When Nikki Freeman and Sam Bailey left on a whirlwind mini-break to Indonesia they didn’t realise they would come home with a new and exciting plan. What started out as a “frantic” four-day trip to Bali to source homewares and unique products for their own home renovations, ended as a business trip, and the idea for Two Girls and a Container was born.
Friends for 12 years, Nikki and Sam combined their interior design, art and home renovation experience and launched their online store early this year, with a focus on unique, interesting and eco-friendly products. Although the fateful trip was their first together, Nikki and Sam have been travelling to Indonesia for years to source products for their own homes.
Nikki says she had often thought about how she could bring unique materials and homewares back home for other Australians. “I’ve spent a lot of time over the years thinking of how to turn it into a business.”
The online store features pieces like rattan chairs and bed heads in a variety of colours, and petrified wood stools. “We’re trying to bring a lot of different and unique products,” Nikki says. Sam adds: “We have some products coming in the next container that I haven’t seen anywhere.”
It’s important for Nikki and Sam that their goods are being made in safe and sustainable ways. “We know there is a massive awareness of this in the community. People these days want to know where the products have come from.”
The two friends find their differing styles and skills complement each other really well: “I’m the accelerator, Nikki is the handbrake,” Sam says. While she loves the simple, colourful and modern, structured look of Asian interior design, Nikki has always been influenced by the coastal side of things.
The pair have plenty planned for the next few months. A new container full of goodies is on its way, with dining furniture and skeleton wood just some of what is inside. More trips to Indonesia are on the horizon, with hopes to spread the search for fabulous homewares to places such as India and Mexico.
Their top tip for decorating is to find something stylish, unique and good quality to be a standout point in your home, and then build around it with fun pieces that can easily be changed. “Don’t be afraid to try the unique and different items as well… I always buy what I love,” Nikki says. Sam agrees, encouraging people to buy for themselves rather than the space they are in, as a spaces can easily change. “Personally, I don’t buy things to suit my home, I buy stuff to suit my personality.”
Check out Two Girls and a Container online. You can visit their showroom in Sydney’s Artarmon to see the products in the flesh.