FK chats to Lindi of Australian focused shop Hope & Me, located in Launceston, Tasmania!
Tell us about your store Hope & Me and what things we can expect to discover.
Hope & Me is nestled in a quaint cobblestone mall dotted with cherry blossom trees in Launceston, Tas. Our main focus is quality handcrafted products and are predominantly from Australia. Some of the brands you will find are Catherine Campbell, Little Branch, Mud Australia, Samantha Robinson, Delilah Devine, Lucy Ward, Pili Pala, Shonah, Ourlieu, Chik, Rabbit & The Duck, Angus & Celeste, A Skulk Of Foxes, that vintage, Adore U, Myrtle & Moss, Dindi Naturals, Cosse, Spineless Classics, Write To Me, Sisken, Naomi Murrell, Bellebird, Herbert & Friends, Red Wren Designs, Make Me Iconic, Deshabille, Gingerlilly, Nana Huchy, La Cerise Sur La Gateau just to name a few!!
When did you open the doors and what was the motivation?
We opened in September 2009, so we are about to celebrate our 3rd birthday! Yay! I had wanted to open my own store for quite a while and had my ‘scrapbook’ full of pics of brands that I would love to stock ‘one day’! The perfect location became available, the planets seemed to align and we now have a beautiful store full of wonderful products!
What qualities do you look out for when selecting new stock for your store?
I like to support handcrafted or designed in Australia as our main focus. I like that there is a story behind the final product and that there is a great deal of passion involved in its creation. I love knowing that by supporting these amazingly talented makers it gives them the opportunity to explore and develop their product. Products must have the ability to grab my attention, be of extremely high quality and also fit the feel of our brand.
What is your favourite part of the shop?
This is definitely the merchandising. I like to create displays that are vibrant and enjoyable for our customers to look at and really compliment our products. I especially like creating window displays that have the ability to draw people into our store. I sometimes have ideas on paper for quite some time and they only come together when I am able to source the right products to bring it to life!
When you are not in your shop, what are you usually doing in Launceston?
I am in the shop 6 days a week, so my Sundays are usually spent having a little sleep in, whipping up some brunch and then spending some time with family. Catching up on housework and my daughter who is 16 and I try and go for a walk for a couple of hours through the beautiful Gorge and down past the river.
What do you love most about running your shop? And what have been some challenges?
The thing I love the most about running my shop is that I get to meet so many wonderful people and have built some great friendships over the last 3 years, I feel very privileged for that opportunity. I love being surrounded by such beautiful products, it is such a bright happy place to come to each day. It is really rewarding to know that people love and appreciate what you have created for them to enjoy. The greatest challenge has been surviving in such a tough retail climate, it is a daily challenge but challenge is good, it makes you think about how to do things better and to make plans to ensure you are continuing to evolve and stay focused on the development of your brand.
What new plans or aspirations do you have for the rest of 2012?
Well our website launches this week! So we are very excited about that! There will also be a blog and a newsletter. I am also in the process of securing new gorgeous handcrafted brands that will appear in-store and on our website over the next few months. We will be featuring stories about our amazing makers in our blog and organizing a ‘Spring Fling’ event in the mall where our shop is located, with stalls, food and wine and buskers.
All the specific details:
Hope & Me
27 Quadrant Mall
Launceston Tas 7250
Ph 03 63310166
Mon – Fri 9.30am – 5.00pm (winter) 9.30am – 5.30pm (spring/summer)
Sats – 9.30am – 4.00pm