- Nestled away in the heart of Cronulla, homewares shop Apache Rose is near and dear to the story of Design Twins. Over a year ago, they were the first location to stock our products! I’m personally smitten with the mother and daughter duo of Vickie and Kirsty Parnell, who are behind this beautifully arranged boutique store and I’m 100% sure that once you shop with them too (if you haven’t already) you’ll feel the same way yourself. Their unique point of view, attention to detail and dedication to community continues to provide a delightfully welcoming atmosphere to customers and designers alike. We sat down with owner Kirsty Parnell — who doubles as the talented jewellery designer behind barton&bell — to talk design, motivation and essence of independent artists and storeowners.
How did Apache Rose come to life?
Vicki (my Mum) has a background in homewares, while I have a background in fashion. I’m a jewellery designer and we had outgrown our home office, so rather than move to an office space, we felt that by having a store we would gain back that customer interaction that we missed. Our barton&bell jewellery studio is out the back of the store and we can run the two businesses from the one work space.
Tell us a bit about the ON THE WALL events. What an amazing concept!
When we first opened our store we saw a gap in our area for showcasing the work of independent artists. I had followed the work of Catherine Campbell for many years and she was the very first artist we ever stocked. Art is something we are both really passionate about, so we hoped it would receive a good response and it did — even more so than we had anticipated. We have since grown to stock up to 20 different artists at one time from all around the world, both prints and some originals. ON THE WALL is our in-store event where we launch new artists and new works. It's always fun event, we even had Danny Sixx (Mexico) painting in the store at one of our events!
What are your three core philosophies of Apache Rose, and why they are important to you?
- To stock things we personally love (because it just makes your environment that much nicer to work in and fun to assist customers when you stock what you love).
- To have a store that you can walk into without feeling you have to spend a fortune to walk out with something beautiful (because we want everyone to be able to have a little piece of what they love).
- To continue to support artists, small businesses and artisans by stocking plenty of handmade products (because they are made with love!).
Apache Rose is beautifully curated. To what do you attribute your wonderful aesthetic?
Thank you! Mum and I are very in synch with what we select for our store. The products we have in store are all things we would love in our own homes, so it’s easy to stay true to our style. My partner is Mexican, so the vibrant colour and handicrafts from there also have a big influence. By supporting makers and artists, we feel like each piece has its own little story that you want to know more about.
How do you find the pieces for your store?
I think both stores and designers are incredibly lucky these days that technology has made the world a much smaller place. We are able to connect with people from all around the globe that we never would have been exposed to before. We are constantly searching for new and interesting things and find a lot of pieces through a combination of designer submissions, the Internet and good old instagram!
Do you have a favorite item in the store right now?
Woah this is difficult, can I top 5 it?!
Yes, of course!
Millie Fairhall hand painted cheese boards, the geo lamp from HK Living, every single piece that Annie Everingham does, the Kip & Co pom pom blanket and, of course, the ridiculously incredible magic-dust that is each and every Design Twins creation.
Let’s tell everyone the story about how the Design Twins and Apache Rose relationship formed!
I love this story! Gorgeous Crystal visited the store one day and we were chatting away when she told me how she’d just made a few concrete homewares in her kitchen sink(!) and asked if we would be interested in them. At the time she didn't even have anything on her to show me, but I got such a great feel from her that I said we were interested in stocking them and she should come back and see us with some pieces. That conversation resulted in us being Design Twins’ very first stockist! The best part.... Watching their incredible success and forming a wonderful friendship with Crystal & Mitch. (It's a little known fact that we have applied to be adopted as Design quadruplets!)
Yes! Design quadruplets. Love it. What’s one fall seasonal design/styling trend that you love at the moment?
We do love us some copper in store. Particularly copper lighting.
As a storeowner, what advice would you give to up-and-coming designers looking for stockists?
Never worry what anybody else is creating. There will always be a million other artists/designers/jewellers/etc. out there so why worry about competing, there's room for everyone to succeed. And never be disheartened by someone not stocking you. I actually genuinely get the guilts saying we cannot stock someone. As a designer myself, I know it can sting a little — ouch, LOT — to be told no, but you can't be for everybody...and at times, if we are full with designers, we might look at that person's work later on.
After a great shopping session at Apache Rose, where would you recommend in Cronulla to grab a coffee and a bit to eat?
Oh there are so many fantastic restaurants and cafes in Cronulla now! I'd recommend a bite to eat at Yalla Sawa (I drool just thinking about that food) and a cocktail (oops, did you say coffee!) at The Brass Monkey with the added bonus of wonderful live music.
Thank you so much Kirsty and the Apache Rose family for your keen eye and continued support!
Check out Apache Rose:
Apache Rose website is launching soon! ApacheRoseStore.com.
Shop 7 Cronulla Central Plaza / 38-60 Croydon St / Cronulla
Until next week,
Mitch & Crystal