So you can imagine my absolute delight when I was at breakfast at one of my favourite local cafes and stumbled across Own Little World a few doors down! My brain basically said, "This is your new home. Return here as much as possible." And so I have. With pressed metal ceilings, lead light windows, white walls and polished concrete floors, the store was full of character before I even stepped through the door. As soon as I walked in, I recognised it as an aesthetic wonderland and felt like I had finally found the portal into my fluoro pastel dreams. Then when I took a closer look at all the stock, I fell even deeper into my dream because all of the products were ethical, local, handmade, and downright beautiful. That was probably my best day.
This "hidden gem", as owner, Nicole Sipos (pictured above), describes it, has been situated opposite Hartwell train station, and embedded in a quaint strip of shops for 2.5 years now. Along with the bike trail, playground and cafe next door, there's always a lively mix of people in the area, but the location is still quiet enough to make you feel like you're in on one of the world's best kept secrets. "We are tucked away from the hustle and bustle – I think that’s why our customers love to come here… It’s like you’re in a peaceful holiday destination here!" says Nicole.
As you know, we're big on dreams here at KINGDOM. We're all about being proactive and being audacious! So it comes as no surprise that we love Own Little World, and we are forever grateful that Nicole took a chance, "My dream for a very long time was to have my own store where I could stock beautiful, locally made products. The plan was to fulfil this dream once all my children were at school. The day my third child started prep I went for a walk and discovered this beautiful little corner of Camberwell and it all fell into place from there."
With a background in graphic design and various other jobs in the creative industry, Nicole understands the value of creativity and through that, makes it her mission to support local designers. "We love to support local designers. Customers are now a lot more interested in where the product has come from and love to know the story behind it. I love the fact I can say ‘the lovely lady who made that lives down the road’! Whilst we love to support locally made, the market is relatively small so I do source products from further afield but always make sure they are all ethically made. We are all about supporting small businesses." With approximately 90% of their products being locally made, Own Little World practices what they preach. The other 10% consists of products that include international designers, but still has a focus on ethical production. Some of Nicole's favourites products include "the beautiful succulent plants by Succulence, prints by Belinda Marshall, hand-poured candles by Zen Moments, the gorgeous range of silk scarves, bags from Squeak Designs."
And just when you thought that it couldn't get any better, Own Little World has some very exciting plans being carried out in the near future! "We are just about to convert a beautiful space upstairs into a gorgeous workshop/studio. Here we will be running classes in screen printing, weaving, jewellery making etc. These will be for adults, but also ages 12+ as there is a lack of creative classes in that age bracket." Moreover, Own Little World are working on expanding on their online presence, so for all of you uni students, you'll be able to shop their brilliant range from your laptop during that one really boring lecture that you have to go to each week (don't deny it, I can see everyone's laptop screens from where I sit).