I love a good story. I know, most people do – that’s why reality TV has become so popular, because the viewer gets to hear real stories about real people, and as the series progresses, get to know more about the stories behind the contestants. The only reality TV show I’m hooked on (but alas, it’s just finished!) is My Kitchen Rules. I love cooking, and I love being in the kitchen with my daughter (9), and so we often talk about how we could be the first mother-daughter team (9 and 38!) to take part … In reality, I could never handle the stress! I definitely don’t like to cook with the stopwatch ticking away loudly beside me.
The stories behind some of our nic-nac products and the products we’ve sourced for our webstore are pretty unique and some are fascinating. Some are totally inspiring, but that's a blog post for another day ...
Take for example, our newest product – the ratbag beanie. The gorgeous Northern Rivers gal who makes those, is someone I met through a friend, around 20 years ago. Her name is Zix, and she has two gorgeous girls, and now lives in Lismore, NSW, having moved north from Sydney – seeking out the lifestyle change so many of us come here for. It was only a few months ago that we re-connected, and I’m so happy to have Zix and her gorgeous ratbag beanies on board. The friend we have in common lives in Christchurch, NZ, and of course, we all know how many people have been devastated by the repeated earthquakes there.
The 2nd story is about Christchurch again. This time it’s Mocka, who are the distributors of the teepees and tree hangers that we stock. They’re a Christchurch based family business, and after being devastated by the earthquakes, they packed up and came to Australia – the land of opportunity – to start up Mocka Australia. They still have the majority of their family members running Mocka NZ, and their NZ company has a HUGE array of fantastic products, but Mocka Australia has had huge success since their launch, and we’re proud to be supporting fellow kiwis in their endeavours.
What about what’s behind the teepees? Well, three years ago I was working on my first pattern for a teepee, there are a lot of patterns around, but I wanted one with an easily removable floor, a window for ventailation, wooden poles, and of course – be machine-washable, which is a pre-requisite with all nic-nac products. Washable means PRACTICAL!
A year on, and we were still tinkering with the teepee pattern … There are so many gorgeous teepees on the market, my personal favourite being the girlie girl floral teepee that we sell … but I really wanted to do a denim one with poppy dot trim! However, after buying a Mocka one for my daughter (blue and white stripes – she’s not a girlie girl floral kind of girl!) I realised these ones were EVERYTHING I wanted in a teepee and more … Sturdy, extremely well made, they had a detachable floor, easy to assemble, easy to cart around, perfect at the beach, a window for airflow, big enough to fit a few kids, in actual fact … perfect! So, we bought a few wholesale, and haven’t looked back. Why try to re-invent the wheel?
The Contigo drink bottles … now, that’s a line of products that when offered to me, I just couldn’t pass up! Two years ago when I started doing The Mummy Tree markets in Brisbane, I met a gorgeous gal called Christie, who had a business “Much more than scraps” selling the Contigo range of drink bottles and travel mugs. I bought one for me and one for my trusty side kick market helper (Clover – my daughter!) and it was love at first gulp. They are undoubtedly the best, easiest, most practical drink bottle I have ever had. The next market (some 8 weeks later) I bought a couple to give as gifts, the next market, a couple more! It soon became my “go to” gift for any age person, birthday, Christmas, whatever! And what’s more – everyone loved them! So last December (2011) when Christie got in touch to let me know she was moving to the States, and asked “you’ve always been one of our best customer – you love these bottles – do you want to buy the business?” I jumped off my office chair in excitement, and said “yes please!” with no hesitation. Since December, we’ve sold so many drink bottles and travel mugs it’s hard to keep up with the ordering! I think we sell as many Contigo products as we do our own nic-nac products.
I think that’s the key … don’t just stock products because they look pretty, are cheap, or are easy to source, but find a product that you love so much, that you want to give them to everyone!
So, the collection of goodies on www.nic-nac.com.au is practical, extremely good quality, funky, sometimes quirky, but always AWESOME! And everyone of those products has a story behind it … more to come on that!