With traditional retail a very challenging space to inhabit, much has been said about the need for retailers to innovate. Given online shopping is so temptingly easy, I believe you have to create something truly experiential and notably different to lure people out of their homes. And one such space is the glorious Jumbled in the regional NSW city of Orange.
The brainchild of Pip Brett, Jumbled is so much more than a retail store – the shop is housed alongside a clothing store and coffee shop inside a beautifully renovated old Masonic lodge, collectively referred to as The Sonic. “Our aim was to provide customers with a space to connect, be inspired and feel joy and I feel we’ve really achieved this over the years,” says Pip who opened the space in 2013 and offers workshops, events, styling and travel experiences to Morocco amongst many other things.
“Although the landscape is changing, there are still some really exciting things happening in retail, but you can no longer get away with just having a shopfront,” says Pip who explains that having a cafe within the space has turned it into a meeting place that encourages a feeling of community and delivers a special experience unlike anywhere else.
“We’re also trying to give back to our customers where we can, and our free e-book worked really well with brand interviews, travel features and inspiring images to enjoy. You also need to stay true to what you love and only sell products and brands that you personally believe in and that authenticity is what keeps the customers coming back,” says Pip.
And what a product line-up Jumbled has – some of the best Australian homewares and furniture rub shoulders with leading Australian art, and it’s all styled up to look like a series of heavenly domestic interiors that no doubt help customers envision the products in their own spaces.
Sage x Clare, Society of Wanderers, Langdon LTD, Kaz Morton, Marmoset Found, Globewest and Castle are just some of the brands to be found – all merchandised with a captivating, signature sense of abundance. Those brands sit alongside beautiful original art from Australian artists such as Annie Everingham, Spencer Shakespeare, Leah Bartholomew, Georgie Wilson and Elle Campbell.
The success of Jumbled continues online too where the store has built an enviable social media community of over 90,000 followers across multiple platforms. “Social media has been a total game changer! It’s really allowed us to connect with people well beyond the boundaries of our region as well as some amazing artists and brands. We love that we can share part of ourselves and our store with people all over the world,” says Pip who runs a successful online arm of Jumbled to cater to the brand’s many fans across the world.
Jumbled’s success was recognised in Chicago recently when it went up against 30 other winners from across five continents to take home the Global Honoree Award for Excellence in Homewares Retailing.“When we arrived in Chicago, my first impression was ‘Oh my God, this is a huge deal!’ Seeing the other finalists from all over the world inspired me to do more and be better. The options are limitless, and retail is not dead, but you need to be more than just a store and you need to sell more than just products,” says Pip who celebrated the win with her team and loyal customer base upon returning from the US.
One such innovation, and a great example of offering more, is the recent launch of the Jumbled Art Superstar Competition, designed to unearth an amazing new artist. A long-held dream of Pip’s, she relished sifting through the work of the many hopeful artists that applied. “I originally hoped for maybe 20-to-30 entries, but in the end we had over 180 amazing artists apply which was beyond my wildest dreams! My team and I shortlisted and shortlisted again, but in the end the decision was unanimous,” says Pip who selected Newcastle artist Jackie Anderson as the inaugural winner. Jackie’s prize includes the opportunity to sell her art at Jumbled alongside a 12-month mentorship. “Her work makes my heart sing!” says Pip.
And with such a great eye for interiors, I couldn’t help but ask Pip what her design ethos is. “I live by the mantra ‘more is more, less is a bore!’ and try to advise people to buy homewares that they absolutely love, not simply because they think it it’s on trend or because it might work with their colour scheme. I love colour and texture, which I definitely get from my mum and I truly believe you can make anything work together, it’s just about finding a key item or cushion to tie it all together.”
Photography: Jacqui Turk