Naiomi Gallo has well-defined criteria for her business: real plants are a must (don't waste her time with anything fake) and anything that is colourful and quirky - and of course pretty - can be found on the shelves and walls of her very personalised store.
Tell us about Plants n Pretty Pieces.
Established in 2017 Plants n Pretty Pieces offers something unique to Millthorpe Village. We are a family owned and operated small business and we love what we do! Each (pretty) piece that we have in store has been curated because it is what I love, how I decorate; what I wear or would buy for someone I love - this is my style and no one else's – this is Plants n Pretty Pieces. We have a unique range of colourful and quirky homewares, artwork, pots and plants, gifts, furniture, earrings and accessories. We also carry a range of designer raincoats, umbrellas and gumboots that will certainly turn heads in any wet weather!
What inspired you to open Plants n Pretty Pieces? I always loved the idea of running my own business, although the dream of owning a little homewares store seemed too much of a stretch. So I started selling handmade jewellery and homegrown plants at markets and fairs. After I created one for my mum as a birthday present I combined both jewellery and plants into these gorgeous gift boxes, sadly they didn’t sell well – so I broadened my inventory to include wallets, umbrellas, ceramic pots and small pieces of artwork. In November 2019, after leasing a pop up space in Millthorpe Village for some time, I was offered a vacant shop (a pizza store, no less) for a weekend, which led into the next weekend and the next. In Easter of 2021 the shop next door became vacant so we took the opportunity to expand our little business and combined the two spaces into one. I am so thrilled that we did!
What is unique about Plants n Pretty Pieces? We are a homewares store with real plants - no fake ones in sight! Living plants and homewares go hand in hand as far as we are concerned - a home isn’t a home without living plants. We step outside the box - if it's colourful and quirky and we love it, then we stock it. We encourage our customers to step outside the box too - whether it's trying on a pair of our fabulous bling earrings to dress up an outfit or giving a room a new lease of life with bright and bold pieces of artwork! Leave the boring and the bland at the door when you walk into our store!
What have you sacrificed at any given stage of your career? As is the case with a lot of women out there, we sacrifice time in our careers when we become a mother. Both my husband and myself came from very hardworking families with our parents having multiple jobs and although I would have loved to work when our daughter was young, we felt it important that either one of us would always be home for her. I loved being a stay at home mum, I loved cooking and gardening – but I wasn’t doing what I loved – until now.
How do you balance work and life responsibilities? It’s everyone’s unicorn, isn’t it? In our home, our schedules are very full and conflicting - my husband works erratic hours during the week and flies both interstate and internationally for work at a moment’s notice and I’m at the store Thursday to Monday. Our daughter has a lot of commitments outside school hours, so I asked her if she would like to start helping out in the store on Saturdays as a way of spending some time with her – which has turned into a part-time job that she loves! We started a family night on Tuesdays as an opportunity for some quality time together and we do try to catch up with friends on a regular basis.
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders? Stand up for what you believe in. Go for it, all your hard work will be worth it. You can’t be everything to everyone so - take the time to look after yourself first! Equality will always be a battle – so soldier on! Be kind always, you just never know what someone else is going through. Get enough sleep.
What’s on the horizon for Plants n Pretty Pieces in 2023?
We are always on the lookout for those new and unique pretty pieces for the store. We are finally launching our online store. It will be a small extension of our bricks and mortar store, not every item we stock will be online and we do like to encourage people to visit and get that Plants n Pretty Pieces experience! However, we have always shipped nationwide - so if there’s something that you have seen in store or on our socials that you’d like, we will get it to you!
Location: MILLTHORPE | NSW