It’s my birthday this week, and to mark the occasion, I’m delving a little deeper into my story and adding another staff profile to our series. A few weeks ago, we put the spotlight on Sal, and now, it’s my turn.
I love dogs, cats make me sneeze, and I’m not big on sports. I’m terrible at Jenga, know a bunch of fun facts about Barbie, can twist some balloon animals, and my Grandad still calls me Possum. If I had to live anywhere in the world other than our lovely town, you’d most likely find me happily tucked into a sleepy corner of Italy. The food, the people, the colours - I love it all.
My go-to snack changes daily and with my mood, but corn chips, Tiny Teddies, and Maltesers are some of my favourites. And if I’m ordering a latte at the Local, there’s a 50/50 chance I’m adding one of their delicious little lamington balls for a mid-morning treat.
While I love bright colours and bold, abstract prints, my weekday workwear usually sits firmly in the earthy neutrals category. Staple the Label are one of my personal favourites at Salt & Sand, and I always look forward to seeing their collections. Clean, classic and with minimal print, these guys frequently hero my favourite neutrals, and deliver smart tailoring that lasts season to season.
I've always loved fashion, and Textiles was my favourite subject in Year 12. I come from a long line of ladies who love clothing and sewing, so I think some part of that history was always going to weave itself in somewhere. My great-grandmother was a dressmaker, my Nanna was an absolute knitting and quilting legend, and Sal is an accomplished seamstress herself. I also spent many a morning on my Grandma’s couch, leafing through copies of Vogue and Harper's, and discussing the colours and shapes of the season.
When I finished four years of uni in Melbourne, I planned to head back for further study after a little break. I love working independently on self-directed projects, and being able to do something different every day. However, following this path meant staying in Melbourne. While I didn't mind being in the city, I really missed the ocean and the space of home. I was also searching for the same sense of community I know here in Inverloch. I wanted to visit the same coffee shop every day and know everyone's name. I wanted to have those brief, silly chats about the weather, or the local news. Sometimes I revelled in the anonymity, but I found I was yearning for the familiar.
I finished uni, moved back home, and worked for a few months before heading off overseas for 12 weeks.
As my trip came to a close, I saw on Facebook that Kath, the previous owner of Salt & Sand, was looking for staff. I sent her a message from a cheap dorm room in Atrani, and met with her once I was home a couple of weeks later. I was drawn to the job because I loved her energy and enthusiasm, and I felt that Kath would be a brilliant person to work for. My gut feeling was right, and she proved to be an incredible mentor from day one.
A couple of months later, the further study ambitions didn't quite go to plan, and then Kath came to me with an offer. It was a big choice to make at 24, but even in the deepest moments of doubt and fear, I couldn't shake the feeling that it was a pretty special opportunity.
While I'd never imagined myself in this job before it became a reality, I think the pieces of the puzzle were there all along - fashion and textiles, research, variety, independence, community and family.
Now, I go to work each day and choose my own adventure. It's challenging, and I'm constantly pushed outside my comfort zone, but I love it. I’ve tried my best to continue Kath’s energy and enthusiasm, and been lucky enough to attract some very special people in the process. We have an amazing team here, both within and outside the shop, and I’m so proud of what we’ve managed to create with Salt & Sand.
It’s still early days, and I’m nowhere near finished yet, so crack open that packet of Maltesers, and let’s go!