Back in the summer of 2009 we started to work on building letterpress products which we could make available for retail stores. At the same time we were contacted by the most delightful Jess who was starting up her homewares and lifestyle store Shelf / Life in Sydneys Surry Hill's - it was a simply delightful case of perfect timing. One of our very first batches of retail goodies went off to her lovely store and over the past two years we have been tickled pink to send lovely parcels of letterpress goodness off to the Shelf / Life's shelves.
As our retail range has expanded, we have cherished the support from Jess and her team, and for us, it has been such a joy to watch the developments and growth of Shelf / Life (as well as Jess's house renovations and amazing wedding) over on their blog. It is also wonderfully exciting news (especially for us interstaters) that Shelf / Life have also just launched their own online store!
The gorgeous Jess had a recent chat to us about Shelf / Life, and you can read the full details below.
Tell us a little about your store and its philosophy?
shelf / life has been open for almost 2 years now and we have recently launched our new online store as well. We offer a range of homewares, stationery and lifestyle products with a focus on ethical design and production. We believe that great design should encompass quality, integrity and longevity, and our intent is to provide products for everyday life which reflect this.
We support independent designers and artisans from around the world who can ensure traditional craft skills will be kept alive for years to come. We love to hear and share stories about how things are made - the techniques, the materials, the ideas behind a design - so that others can be inspired to make
What are some of your favourite brands in stock? What makes you choose these designers to showcase?
Too many to mention! I do love stocking products by The Dharma Door as their fair trade bags and baskets are not only beautifully designed but help to empower women in Bangladesh by providing employment. I adore Bespoke Press (of course!) for the tactility of the letterpressed cardstock and yummy colourways and Rifle Paper Co for their beautiful loose painterly designs. I also have a soft spot for Perch! Designʼs Mason Jar - probably my all-time favourite object in the shop.
Usually when choosing designers for the shop I consider a number of factors but obviously I have to love something to put it on my shelves. After that initial little burst of excitement that I feel I then ask
questions about functionality, quality and the designerʼs process to work out whether it will be a good fit for our store.
One thing you love the most about your shop?
Itʼs a tie between receiving and unpacking new boxes of goodies for the shelves and chatting to regular customers who always say the nicest things!
Tell us about Surry Hills, what are some of your favourite finds?
Our little pocket of Surry Hills is a friendly neighbourhood with all its little shops and cafes tucked in amongst beautiful old terraces. There are a lot of creative businesses in the area as well so you always get to meet interesting people. My favourite find, which is probably very well known to Sydneysiders,
is Single Origin Cafe - delicious coffee and great food... and dangerously close to my shop!
shelf / life
Shop 1, 50 Reservoir St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
02 9211 2858
Tues - Thurs 10am - 6pm
Friday 10am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm
(extended trading hours leading up to Christmas)