Interior designer and stylist Gretel Vincent believes in perfect imperfections, being preparedto make sacrifices and staying in your own lane.
How many years have you owned your own business?
We opened our doors in November 2019, so just over two years.
How do you balance work and life responsibilities?
Sometimes with great difficulty and a lot of juggling to make things work. Balance isn’t something that just happens, you have to create it. Last year has taught me some difficult lessons in life and in business. I realised that although I had many offers of help when I needed it, no-one except me really knew how to operate my business on a day-to-day basis. This needed to change and I now have casual staff who can take over if I need to be away urgently or for an extended period of time. It’s the best thing I’ve done. Having like-minded people around you makes things feel so much less stressful and it’s such a nice feeling to be part of a team again. I am also very well supported by my husband Craig, family and friends. This year I’m going to try to outsource wherever I can for jobs that I don’t have the time or expertise to handle myself. I need to work smarter not harder and by outsourcing locally, everyone wins.
What advice would you give someone wanting to start their own business?
Be prepared to work hard (you never really switch off) and make sacrifices… but at the same time enjoy the excitement of what you can achieve doing what you love and the freedom of being your own boss!
What are you most proud of?
I’m proud of the ‘feeling’ I’ve been able to create in the store. I love that the building has a rich local history and I have been respectful to the original aesthetic of the building without compromising the vision I had for the store. I knew from the first time I walked into the space that it was ‘the one’. I didn’t ever want a generic looking space, it had to have character so when you walk in it makes you feel something special. I love the scale of the ceiling, the patina and cracks on the walls, the timber beams, so much natural beauty and texture. For me it is perfect in its imperfections and the perfect backdrop for our pieces to be showcased.
What keeps you up at night?
Trying to make decisions on which pieces to order for the store. Unfortunately I don’t have an unlimited budget or storage space to be able to bring in everything I love all at once, so I have to make decisions as to what would work best in the store at that time. I find it hard as I want it all! My daughter Stella has a beautiful eye for style and is great at helping me make final decisions. When I feel like I’m procrastinating I call her in to help me decide. She knows me so well, so usually it’s just a matter of her just pointing out the obvious and reinforcing what I already thought, but it feels better to have her opinion.
What’s the best business advice you have ever been given?
‘Stay in your own lane and run your own race’. My husband gave me this advice early on, just after I opened the store. I was feeling pressure to be everything to everyone as far as what I was offering in the store. I always knew my vision, but it’s easy to feel like you need to adjust that to be something that suits everyone. Whenever I’m feeling a bit lost, I keep coming back to that advice and I stay in my own lane and true to my vision. When you visit Bungalow G, you can see how passionate I am about the brands I represent and get a true feeling of our style. My customers often tell me that they love coming in because it is such a relaxed and calming space to be in, which further reinforces that I’m in the right lane for me, because that’s exactly how I wanted it to feel!
What’s on the horizon for Bungalow G?
Interior styling and sourcing is going to be a big part of our business this year. It seems like a natural progression now that the store has been open for a couple of years and is growing. Over the past year we have been inundated with requests for interior styling, mainly private homes but also commercial premises. I haven’t had the time or resources to take on many projects by myself, as I also had the store to run. I’m now lucky enough to have the amazing Kristina working with me in the store. Krissy and I both studied Interior Design in Sydney together several years ago, so I feel like we are a great team going forward in this direction. We are also looking at collaborating with some local creatives on some exciting projects… stay tuned!
location: Tamworth, NSW
instagram & facebook: @bungalowgstore