'Kinfolk'; meaning blood relative, was the perfect name for sisters Kristy and Lisa's boutique family store in Narrabri, NSW. Both girls aren't the kind to sit and wait for opportunities to come their way, they get up and make them. The 'proof is in the pudding' for Kinfolk Collective; they give everything their best as well as adding value and giving back to their community.
Tell us a little bit about your business Kinfolk Collective -
Kinfolk Collective is a bespoke boutique with something for the whole family. We are passionate about supplying a collection of modern fashion, gift, and lifestyle brands with a focus on Australian-owned products of high quality and affordable price tags. We have created an inviting space that provides a beautiful atmosphere for a unique shopping experience for the locals and travelers passing through town.
How did your Kinfolk Collective come about, and how did you come up with the name?
We used to make off-handed comments and jokes about what ‘our store’ would look like and what we would stock whenever we would see something we liked, and then one day Lisa called and said, ‘I’ve been thinking...” and less than six months later we had our opening night!
Initially, our idea was to bridge the gap in our local market for women’s fashion, primarily those in their late 20s to early 30s. We wanted to create a boutique shopping experience with quality (but affordable) clothing, accessories, gifts, and homewares. After chatting it through with our family and friends, we also noticed a demand for men’s and kids’ clothing, so the concept went from women’s fashion to a boutique family store.
We came up with the name Kinfolk Collective in the car on the way to Newcastle. We were back and forth with it, but we always wanted to reference our family connection. Kinfolk means blood relative, so it was perfect, and we chose Collective because it represented the range of items we wanted to stock and didn’t restrict us to womenswear or fashion.
What have you enjoyed most about starting your own business?
Stepping foot into this beautiful space we created every day and being able to share it with the community is something else, but most of all, seeing our dream come to life with my sister by my side will always be the best part!
Working with my sister is always going to be the best part. It’s so special to be able to do this together. Apart from that, I loved watching the store come together, all our ideas and design choices becoming this physical building we could walk into; it’s surreal.
What’s the best piece of business advice that you have ever received?
Don’t sit down and wait for opportunities to come; get up and make them.
I don’t recall a piece of advice, but what continually encourages me is the level of support and encouragement that our family and friends have given us and the positive reaction from the community, especially from the other store owners in town.
What makes Kinfolk Collective unique?
Our space! One of our goals in opening Kinfolk was to create a store that had a point of difference from anything Narrabri already had, and this was at the forefront of our minds with each interior design choice we made.
We have some beautiful and unique furniture in the store, like the En Gold Stone Center Table and our Handmade Sales Desk (crafted by a friend who will remain unnamed due to being in such high demand). We got Abby from The Petal Club to install a stunning everlasting hanging floral arrangement, which brings everything together perfectly. The Kinfolk space is unique and inviting, and we couldn’t be prouder.
Who do you look to for guidance and mentorship?
My husband! He started out as a one-man show with a single machine and built a company that now employees over 70 staff and has over 50 machines in its fleet. Without his guidance, mentorship, and support, I would have believed I could do something like this.
My whole family, specifically my sister Lisa, who is so business-minded and knows things I wouldn’t ever think of, I have much to learn from her. On top of that, my brother-in-law Will, having successfully run his own business for ten years, is an excellent mentor and has supported us throughout this new venture.
What would you say is your personal definition of success?
My definition of success is adding value and giving back to the community through what you love to do and finding the perfect work/mum life balance (not sure if I’ll ever get that one figured out).
If you give your best in whatever you do, that’s a success, despite the results.
What’s on the horizon for Kinfolk Collective in 2023?
We want to launch our online store soon, so keep an eye out for that! And we are searching for more Australian brands to expand our range in store.
Location: NARRABRI, NSW
Instagram: kinfolk collective
Photography: Lillie Hamlin