on our importing and to offer a one-stop
shop that people travel far and wide to visit but there are big plans in
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