Quirk Collective

Where: Shop 85 Pakington Street, Geelong West

When: Wed – Fri 10 to 5, Sat 9 to 5 & Sun 11 to 2

Web: www.quirkcollective.net

Ph: 5229 9930

One of Oh! Hello Geelong’s biggest loves is going adventuring (of the shopping kind of course), especially when it’s to unchartered waters that we’ve never explored before! So as you can imagine we were a little excited when we received a special invitation to visit Geelongs newest design shoppe (complete with gallery space and it’s very own photography whiz) that goes by the sweet moniker Quirk Collective! Okay, so you’re probably thinking retail space, on trend designer pieces and fashion, gallery, art, photography…all under one roof? Impossible! Well not when you have Kate McLaren and Róża Marciniak, two incredibly intelligent, driven and über talented women in the driver’s seat! Together these two amazing ladies have created a unique experience and a space that G-towners will soon be calling one of their favourites!

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A melting pot…

Quirk Collective is perfectly located in Geelong West in what was once a chiropractor’s practice; not that you would ever guess given the open plan interiors and beautiful displays! The space itself was born out of Kate and Róża’s desire to take their passion for art and design to a new level; Kate is the creator of beautiful handbags and accessories under the name iz & lotte, while Róża has completed training in photography and fine art printing. The result of this collaboration is a beautiful store that supports independent makers, handmade products and items with a conscience; an intimate gallery space that will host a broad range of art and design exhibitions and a new avenue for locals to develop their photography skills and produce beautiful photographic pieces.

A splash of shopping…

The shopping side of Quirk Collective is certainly a treat for those who love unique pieces and cute and innovate design. Some of Kate’s current favourites include Monolog clothing (they have recently collaborated with polymer clay queen Emily Green, we got to see a few pieces straight from the box!), brikch’s linen range, jewellery from local brand Ernest and Joe and the range of pieces from Rachel Hine and A Piece of Cloth. Oh! Hello Geelong’s favourites include; All About Heidi shoes for tiny tots, the range of fun ottomans by Mookah (who include some Ink and Spindle fabrics – divine), Iz + Lotte range – especially the felted bead necklaces, LOVE the range of wood pieces from Snug Studio, Jessalin Screen printed Tee’s, Status Anxiety wallets, Brun Mugs and plates, Edison Light Bulb vases and the Me + Frankie wooden racks and tree houses. We also love the cute vintage tables created by Round Room Interiors, and the funny selection of cards and tea towels by Anrol Designs. Pretty much everything, really…

A dollop of art and design…

And what about this gallery we mentioned? Once you have walked through and drooled over all the lovely items in the store, take a few more steps and you will find yourself in a gorgeous gallery space with lots of wall and floor space that will be filled throughout the year with a range of exhibitions from local and visiting artists and designers! During Oh! Hello Geelong’s visit Róża’s own exhibition titled “Land of Thunder Dragon: Bhutan and Beyul” was showing, which highlighted the true “art” involved in capturing and producing beautiful photographs.

 

And a pinch of photography…

Speaking of photography, Quirk Collective has invested in a state of the art digital printer for fine art printing, which is very very exciting for local (and non-local) photographers. Róża is available by appointment to collaborate with both amateur and professionals photographers to produce the finest quality prints.

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There are hundreds of reasons to visit Quirk Collective but for Oh! Hello Geelong the best reason to visit is to experience a new way of enjoying art and design. Thanks Kate and Róża for giving us a tour of your wonderful world and sharing a little philosophy along the way!

PS: if you are like most people and have a digital camera that you want to get the most out of, make sure to get in touch with the girls at Quirk Collective, who will be running introductory camera courses in March/April 2013! They will also be running advanced courses and Photoshop classes too!

PPS: If you are an artist or designer and you are looking for a space to exhibit your work, give Róża a call, she’s happy to help!

 

Love Penny + Laura

It’s Our 1st Birthday + A Super Massive Giveaway!!

Can you believe it’s been one whole year since Oh! Hello Geelong first said…“Oh! Hello” to the big wide world? Crazy huh! The last 12 months has been such an amazing rollercoaster ride of new friends, fabulous places, brilliant talent and design, perky teas and coffee and oh so heavenly food! But the best part is that we’ve been able to share it all with so many of you! We want to say a huge thank you (with loads of hugs and kisses) to all our readers and everyone featured on the blog in 2012, for hopping on the Oh! Hello Geelong train and sharing this wonderful journey with us – it’s your support and energy that motivates us to keep looking for the next great G-town adventure!

Now Oh! Hello Geelong simply could not let such a super special milestone go by without doing something a little awesome to celebrate! We also thought this was THE perfect time to collaborate once more with some of our lovely and talented friends in Geelong and across the region who we’ve featured in the last 12 months.  

And so, it’s with huge excitement that we bring to you the Oh! Hello Geelong first birthday SUPER MASSIVE GIVEAWAY! And we’re not kidding when we use the words SUPER and MASSIVE – these prizes are seriously special and showcase what a great variety of products are available right here in our beautiful region (and while you’re looking through the giveaways be sure to revisit our 2012 features!). 

So to avoid disappointment please read our entry conditions below and make sure you enter…you’ve got to be in it to win it right?!

Thank you to everyone who has participated in this fabulous celebratory giveaway!

** THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED /// WINNERS ANNOUNCED SOON *** 

VERY IMPORTANT!   Terms, Conditions and things to note:

  • This competition is open only  to Australian residents.
  • To enter you must like our Facebook page and leave your name and postcode in a comment on this blog post. 
  •  Competition closes Friday 8th February at 5pm.
  •  Winners will be drawn at random by Oh! Hello Geelong and announced on the blog by Monday 10th February.
  •  Prizes cannot be returned or exchanged for other products, cash or vouchers.

 

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And HERE  is The SUPER MASSIVE Giveaway Prize Listing : 

A Skulk of Foxes

http://www.askulkoffoxes.com

Studio Shop – Shop 17 Pakington Street, Geelong West

Giveaway – Silver Folk Fox Stud earrings (rep. $69.00 ) AND a Silver Folk Fox Keepsake Locket (rep. $179.00)

How would you describe your work in three words?

Best job ever!

Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?

2012 : Tough question as there were many! A few of them were creating our lockets and having such a great response to them; collaborating with the super-talented Madeleine Stamer; working on artwork for the Falls Festival AND bring asked to sign one of our pieces for Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips to hang in his house!

2013 : Moving house, having all 3 kids at school and creating some special one-off pieces.

What is the best thing about living in our region?

Having the best of both worlds; being so close to Melbourne and the Surf Coast!

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Sassica + Salter 

http://www.sassicaandsalter.com.au

224 Pakington Street, Geelong West

Giveaway – Le Creuset gift including Le Creuset 24cm Deep Casserole (rrp $230.00), Le Creuset Cream Apron (rrp $39.95) and Le Creuset Silicone Spoonula (rrp $16.95)

How would you describe your store in three words
Sassica + Salter in 3 words: relaxing, inspiring, uncluttered

Highlight of 2012? 
The highlight was being featured as part of the Oh! Hello Geelong Blog (gush) and consequently The Design Files in August! I am looking forward to seeing lots of new stock additions to my stock range that haven’t been seen in Geelong, let alone Australia!
What is the best thing about living in our region?
The relaxed nature of living, great customers who support small business and being so close to Melbourne without the traffic!
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Elroy Ink 

http://www.elroyink.com

Giveaway – “Velvet Stems” Limited Edition Art print (rrp $240.00)

How would you describe your work in three words?
Elroy Ink in 3 words: abstract, colourful, engaging
Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?
2012 : Highlight for 2012? Being featured in The Design Files was exciting and really helped to establish Elroy Ink in 2012.
2013 : This year we’re looking at developing some interesting new products and exploring the potential of some one-off original works.
What is the best thing about living in our region?
The best thing about living in the region (especially this time of year) is the proximity to so many great beaches. I’m happy in the knowledge that my kids will grow up to be little art and music loving grommies!

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Boom Gallery 

http://www.boomgallery.com.au

11 Rutland Street, Newtown

Giveaway – A Polly bowl by Lab De Stu designer Dale Hardiman (rrp $48) AND a timber geometric wall sculpture by John Heritage (rrp $260) constructed from Cassinia Aicuata timbers, oil paint.

How would you describe your cafe / gallery etc in three words?
art + design + coffee
Highlight of 2012?
Our 2012 highlight was the feature on your blog! (aw thanks guys) and subsequently The Design Files blog and the great exposure and love that followed!
What is the best thing about living in our region?
Best thing about living in the region would be the proximity to gorgeous beaches and Melbourne and the cruisey pace of Geelong. We also love the burgeoning interest and enthusiasm for the arts

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Patturn

http://www.patturnstudio.com.au

Giveaway – A $100 Patturn Voucher

How would you describe your work in three words?

customised, vintage, chic

Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?
2012 : Our two children who never fail to delight me while simultaneously wearing me out!
2013 : I’m looking forward to new creative challenges. I have so many ideas to get through I’m not sure where to start – and there are only 11 months remaining of 2013!!
What is the best thing about living in our region?
We have SO many lifestyle advantages but my all-time favourite thing to do with my hubby on a sunny day is grab a lunch of steamed mussels from the boat guy (next to Fisherman’s Pier Restaurant), take it to a local bit of park by the bay and tuck in… yum!!!

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A Piece of Cloth 

http://www.apieceofcloth.com.au

Studio Shop – 9/100 Lower Paper Mill Rd. Fyansford

Giveaway – Hand made Queen Size ‘Cross’ Quilt (rrp $350)

How would you describe your work in three words?
vintage + antique + textiles
Highlight of 2012?
My highlight of 2012 was opening up the studio and I look forward to sharing my vintage and antique textile stash with everyone!
What is the best thing about living in our region?
The amazing opportunities it has to offer, like finding my beautiful heritage listed studio in Fyansford only 5 minutes from the city centre!

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The Flower Dispensary 

http://www.theflowerdispensary.com.au

333 Pakington Street, Newtown

Giveaway – Edenborough Evans personalised sterling silver necklace valued at $79 and a bracelet as well, valued at $69

How would you describe your shop in three words?
“A Sensory Haven”
Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?
Highlight of 2012? Being asked to be part of the Oh Hello Geelong-The Geelong City Guide it really created a buzz for local retail businesses.
In 2013 we look forward to creating more wedding flowers and also offering a flower workshop
(stay tuned for more details!)
What is the best thing about living in our region?
That we’re lucky enough to have the surf coast on our doorstep and still be less than an hour away to Melbourne. Our region offers a great variety of activities & services for young and old.

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Living Etc 

http://www.livingetc.com.au

High Street + Mount Pleasant Road, Belmont

Giveaway – MRD small Ginger Table Lamp (rrp. $299)

How would you describe your store in three words?
unique, eclectic and inspiring
Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?
2012 : Opening our sister store Lighting etc!
2013 : We’re looking forward, as always, to our trips to Milan and Hong Kong to source new designs for fabulous quality furniture and lighting.
What is the best thing about living in our region?

The best thing about living in our region? Our lovely clients!!!

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Laura Blythman  .  Studio

http://www.laurablythman.com.au

Giveaway – A3+ ‘It’s called love’and A4+ ‘dream catching’ Art Prints  (rrp $55 and $35)

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Kiitos – Living By Design

http://www.kiitos.com.au

Giveaway – A Marimekko fabric Sumam,  designed to be stretched onto a 120cm x 120cm canvas (rrp. $169.00)

Shop 2 5-7 Bridge Road, Barwon Heads

How would you describe your store in three words?

Bright , contemporary , uplifting

Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Growing as a business, introducing amazing new brands. Having products featured in national design magazines including products on the front of Inside Out magazine

What is the best thing about living in our region? 

The relaxed yet vibrant feel in Barwon Heads. It is equally has pleasant in the dead of Winter and in the middle of  the Summer when the town is full of happy holiday makers

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Rock Rose Handmade 

http://www.rockrosehandmade.com

Giveaway – A pair of rose shaped “Vintage Button” earrings 

How would you describe your store in three words?
“Curated, beautiful and ethical”.
Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?
2012 : The highlight of 2012 for me was opening my store- and I am looking forward to growing it in 2013.
2013 : This year I hope to exhibit my store at some of Australia’s very lovely design and boutique markets and I’m also reaching out for some lovely new makers.
What is the best thing about living in our region?
I’d have to say that the best thing about our region is a balmy ocean breeze on a hot summer’s day.

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Eclectica 

http://www.eclectica.com.au

148 Pakington Street, Geelong West

Giveaway – $100 gift voucher

How would you describe your store in three words?
eclectic + homely + layered
Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?
Having great staff I can rely on which has given me more creative time to hand make individual items for the shop and recharge my creative batteries! Priceless! In 2013 I am looking forward to the online store finally being up and running!

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Bambolotta 

http://www.bambolotta.com.au

c/41 Hitchcock Ave, Barwon Heads

Giveaway – Kids Madpax bag (rrp $64.95)

How would you describe your store in three words?
playful, quirky, interesting
Highlight of 2012?
It’s really hard to define one thing as a highlight…what has made me smile a lot in the past year has been the dedication and enthusiasm of our lovely staff who are sharing this journey with us. For bambolotta 2013 will see the introduction of some beautiful new children’s clothing brands and other products which are functional, fun and parent friendly.
What is the best thing about living in our region?
Our region has great accessibility to a diverse range of things to see and do; the beach, the bush and the city are only a hop, skip and a jump from where ever you are. There is something for everyone!

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Flower Bowl
http://www.flowerbowl.com.au
8 Ormond Street, East Geelong
Giveaway – One of their famous Tea cup floral arrangements and a Prissy Nail Polish
How would you describe your shop in three words?
Quirky creative florals
Highlight of 2012?
Some amazing weddings that kept us super busy!
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Cartel Tea Room 
http://www.cartelcoffee.com.au
6/21 Leather Street, Breakwater
Giveaway – $50 worth of tea or organic herbal tisanes
How would you describe your tea house in three words?
unique + everything TEA
What are you forward to in 2013?
Letting the people of Geelong know that they have the largest range of teas available in Australia right under their nose!
What is the best thing about living in our region?
The ability to improve and grow and know your customers
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Goose 

http://www.goosestore.com.au

91 Garden Street, East Geelong Vic 3219

Giveaway – a Curio + Curio Orange Spot Screen Printed Cushion (rrp. $110)

How would you describe your store in three words?

Dynamic, Evolving + Tempting

Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?

2012 : Highlight : always to see our GOOSE signature wrapped gifts heading out the door.

2013 : On the hunt once again + the thrill of new discoveries.

What is the best thing about living in our region?

Geelong is large enough to get a little lost, yet small enough to know everyone (or at least somebody who knows somebody). It’s also a wonderful gateway to the surrounding areas which we enjoy exploring when we get the chance.

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Joco Cup

http://www.jococup.com

Giveaway – 1 x Joco Cup (rrp. $24.95)

How would you describe your product in three words?

creative, caring & reusable

Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?

2012: Launching Joco Cups to the world.

2013: The excitement of adding new products and accessories to the Joco Cup range.

What is the best thing about living in our region?

The wonderful surprises in the most unlikely places.

Thanks and Good luck everyone! xx
Penny + Laura

Hello 2013! – And a little Love, Lyrics, Neon…

Love, Lyrics, Neon

A Collection of new artwork by Laura Blythman

Where: Kaleidoscope Gallery, Courthouse Arts (Cnr Gheringhap & Little Malop Streets Geelong)

When: Exhibition is open to visitors on Monday 7 January 2013 and closes on 23rd January 2013 (Yay, it’s been extended!)

Hours: 9am – 5pm weekdays  (the gallery cafe re-opens on the 14th)

Opening night: Friday 11 January 2013 from 7pm to 9pm (all welcome)

 

Happy 2013 Oh! Hello Geelong readers! 2012 was a pretty fantastic year wasn’t it? Over the course of 12 amazing months Oh! Hello Geelong met so many wonderful and talented artists, designers, creators and small business owners from our new (well, not so new anymore) hometown and was allowed to share all their wonderful stories with our growing readership (who we love immensely – thanks everyone for all your support)! In 2013, Oh! Hello Geelong will feature a new range of people, places and spaces that you will love, as well a offering readers a sneak peak inside some of G-town’s most fabulous and unique homes and a few local product reviews too. Yay!

To kick start the year we thought we would give you an inside look into a new exhibition by Oh! Hello Geelong’s very own Laura Blythman (the creative brain behind our fun little blog). Commencing Monday 7 January 2013 at the Courthouse Arts’ Kaleidoscope Gallery, “Love, Lyrics, Neon” is a world created by Laura where mountains are decorated with neon, lettering is hand-drawn, rays of sunshine are hand-stitched and feathered animals glitter and gleam! Laura’s inspiration for the exhibition comes from her long love affair with music, in particular music from The Smiths, Joy Division, Bowie and The Cure. Visitors will recognise the lyrics featured in many of the art pieces and will be able to interact with the music during the exhibition (I won’t give anything more away, you’ll just have pop in to find out how!).

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What I (in case you weren’t sure it’s Penny here) love most about this exhibition is the level of detail and intricacy Laura has included in each piece, which she has done entirely by hand…super impressive! My particular loves are the three feathery friends and the fun wall hangings, which I know required hours of drawing, cutting, sewing, stitching, gluing and love. I also love that this exhibition showcases just how talented and smart Laura is and how she makes clever design and art accessible, fun and interactive. This exhibition will definitely add an extra ray of sunshine to everyone’s summertime and will leave you searching for neon pink lippy, a pair of glittery gold heels and the nearest dance floor!

We hope you enjoy the pics we have to share but if you can, you should pop down and see the real thing at the gallery and… if you should fall in love with any of the pieces, they are available for purchase (prints too!) Everyone needs a little bit of Love, Lyrics, and Neon in their home I think!

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PS: Laura would love you to come along to opening night on Friday 11 January from 7pm to 9pm; there will be sweet treats, pops of pink and fun tunes to match!!  There is also an after party at There There (strictly between 9pm and 11pm) if you feel like continuing the fun times with us! Both Laura and I will be there on the night, we’d love to meet YOU xxx

PPS: There There is located at 8 Malop Street, Geelong – we will definitely be spending more time at this newly opened culinary gem in 2013!!!

Words by Penny & photos by Stephen Robb

Q&A with Zoe Le Page of Rockrose Handmade

What – Local Online Store ‘Rockrose Handmade’ – Curated, Beautiful, Ethical

Where – www.rockrosehandmade.com

 

When Christmas comes around each year our lives seem to get a little crazier than usual and our normal day-to-day routine is replaced by a busy and never-ending to-do list. So it’s quite natural that most of us let our hectic schedules get in the way of thoughtful and meaningful spending on both ourselves and others. Oh! Hello Geelong may have found a way to make life a little easier (especially when looking for the perfect gift) and a lot more meaningful! Rockrose Handmade is a sweet online store that is not only bursting with adorable products for everyone but is kind to your wallet and the planet. And just when you thought there couldn’t be any better reason to visit this store, its owner Zoe Le Page is a pretty fab local lady who is giving something back to the community everyday. Thanks Zoe for taking a moment during the busiest time of the year to answer a few quick questions!

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Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and what led you to creating this online shopping destination.

Well firstly, hi everyone! My name is Zoe and I’m a wife (of Luke) and mother (of my babies Pepper and Beau), aspiring novel writer and advocate of the handmade movement.

I am deeply interested in living an eco-friendly life-style and I’m passionate about helping to create a more mindful and fair world, which is what led me to create Rockrose Handmade, an online boutique, selling handmade eco-friendly and ethical Indie goodies. Rockrose Handmade is my vessel for helping to create positive change. My business gives back to communities and the environment; every new customer has an Australian native tree or shrub planted for them to replace habitat and lock in carbon; I sponsor a little boy living in Kenya through Plan International; I donate to the ICDI to help communities in Africa build wells and create farms and I donate to various social and philanthropic projects through the crowd funding platform INDIGOGO.

What is the vision and inspiration behind rockrose handmade?

I was inspired to create Rockrose Handmade by the idea that we have the power to create positive change in the world, simply by choosing mindfully where and when we spend our dollar. Each of us can contribute to a fairer and healthier world simply by choosing to buy well-made, handmade, sweat-shop free products as well as products that have been made with organic, sustainable, fair-trade, vintage or up-cycled materials.

I am aware that often ethical and environmentally sound choices are expensive and hard to find so my intention was to provide people with comparable choices to mass-produced products. I have gathered together 40 + (and growing) small, ethical Indie labels, with goodies in every style and at every price point.

What is the story behind the name?

Rockroses are beautiful and hardy flowers that bloom every year, even against the worst sorts of adversity. The world can be tough and the Rockrose is a symbol of hope for me.

What can people expect to find when perusing your lovely online store?

A host of gorgeous, handmade Indie delights for women, children, men and the home. I have collected together labels that are tricky to find, unique and beautiful.

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What are some of the products / brands rockrose handmade sells?

Ethically made leather and vintage fabrics bags and purses by Empire of Bees (sooo lovely!!); recycled sterling silver and recycled Bronze Polly’s House charms by HMF Jewellery; sustainably grown Oregon bangles by Melbourne boy Joe from TreeHorn design; incredibly soft fair-trade and hand-block printed cotton Jaipur quilts; up-cycled Sari Scarves by Tocamade; wooden Pixie cameras with real moving parts for the junior photographer; Herbert & Friends Critters; Rockrose Ragdolls for the little lady in your life; organic cotton and hemp aprons and tea towels by Sarah Lee Parker; vintage fabric bow-brooches by Greylace; and incredibly lovely wooden lamps and Petite Jeune from by Sage Design! Plus lots more!

What are your favourite products?

I have too many; it’s like Christmas every time the postie comes to the door! My favourite products at the moment are the Pixie cameras by Twig Creative. In our digital world it is nice to give children a wooden toy that harkens back to the good old days of analogue.

Will there ever be a physical retail rock rose handmade shop?

I’m intrigued by the idea of a Pop-Up Shop for the summer months, but with two little ones under 3, this is a “next-year” plan, rather than a “now plan”. I was at the Three Little Birds Market earlier this month and will be at the Mathilda’s Market in Geelong in March next year—so people will be able to come and see and touch Rockrose’s lovely handmade goodies!

What does the future hold for rockrose handmade?

My sister lives in London and we’d love to open a London-based Rockrose Handmade together in the future; perhaps a local Pop-Up shop next summer? I am gathering more and more eco-friendly and ethical makers from across the globe; finding more charities and causes to support; and, I hope, planting a whole forest of trees!

In general, what are your biggest inspirations? Favourite artists, people, music, books?

My biggest inspiration is an idea; the idea that each of us is an integral part of a much larger body and that we each have our part to play, whatever this may be, in creating the future. This idea makes me think deeply about the part I play and inspires me to live mindfully. I am also inspired by my children, who both frustrate me and make me laugh and teach me more about myself (and being a human being) every day.

How long have you lived in the Geelong region?

We’ve been living in the Geelong region since late 2005. We moved to Ocean Grove after a stint in the UK and then bought our first home in Birregurra, had two babies and a renovation, sold our first home and moved down to Torquay! It’s been a busy few years!

Geelong regions best kept secret?

Birregurra and Inverleigh! These two little towns have so much art, culture and delicious food. The Red Door in Inverleigh is amazing for a coffee & slice of delicious homemade cake. Joe at the Birregurra General Store makes a mean Lebanese Pizza and Annie & Miles at Farm Foods Provedore in Birregurra are just lovely and cook a beautiful lunch in their café (The Meating Place)!

SPECIAL OFFER FOR OH! HELLO GEELONG READERS

The very generous Zoe is giving Oh! Hello Geelong readers 10% off with their first order at the Rockrose Handmade store. Important – The Coupon Code is OHHELLO