Search
Filters
Close
RSS

Blog posts of '2020' 'April'

0
Something More Personal

 

Im taking a little detour from my usual Sunday Styling Sessions to share something more personal with you.

On Friday, NBN Television came to the store to interview about a balloon giveaway I was doing.  It's called the Isolation Insanity Balloon Giveaway.  The idea is you share a story about some crazy thing that has happened in your house with the kids during Iso. Has the gold fish put on an incredible amount of weight because its being fed 12 times a day, have your Zoom Meetings being terrorised by a Woody & Buz invasion? Has dad been nearly caught nakie on a zoom hookup with your little school friends?? (This was actually a story!!) And I will randomly gift the children in your home a balloon to keep.

Here is a link to that story:

 

https://www.nbnnews.com.au/2020/04/24/funny-stories-and-balloons-keeping-spirits-afloat-in-gunnedah/

 

Isn't it funny how you just have an attachment to something in your life?  I don't know why?  I have a photo of myself as a little one, maybe 18 months old running in the backyard, one shoe off one shoe on holding a balloon with the biggest smile on my face.  That particular day must have meant so much to me. I don't recall the day, but the feeling from that day has stayed with me my entire life.

Balloons = Smiles = Happy

 

  

When my granddaughter come along the first thing I did was share balloons with her.  My daughter (Who says she hates balloons) didn't want me to, but I did anyway.  I gave her a made up balloon dog in one hand and a helium balloon in the other, and this kept her occupied for hours.  She had so much fun and the balloon went with her everywhere.

 

 

So with all this isolation going on, I thought what better way to give parents a moments piece than to give their children a balloon, so that's where the idea stemmed from.  I couldn't tell you the number of balloons we have delivered over the last couple of weeks.  Hundreds maybe. Some parents share a photo, some don't and want to stay private, that's ok I respect that. This giveaway isn't about exposure, it's about smiles. And my smile would be the biggest.

You don't know the joy of bringing a smile to someone's face until you do it. Most of my staff are blown away when they do a delivery for the first time and feel the absolute joy & gratitude of being the conduit between the person gifting and the person receiving the gift. It's a very special feeling and often it brings tears of absolute joy to whichever person is delivering it. It's a truly unique experience.

On a personal note:

Balloons represent freedom to me. I quiet often think about the graffiti artist, Banksy and his "Girl with a Balloon" piece. That's me. 

 

Before I bought the balloon business I was mentally trapped in a heavy depression and anxiety. There were alot of events over a number of years that I had not dealt with and it all culminated in a single event in my workplace that sent me over the edge.  I quit the job and holed myself up in my house and I couldn't leave it.  If I had to leave the house it would result in a massive panic attack and I would literally find myself on the footpath in bawling my eyes out and not seeing a way out.  If I saw anyone from my old workplace (Quiet a few of them were very nasty in the street, or make crude gestures to me if I was driving past) and this would trigger a complete meltdown. The doctors had recommended that I attend a psychologist. These were Workers Compensation psychologists and I have to say these people caused more harm than healing. Infact the whole process was so mentally destructive and had the exact opposite effect of mental healing I stopped attending.   I had a conversation with my local doctor advising that this whole process was doing me more harm than good.  The longer it went on the worse I was becoming.  I couldn't talk to anymore, I couldn't have a conversation with my husband without crying,  I was paranoid beyond comprehension because of what was being said about me by my old work colleagues. Some of the stories coming out after everything I gave them horrify me still to this day. People can be very cruel, very nasty and when you are a caring, soft, giving person like myself it can trigger the most destructive thoughts.

I was sitting at my kitchen counter one day reading the paper and noticed that a hobby balloon business was for sale. I said to Stu, I should buy this. It will give me something to do and people will always be happy to see me.  I talked to my Mum about it and she graciously gave me, as she put it "An early inheritance" to buy the business.  That was in 2004.  I remember going to my doctor and telling him that I have decided to buy this balloon business as diversional therapy and a way to heal my broken brain and broken heart.  If I continued on the medical path, I was sure it was going to result in the exact opposite of healing. I had two small children to raise and a husband to care for, and at that stage neither of them were getting a mother or wife they deserved. The doctor stated that I could kiss the Workers Compensation away if I did that. My response was no amount of money can fix a broken brain. Only I can fix my mental health, they can have their money.

So that was that.  I bought my balloon business and began the healing process.  I remember the first order that came through.  I was lying in bed, not being able to get out of it and the phone rang wanting a delivery.  My first emotion was panic! How am I going to do this!  I told myself just one step at a time.  I still remember preparing the balloons, putting them into the car and driving to deliver them.  I remember getting out of the car, walking down the footpath and knocking on the door and my heart was in my mouth.  I had to push every single step I took, trying not to cry or melt into a blubbering heap.  Thinking about it now I have tears in my eyes, it was so hard!  But I did it, I knocked on the door and the most beautiful person opened the door and gave me the brightest smile! It was just so worth all that work to get out of bed, prepare and deliver these balloons for that beautiful smile. I'm friends now with this person and I have told her she was the first balloon delivery I ever did.

So you can see why balloons are so important to me, why I am still so passionate about them.  Balloons to me mean freedom to face the day with a healthy brain, freedom to pursue a career I enjoy and not have to work for people that are so ungrateful and careless with your heart and mental health. Financial freedom, to be able to buy new shoes if I need them! (That's my idea of being wealthy!) Freedom to live my life and be happy. 

Balloons = Smiles = Happy.

This might give you a bit of an insight now into why I have done what I've done with my balloon giveaway.  No one knows what goes on behind the doors of other people's houses. If by giving someone's  child a balloon which gives them a moment of happiness than that's all I want.

If you haven't shared a story yet, please do.  I am making my way through the stores and I will get to your place over the next couple of weeks.

Thank you for reading

0
Sunday Styling Sessions - AUSTRALIAN MADE - Design your perfect lounge

 


Introduction

I am often asked “Why a Furniture Store?”. As with every question that people seem to ask me, it comes with a long winded explanation!

The choices I make in my life are always extremely personal. It's not just about income or a career with me, there will always be a deeper reason for my actions. 

I was always somewhat a “trend setter” at school. My friends may disagree with that description, they may call it “Different”  or even “Rebellious”, my choice of definition was Trend Setter.

I didn't like to follow the other sheep, being told what to do, what to wear, what to like.  I liked what I liked, I wore what I liked to wear regardless of what the world might be selling me.

As an adult I now know it was about FREEDOM OF CHOICE for me.  Being free to express myself and my personality through my choices of clothing, room decor or my car.

Going back to the original question “Why a Furniture Store?”, because it's all about choices. The choices of Styling in your home should reflect a statement about who you are.  As my original quote says: “A room should start a conversation before people actually start to exchange words”

Where does one Start??

This is where an Interior Designer can help, and particularly an Interior Designer who owns a Furniture Store - because the choices we can offer are not limited to what is on the  showroom floor, but what options are available to build your own unique piece from scratch!

  

Design Your Own Perfect Lounge Suite:

Things to consider before you start:

  • Space

  • Style

  • Fabric/Leather

  • Durability

  • Colour

 

Think about your space, and what kind of lounge will fit it comfortably.  Regardless of the area we are working with, there is a solution.

 

What Style of lounge would you like? Is it important that you have recliners, do you want a chaise with your lounge. Would a corner modular suit best? Do you want the option of having a fold out bed for guests?

 

What would you like your ideal lounge made from?  Leather or Fabric? Do you want a plush fabric or linen? Is durability important in your choice?

 

Finally what colour suits your styling?

 

Once we have considered these options it reduces our choices making the concept of designing not as daunting. 

 

Services I can offer you as a Designer:

As a designer, there are services that I can provide you to make your choices easier:

  • Room Plan

  • Vision Board

  • Fabric Samples

  • Consultation with Manufacturers

 

Once the lounge arrives we can deliver it for free and set it up in your room, and I can also style it for you.

 

 

Lounge Otions:

BUY AUSTRALIAN MADE:

Now more than ever we are talking about Australian Manufacturers.  By using Australian Made, we are using products from Australia. Hard Woods, Dunlop Foam, Quality Fabrics and Australian Leather.  

As the building items are higher quality, so is the warranty that comes with the Lounge.  With an imported lounge you may get a 12 month warranty. With our Australian Manufacturers, warranty ranges from 10 - 30 years! On some products they offer a lifetime warranty. 

If something does go wrong, the manufacturer is here in the same country so problems are addressed so much faster.  If you are having issues with electronics for example, a new cable is sent from Sydney, Melbourne or South Australia. You aren't waiting a minimum of 12 weeks for the next shipping container to arrive.





Designs & Fabric Choices:

Design Choices are limitless!! Even if the manufacturer hasn't done that particular size or style before, they are happy to do a custom build for you.

In Fact many of the design shows on TV use the exact same manufacturers that we do.  They will have a designer tell them, “We have this space we need to fill with a lounge” and they will build that to their exact measurements. 

Let's talk choices:

 

  • Single Chair/Occasional Chair

  • 2, 3 & 4 Seater Sofa - Modular Design, with Recliners or Without. Electric or Manual

  • Corner Lounge

  • Add a Chaise with Storage, an Ottoman or Fold Out Bed

  • Fabrics - Print Or Plain, Plush or Linen

  • Aged Leather Look Fabric - perfect for pets.

  • Australian Leathers in hundreds colour choices

  • Design matching/contrasting throw cushions, have matching curtains made?

  • Add a Console/USB or 240 V Power options

  • Outdoor Fabric Options & Styles

  • Thousands of Fabric Colour/Print Choices from a number of Fabric Manufacturers.

In Fact any choice you think of there is a design solution. 





 

 

 

0
The Family behind Enchanted On Conadilly

 

Hey there,

With everything that is going on in the world at the moment, I thought it might be a good time to share a little bit about the faces behind Enchanted On Conadilly.

We have visitors (Before Isolation) from all over Australia who come into the store and are really surprised when they ask about the set-up of our diverse shop.  It’s not something Stu and I think about because it is what it is. We just take it for granted now, but looking at it from an outsider’s perspective, I suppose it can be a little daunting. 

Enchanted On Conadilly was born in 2018, but to get to this point it’s been a bit of a journey.

Let me share our story with you.........

 

 

 

Stuart & I moved to Gunnedah from Moree in 1996.   In Moree Stuart was working for an Ag Retail Store, B & W Rural, and on the side he produced a herbicide additive.

We were also partner’s in a small Nursery called The Flower Mill.  This was located at the premises of B & W Rural. What weekends weren’t taken up mixing crop oil, were often taken up watering and caring for the plants in the Nursery.  

Our kids were just little babies at the time and loved going to work with us.  At the Nursery we had the most amazing little playground that the guys made for the kids. (All the partners had little ones).  It’s funny looking back into our work history and seeing what we do now so many years later.  All your knowledge seems to come together.

Coming to Gunnedah, Stu starting working at Pursehouse Rural as an AWB Representative, when the AWB opened up their own Branch in Guinnedah, Stuart Managed that Office.  After changes within the AWB, Stuart started working as a Business Analylist travelling around Australia talking to Farmers about what the AWB could offer them as a Business Platform and based on the information, Stuart then put proposals to AWB for future opportunites. (Once again, incredible experience for what would come in the future).

This was taking Stuart away from his young family, so when the research was concluded, he started his own Agricultural Consulting Business in 2004.  He specialises in finding the right price for farmers who want to sell their grain, grain brokerage.  As part of that Stu analysis the World Grain Markets, discovering what opportunities are available for farmers to help them get the best price for their crops.

Stuart starts work at 6.30am everyday where he will analyse world markets when it's nice and quiet with no interruptions. He will draft his marketing report and send that out to farmers in the morning and again in the afternoon with a price analysis. He has continued to offer this service right through the 2 1/2 years of drought, basically missing out on the income of 5 harvests.  It's this commitment that shows he is dedicated to this field and we look forward to Farmers once again reaping a good harvest after all this wonderful rain we've had.

Coming from Ag Retail Stu gained a good understanding of plant growth and combined with a little knowledge gained while we had an interest in the Nursery has taught us a lot about Floristry.  After working with the Australian Wheat Board from the Melbourne Office he gained management & business development skills. From analysing what a customer requires, building a platform to deliver that and what is required to make it viable.  All amazing skills moving forward.

As I have shared on the Blog earlier, in the article "What is success in Business", I started out working for myself in 2003/2004 with Balloons and Wedding & Event Decor.  While the kids were young, I worked from home. 

 

 

In 2011 I thought it was time to open a "Real Store".  This was so scary.  Stuart was a business analyst, it's what he does, so we sat down to do a business plan and worked out the amount that was needed to do this and what I would have to turn over every day to afford to stay in business.  It was scary stuff and I will never forget the first week of my store being open I just cried and cried because no one was coming into my shop!  I was going to go broke! 

Our Local Council has always advocated for Start Ups.  We are so lucky Gunnedah has such a progressive Council.  Back in 2011 Adam Marshall was Mayor and he would visit me and encourage me personally.  We knew Adam through various local pursuits and early on he encouraged me to apply for the Business Partner Program, which I did and was successful in getting a small grant.  The deal was that if you closed up shop within 3 years, you had to give that money back!!! So that really spurred me on to make this work. I started off with myself and 2 junior staff members who helped out on weekends and after school.

In 2012 things really started to pump along and I was getting more and more enquires for Floristry work, so I began some study in that area. I beleive that you have to let your customers guide for your focus, determine what it is they are looking for.  I'd always had an interest in Floristry, my Pop was a keen gardener and I loved cutting the stems and arranging them in my bedroom and I also had the experience in the nursery in Moree, so it wasn't totally out of the question for me. Training started and I officially became a Florist.

I kept growing and growing. I also started a Scrapbook Shop called the Scrapbook Nook.  We had classes and a huge range of product. But with the onset of online buying keeping that business viable became very difficult. I looked for another area and something that became obvious to me was Ladies Fashion.

In 2015, Stu & I went to Sydney to have a look at a couple of Ladies Fashion Brands I just loved to buy myself and because you have to buy over 6 months in advance with Ladies Fashion it wasn't until about August 2015 that I got my first shipment of Winter Stock and started selling clothing. This led into so many other problems! Now I needed a bigger store.

In October 2016, Stu & I bought the Furniture & Carpet Store - Riley's Furniture & Carpets.  We would make it into a Department Store combining Furniture & Carpets, Blinds, Ladies Fashion, Florist, Gift & Homewares. Stuart would also operate his Consultancy from these premises as well.

 

 

Our Son Josh came on board and trained as a Flooring Specialist and that's how we started. Stuart, Josh & I, as well as Laurie who was retained to look after Blinds. I had my staff from the Balloon Shop, Amy & Roxy plus my gorgeous junior Arna. While the girls took care of the Flowers, Balloons & Fashions, Stu & I started to learn all about Furniture & Mattresses.

We turned over a few staff at the beginning. Furniture was a completely different ballgame.  Arna went off to Uni, Roxy & Amy moved onto other pursuits.  We hired another Florist so I could concentrate on Furniture and developing this new business to bring it all together.

We entered the Regional Business Awards under the category of Start Up Superstar and we won it in April 2017, this took us the State Business Awards in Sydney in November the same year. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were starting have a little difficulty offering the selection of Bedding & Mattresses that we thought the town required as we just didnt have enough room, so in November we opened our second store across the road at 250 Conadilly Street

We split the Stores in 2017 when Stuart, Josh and Laurie moved the bedding, flooring and blinds into that store. We were a member of the Funiture House Group at this time and we had recently won an award for increased sales, so opening the second store was a step in the right direction.  Customers didnt have to go out of town to try every mattress they needed to, to get the perfect night sleep!!

But having the two doors - one with the "Girls" and one with the "Boys", the battle of the sexes had started!!!!

 

 

 (- Zombie Walk 2017)

 

So as to not bore everyone to tears, I will continue with that story in another post.

As you can see though, the face of our store has changed to meet the needs of the commuity.  Even in the days of my Balloon Shop, I was always adjusting my focus, listening to what customers were looking for when it came to supplying a certain service. Its an ever changing landscape, and we have had to re-educate ourselves along the way to meet our customers need.    

Keep an eye out for what comes next....

0
Sunday Styling Sessions - Simple & Inexpensive Styling Tips
I've found now we are staying a home more, people are talking about making their practical living space a homely living space. Is there are difference? Yes, although a room might contain all the essentials required to use it, such as lounges and a tv, it might be lacking a visual invitation to come and relax. In this article I am showing how just adding a few simple touches can all the difference. In design we talk about some basic elements: - space - line - texture - colour - pattern - shape - light.
Newsletter