When: Mon – Fri 10 to 5 & Sat 10 to 4
Ph: 5242 8101
When Oh! Hello Geelong recently visited sassica + salter, the words timeless, classic, clean and fresh instantly sprang to mind. Even on a cold winter’s day, walking into this gift and homewares store on Pakington Street made it suddenly feel like spring! The creator of this heavenly space is the lovely Sassica Salter (what a fabulous name by the way) who very kindly agreed to answer a few quick questions about her life and loves and of course her beautiful shop and new online store. Thanks Sass!
Photos by Sara Taylor Photography + Nikole Furnari Photography
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what lead you to opening this wonderful shop and online store?
My love for homewares, giftware and kitchenware really started during my university days. One of my early jobs was working for a shop in Melbourne called Minimax where I eventually became weekend manager of the Toorak store. From there I moved into the magazine industry, where I worked in the advertising departments of several titles including Home Beautiful, New Idea, Better Homes & Garden and Famous. After lots of hard work I landed my dream job as Victorian Advertising Manager at donna hay magazine. I was working in that role for a few years when I found out I was pregnant with my first baby! While I loved working for Donna, I wasn’t so keen on the daily Geelong/Melbourne commute and started thinking about new pathways that would allow me to work while taking care of my family.
During my maternity leave, I decided to research how to run a business and looked into what brands were missing in Geelong. After Tom (my baby) arrived I felt ready to put my business ideas into practice. When I began setting up the shop, Tom was 8 months old and not yet mobile, so he spent many days with me in the shop while I set up things. After lots of hard work, sassica + salter’s doors opened in September 2010!
As for the online side of the business, I always knew I would do this eventually and originally thought it was something I could do myself – ha! I decided I needed a hand, so I engaged the services of a local web company, Goop Websites, who have been so amazing to work with. In July 2012, sassica + salter was finally launched online!
What can visitors to sassica + salter expect to find, how would you describe your shop?
They can expect to find amazing products that they might not have seen elsewhere in Geelong. I have purposefully arranged the store to be as freestanding and fresh as possible through the use of whitewash floorboards, shelving units that are made using wood and glass, white Carrera marble table tops and simple product displays. For me the products are the hero and are shown as such. The music is tasteful and is played to blend in with your shopping experience; many customers end up toe tapping as they shop!
What are some of your favourite products in store?
I love my collection of coloured teacups & mugs by Dibbern. There are 37 colours in the range and I still can’t decide which colour I want for my own personal collection! I also love New York brand The Laundress, which is an amazing laundry range designed to remove the need for dry cleaning some of your clothes – genius! If I had to pick a candle and fragrance collection, it would have to be Simpatico Home, they are the BEST candles as they burn for ages and the glass holder itself makes a beautiful vase or toothbrush holder. This brand also do a lovely hand cream, bubble bath and reed diffuser.
I also adore the Donna Hay for Royal Doulton collection. While I was working for Donna I watched as this amazing range was developed, I even remember seeing some of the sketches (I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on it for myself!). When I left the magazine, Donna personally approved me as a stockist of her brand and am currently the only stockist in the region. I’m really looking forward to the Donna Hay range I have coming for Christmas!!
Photos by Sara Taylor Photography + Nikole Furnari Photography
What is next for sassica + salter? Any big plans for the future?
Right now I am gearing up for a big Christmas! I even started ordering Christmas crackers and decorations in February this year! But there is lots of stock due to arrive before then, which is very exciting. I have been busy getting the online part of the business up and running and my goal is to have it flowing nicely in the next few months.
And my ‘big plans’…I’d love to one day start my own small range of select items to sell in the store and online and potentially wholesale to a few stores. Might be a few years away yet!
What are your biggest inspirations?
I love the artwork of Arite Kannavos, I would like to start an art collection soon! I also love Emma Cleine’s artwork and printing; Emma is the maker behind Lumiere Art + Co (which we sell in store!). I have Emma’s cushions on my bed at home and am a little obsessed with them! I also love Pia Blair and recently placed an order for a collage she created which will look perfect above my bed head at home.
Other inspirations include the Design Sponge blog, as well as The Design Files. I pour over homewares and interior design books and have a pretty major magazine obsession, my favourites include donna hay magazine, Inside Out, Home Beautiful, Real Living, House & Garden, and Country Style. Oh, and I’m a huge fan of Martha Stewart!
Where was the last great meal you had in Geelong?
We went to Customs House for my husband’s birthday lunch, it is owned by some old friends of his and it was delicious! Give me a steak & frites with béarnaise sauce any day!
What do you love most about Geelong?
Being a “Melbourne Girl” for so long I thought I would struggle when I decided to move to Geelong! Now that I have been here for almost 6 years, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Geelong has a great vibe, the restaurants are getting better, Pakington Street is great, the beaches are nearby and Melbourne is just a quick trip up the highway.
Thanks Sassica! (and thank you for the beautiful photos too!)
And as an amazing added bonus, the super generous Sassica has offered an amazing GIVEAWAY for one lucky Oh! Hello Geelong reader! We absolutely adore mud Australia, such beautiful table ware and vessels….. the range is made from the finest porcelain in the most delicious palette of pastel colour. One lucky reader will win 1 x Fish Platter in Ash Grey and 1 x Dipping Bowl in Citrus – to a Value of $148.00! How amazing is that.
TO ENTER THE COMPETITION – Simply like us on Facebook (if you don’t already) and leave a lovely comment on this post by midnight, Friday 17th August, We’ll pick the lucky winner at random and notify you the next day. Yay! ** Competition open to Australian residents only**
UPDATE: THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED… WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY
Love Penny + Laura