Welcome to the new Few and Far Berry located at 133 Queen St! We did it! It’s been an extremely crazy past few weeks, so if you’ll excuse the lateness of this post, this is literally the only time I’ve had to sit down and write it (I'm actually in China and have a spare day to sort out my thoughts!). What a busy time it’s been!
A lot of you have been following the progress of our move (and major renovation of the new store) on our @fewandfarhome Instagram - thank you! It’s been such a wonderful feeling to know we have been so supported through this process, and I really appreciate you all tuning in to watch our story unfold. When I heard that the old Sew and Tell store in Berry was vacant, I HAD to go and have a look. Our plan has always been to find a much larger space in Berry, so when this came up, we couldn’t let the opportunity pass. It was a Friday night when I found out, so I immediately emailed the agent to book an inspection… I couldn’t wait until the next week, so I drove up on the Saturday morning just so I could sneak a peek through the windows. That was enough for me! The idea of having 3 large shops converted into 1 was exactly what we needed, so I knew we had to fight pretty hard for this! I called my Dad straight away and let him know what he was up for - to say he was thrilled is definitely a lie, but he’s always up for a challenge and like Danny and I, doesn’t like to turn down an opportunity.
The application process went on for a while, but eventually it was ours… and I was SO excited! I couldn’t wait to see the transformation, and to have an area that we could finally showcase our range of furniture and one-off pieces. It was going to be amazing!
I picked up the keys on Monday of the June Long weekend… and demolition started the very next day. I couldn’t wait to see the dividing wall that ran down the middle of the front shops gone, and the back wall opened up - that for me, was going to be a huge step forward.
I’d already finalised the entire concept of the store, so it was up to Dad to create his magic and to transform the space into what we had envisioned. That’s the beauty of working with Dad - he understands exactly how I like things to be done and who they should look and he makes sure they are done to a high standard. I don’t usually have to explain in too much detail - I can usually show him an image or an example of the look I am trying to achieve and off he goes to make it happen - even if it means scouring nearby farms or properties for falling down sheds or old houses being demolished, to source the timber for a feature wall!
It was a big project. A huge project actually. Not only did we have to transform this new, huge space, but we also had to move out of the old one and rebuild the wall we had initially knocked out to make 2 shops 1. That was another project in itself - carpentry work, plastering, painting, electrical work… everything that was required to put it back to it’s original condition.
The day we moved the old counter out was a nerve racking one. If we could move the old counter into the new store in one piece it was going to save a lot of time, cost and work. There were quite a few things Dad had lost a lot of sleep over during this project, laying awake each night trying to work out how he was going to achieve the impossible, and this was one of them. But he worked it out, and out it came… maybe a few new cracks in the concrete top to add character, a broken trolley wheel and a few other challenges, but nonetheless it made it. The video I posted on instagram IGTV doesn’t show any of these glitches!!! It made it look easy, but I’m not going to lie, there were a few moments of despair throughout the process!
The other challenge (a lot of sleep was lost on this one) was to figure out how to hang the 2 very large, and very heavy peacocks Danny had sourced on one of his trips to India. We always buy these unique pieces hoping that one day we’ll have a home for them… and this seemed the ultimate home for these 2 birds. Another challenge overcome and some serious engineering employed, they now appear to be sitting proudly above our open shelving in the centre of the store. They are such an incredible statement and I am so glad we pursued this idea. The work that goes into these ideas is so extensive, you would never know just by looking at them. Dad even made his own 2m drill bit so that he could drill a perfectly straight hole through the centre of each bird to hang them using a single metal rod… see what I mean about lack of sleep???
But I have to say my favourite part of the new store is the entry. If you’ve been following our instagram account, you would have read about my ‘last minute decision’ to change the tiles I had initially picked for the floor as I knew I wanted to create something ‘different’. I wanted you all to know what we stood for and what our story was before you even walked through the door. Bringing The World Home. That’s what we do! And the old Indian arch that frames the front door - believe it or not, it wasn’t made for the space, but doesn’t it just look as if it was meant to be??? This art originally stood near the front of the store in the old shop… but it’s become a lot more noticeable now since you have all walked though it. It’s amazing and I just love it.
Once most of the building work had been completed, it was a race to the finish to move all of the stock from the old store into the new store, as well as quite a few large deliveries of extra furniture and even more stock - the store is 3 times larger than the old one, so it did need quite a bit of topping up! And there’s nothing like a bit of pressure… we exhibit at the Reed Gift Fair twice a year under our wholesale business Indigo Love, and we were booked in to leave for Melbourne on the 28th July - so the store HAD to be open by then. We basically had 6 weeks to have the whole thing completed. As history has it, we opened the new store on Saturday 27th July! Just in time! And then we left for Melbourne the following day…
Since opening, we have had such an incredibly overwhelming response. We have had some of our staff brought to tears (tears of joy!) due to the number of thoughtful and encouraging comments we receive very minute of every day. Our front entry has worked a treat - luring you into the store and creating the most photogenic and instagrammable entrance! We’d love to see you under our arch or your feet on our tiles! It really makes me feel so warm inside when I think about this store. I’m so happy. It’s exactly what we had pictured and we couldn’t have wished for a better result. Thank you to all of you who have walked through our doors so far, and I hope to welcome all of you who haven’t yet!
Thank you thank you thank you.
P.S Last but not least, we were lucky enough to work with some really great brands and trades people during the project. I want to send a shout out to the following people who we couldn’t have done it without:
- My wonderful Dad, who I couldn’t achieve what we have without him. I know you must be exhausted. It really was a huge effort and I am so appreciative of the effort you always put in. Thank you for always supporting us and for helping us achieve our dreams… so The Block next??? haha! Sorry.
- David Lewis (Chippy For Hire) - who worked alongside Dad every day (and almost every hour) of the build… he was there from dark to dark most days and shared Dad’s passion for timber and rustic materials. Thank you David - we couldn’t have done it without you (especially when you got caught holding that super heavy arch in place - we all know how Dad gets side tracked!)
- The carpentry team from Alpha Building and Design - thank you so much for your help and for making yourselves available - it was a huge project and it would have taken a LOT longer to accomplish without you all!!!
- BSE Electrical - Thank you Blair for slotting in the time to get this finished for us. We can always rely on you!!!
- Kyle Creagan - Thank you for your patience Kyle, you’ve done an amazing job on the tiling in the front entry. First impressions really do count!
- Bauwerk Colour - These guys make the most amazing lime paints that are beautiful, do not harm the environment in their manufacture and disposal, and most importantly do not harm our health. I used these paints to paint our coloured feature walls in the store. They are so easy to use and offer a beautifully textured look (although still a flat finish)…