Creating ‘Shop Girl’ with Kerist Klekner

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Shop girl Flower girl is a haven of eclectic goodies in Canberra’s inner north. The place is part florist, part gift store and is always full of surprises. In the few times I have visited, I have bought gorgeous gifts for newborn babies, luscious lip balms and quirky jewellery designs.

The thing that makes this store stand out, is that as soon as you set foot in the place, it feels like you are entering someone’s living room. It is small, inviting and earthy. There is certainly nothing ‘mass market’ about this place and looking around, everything emanates quality.

Owner Kerist Klekner says much of her professional career has been leading her to the point of opening this stunning sanctuary. A lover of the simple and practical things in life, she says she can’t connect to ‘colour, clutter or complicated.’ This sentiment certainly shines through in the space. Here, Kerist talks about her journey into retail and why it’s so important to her that the products she stocks remain linked to their maker.

Having worked in retail for over 20 years, becoming a shopkeeper was a natural progression.

In all the jobs I’ve had, I’ve ended up taking ownership of my positions whether it was in my department in one of my first jobs in Target as a teenager, or working my way up to ‘second in command’ for a local franchise owner. It was my last job working for a shop fittings company that really pushed me forward. Speaking to lots of other small business owners in Canberra filled me with the confidence to try it myself.

My first store, The Style Emporium, which I ran for 10 years, came from a desire to bring something new to Canberra.

There were barely any independent traders at that time and I was excited to build something for myself. Coincidentally, this store also emerged at a time when lots of designers were taking the plunge into production and wholesale.

Over the years I formed wonderful working relationships with my suppliers, most of whom were small business operators, designers, small scale manufacturers and people passionate about what they were bringing to the Australian market. It was these relationships that really clarified what sort of a shop I wanted to create.

I wanted products with a story that went way beyond a factory floor. I wanted products that were well made and ethically produced.

My new store, Shop girl, Flower girl reflects that and takes us to the next level. It’s in our dream location in the heart of the inner north community. Whilst the field has been broadened to include products brought in from overseas, I still only try to source items that have a relationship with the maker.

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The element of flowers and nature really sets the tone for our store and I think that’s what sets us apart.

We love using beautiful, seasonal, old fashioned flowers in the space. We hope to involve the local community in the future and source some of our flowers and foliage from gardens in the neighbourhood.

I’ve never been all that interested in mass produced homewares, furniture and fashion.

I rarely read magazines, although I have embraced Instagram and find it really inspiring. I just love a beautiful product, made from natural materials, that has simple lines and above all-is useful.

I’m a discerning buyer (perhaps a little hard to please!) with a desire to create a beautiful home and a wardrobe that is timeless. I’m a self confessed homebody and the complete opposite of a hoarder.

The three items I couldn’t live without are…

My iPad, knitting needles and sewing machine, as I’m a bit of a maker myself!

Stay up to date with Shop girl, Flower girl on Facebook & Instagram.

Photos courtesy of Shop girl, Flower girl.

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Comments

  1. Reblogged this on My Big Green Blog.

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