“I want to create an environment in the shop that helps people slow down for a moment and appreciate these beautiful, handcrafted things. An oasis from the busy world outside that can prompt people’s imagination, showing them how they can take that feeling home and into their daily lives…”
Here comes the sun...
Becky sits quietly at the counter in her boutique, handcrafted gifts and homewares store—Sun & Company. Her head and shoulders are poised as she focuses on something in front of her, her hands are not still; they move with a grace and fluidity that only comes with years of practising a craft. She is deftly weaving a tapestry and it is a calming, and inspiring, thing to watch.
Becky also makes macramé plant holders which beautifully complement the range of plants she offers, along with ceramics, jewellery, cards, furniture from recycled materials, and much more than you realise from a passing glance into her shop.
And that’s the magic on offer, the promise of something different, something exotic, something made with love and passion.
“I have to consider this is such a small space and when it is cluttered, or I have decorated a lot, people won’t come in, it’s too much. But when it is sparse, even though I am freaking out that I don’t have enough to offer, there is space to be in here and people come in more.
The feedback I receive from the Makers is that their stock gets noticed and people are more likely to enquire after something, also asking if there are more to the ranges.”
This is Becky’s third year at Aslan House and her third year of being the owner of her own retail business; a business that she shares was always inside her just waiting to become a reality.
“It was a friend who told me that I would love having a store, then I saw this space, and about six months later it all came together. I knew that if I opened a store it would be all locally made, because I knew that there were locals making beautiful things and it would be lovely for people to have access to these pieces outside of markets.”
What can people expect to discover at Sun & Company?
“Quality, modern, handcrafted pieces. The makers go to so much trouble to make something that is relevant to them, that expresses something personal and is also useful, will add value to someone’s life. I want to honour these pieces and the craftsmen and women who created them.”
“I think I’m really lucky, I have makers approach me and they are all making something great. I could easily have thirty or forty makers from Brisbane in here. There is just so much to choose from. However, I have to make a choice for what is best for the shop and the makers, so I have a handful of local suppliers I represent at Sun & Company each doing what they do well.”
I am inspired by…
“Artists…mostly I find myself looking at artists. People who take a concept, or idea, and create a painting or a ceramic sculpture. If I need some inspiration that is my go to.”
I am inspired to…
“Make a space, whether it’s a living or a working space. A place to relax…maybe I am always nesting…”
What does that ‘space’ mean to you?
“Well, we get so busy and I think there is a lot of talk at the moment about how being busy is like this badge of honour and I am always looking to dismiss that and be still. I feel really strongly about slowing down. I believe there are lots of health benefits in holding space for mindfulness, self-reflection and connecting with other people.
Just slow down for a moment.”
Milestones that helped me become the person I am today…
“If I hadn’t have opened the business, or hadn’t just jumped into it, I don’t think I would have. Looking back, I didn’t even think of the risk actually…I didn’t think I would have a day without sales. I just thought this is going to be great, I am going to be going to be travelling off the business…going to America.
I didn’t know it was going to be such a challenge, and maybe that’s it, if I had had any knowledge of the challenge I might not have done it.
However, because I have done it, I have made a lot of discoveries about myself. Also, I have better relationships with people I think. Because, when you are challenged you need other people…to be friendly with you, and honest with you, and I think that I’ve definitely had that and made better connections with people. It has definitely made me have to be a stronger person.”
What I see on the horizon…
“My hope is to keep the shop going…small business is really hard. I’d love to see more stability for the shop and more of that quiet time and space for myself.
I am focused on the art that surrounds me and the artists that create it. My passion is to continue being a curator of this space and all the beautiful handcrafted things that I am so fortunate to work with every day.”