The Gathered Store is an online boutique created by two Australian sisters, Rosita and Leila, who grew up in pastel colors and dress up chests. In 2013 they founded the blog called Little Gatherer, an Imaginarium of gathered and created objects, outfits and images.
It soon became a bowl of inspiring ideas, thanks to the work of continuous research and discovery of the couple. No wonder that they began assembling their favourite treasures into a shoppable showcase for their followers and in 2014 The Gathered Store came up to life. Full of products from all over the world, it caters for design-conscious parents. The selection is carefully updated, so that there is always something new and thrilling to discover, paying a visit to this store.
When did you open your shop and how would you describe its concept?
Being in a constant state of discovery for Little Gatherer , it felt like a natural progression to start assembling our favourite treasures into one shoppable showcase for all of our friends, family and followers. So in November, 2014 this is exactly how The Gathered Store was born. We wanted to create a place that would become a platform for all of the amazing and undiscovered brands and artists that we come across daily.
Which labels do you present?
We represent a wide range of labels from all corners of the globe and are always on the hunt for something new. Whether it be our gorgeous handmade mobiles and garlands from New Zealand based Needle & I, beautiful paper storage bags from the ever amazing Stockholm based Tell Kiddo, or prints created exclusively for us by Chilean artist Daniela Dahf. We feel incredibly lucky to have found a wonderful range of brands that love The Gathered Store as much as we do!
You are based in Sydney. What’s the best place for kids there?
We are very lucky to have an array of beautiful beaches on our doorstep so this would be the first stop when the weather is nice. The Grounds is a great to spot to head for lunch. With farm animals, a play area and amazing food, it caters well for little ones. There is also a great playground in Darling Harbour with fun water features and plenty of space to run around. And you have to squeeze in a visit to Messina for the most incredible Gelato flavours you’ll find anywhere! It wouldn’t be a successful day out without a big delicious scoop of gelato!
Do you have a hint for parents when shopping for their kids?
Try not to be lured in by fads, especially of the plastic kind! We try to avoid the array of merchandising that accompanies the release of every kids show and movie. Instead look for well designed, good quality toys that will stand the test of time. There are so many amazing brands out there creating really unique toys and homewares that can often look great decorating your home long after the kiddies have grown out of them.
What was your favorite toy when you were a child?
Rosita had a GIANT Panda called ‘Fei Fei’ and I had a yellow teddy named ‘Yellow Ted’ (very creative with the naming!). Our Nana Vera was an amazing knitter and crafter so we sometimes used to leave our toys with her and on our next visit they would have entire new wardrobes ranging from tutu’s and fur collared jackets to knitted sweaters and pom pom hats! These visits always left us beaming from ear to ear.
What are your plans for the future?
We all still currently work full time/caring for little kiddies which makes for very busy days and long tiring nights whilst trying to run Little Gatherer and The Gathered Store. In the coming months we really hope to be able to dedicate more time to growing The Gathered Store so that we can stock more of the wonderful brands we find. There are never enough hours in the day!
How do you think online shops will evolve in the next future?
As social media and the ease of shopping online grows the medium of online shopping will only get bigger. We think the thing that needs to evolve with online shopping is ensuring that the service that you provide is still a personal one. Even though you are not communicating with your customers face to face there still needs to be personality in the transaction experience. We also think that the lines between publishing and retail will become blurred in certain categories like homewares and fashion as customers seek content that inspires them, and can also be shopped. Like a shoppable magazine.
Are you realizing mood images for your website? If yes, do you think that these images could influence the shopping experience of the customer?
For our last two photoshoots we have collaborated with the amazing Nicola of Concrete and Honey, a stylist and photographer based in Sydney. We love being able to create fun images of all the products that we have sourced – and it’s always exciting to see how Nicola pulls the products together. It’s also great for our customers to be able to see the products in situ and allows them to imagine the products fitting into their own homes.
Kids and internet…..what do you think about it?
We think the key is balance. On one hand the Internet is a wonderful resource for learning, creating and staying in contact with the world – it’s a world full of possibilities and opportunities and in that sense it is a great leveler. But it is also extremely important for children to develop real-life social skills and get amongst the great outdoors – run, jump, skip, bake mud pies, build forts and let their imaginations run wild. So our approach is to make sure our kids are getting the best of both worlds.
What is your favorite website?
I honestly don’t think we could pinpoint a favourite! There are so many amazing sites out there that we regularly visit for many different reasons it would be too hard to pick just one. Google and Pinterest are definitely up there though. They are like the start of the rabbit hole for Alice!
How do you promote your website?
From the beginning we were very clear that we wanted to start with great content and build our audience up before launching a store. We were conscious of stacking all of our shelves with great products, but then no one coming to visit us. This is why we started out first with Little Gatherer. Little Gatherer and The Gathered Store sit happily side by side with one promoting the other. Social media also plays a huge part in what we do. It is the perfect medium through which to share our ideas and our vision for our brand but also to have a two way dialogue with our amazing customers. We also believe that providing a wonderful service is a great way to promote The Gathered Store. We always work hard to build good relationships with our customers and with the brands we work with.
Please complete this sentence: Kids should always…
Believe! In themselves… in magic.. in dragons… in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!
Text by Enrico Fragale Esposito