There’s a new shop on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and it’s absolutely full of lovely, mainly vintage, homewares and props!
Urban Rustic opened in Newport a month ago and is proving a hit. With so many other gorgeous homewares and furniture shops in the surrounding area, it adds to what is already a great destination for interiors addicts.
The woman behind this little treasure trove is Sandy Cash, a former designer, art director and stylist with a love of all things secondhand. Her last full-time job before having children was was at the LifeStyle Channel, where she created digital animation and design for on air, and also shot promos, opening title sequences and station branding. “Quite often I was the creative, producer, stylist, art director, props, designer and compositer. I got to put my finger in a lot of pies. Yummy pies.”
Over the years, as a hobby, she’s been collecting eclectic vintage and secondhand pieces and she jokes it was fear of divorce which led her to open the shop and sell some of it! “I was taking over my husband’s shed! Seriously though, it’s something I have wanted to do for a few years, because I love design and styling and decorating. Oh, and let’s not forget shopping!”
She already had an online shop, but deep down she wanted to get all her lovely pieces out together on shelves, and don’t they look great? “I have been stalking this little space for about a year now hoping it would become vacant again, and it finally did! I am the store I wanted to see here, I guess. I love the Northern Beaches but I always felt it was lacking on the eclectic vintage side.” Sandy’s happy to be offering something new in that she’s offering the not new, although she does stock some new pieces by local designers and makers too.
“I have a lot of vintage Pyrex (although its selling quickly), Mid Century art glass, industrial rustic furniture pieces, small gift items and quirky kids toys. I have my eye on a few other not-new pieces down the track but I’m pretty happy with my stock for now,” she says. “There’s also a cool shop in a nearby arcade doing vintage clothing so I’m hoping Newport becomes a bit of a destination for people wanting something out of the box that doesn’t have a box, if you know what I mean. Robertson Road is a cool little strip with gorgeous things next door in the Family Jewels and excellent coffee from Flamingos & Dingos among others. Such great people. I’m so happy to become part of this cool little street.”
Reusing and recycling is clearly a huge part of Sandy’s philosophy. “Don’t get me wrong, I have newness in my house, but I do love finding authentic, unique pieces of amazing quality, that other people have ditched for something new. I try not to be too expensive, as I want to change people’s mindset. I worry many people are hung up on barcodes and brand new. The quality of my stuff is amazing, and made in the country of origin. They are heirloom pieces without being ridiculously expensive.”
All Sandy’s finds are available to hire as props too. “They can be featured in photo shoots, TV commercials, films, house styling, food styling, magazines. I have a lot of pieces in storage still, period items, quirky props I can’t bring myself to sell yet, utensils, kitchen basics, Skippy mugs, toys, books, Thonet chairs, Designers Guild bed linen, Cath Kidston spotty bunting, and so it goes on.”
Locals have welcomed the new addition. “People seem to like how colourful and bright it is. I have a lot of people come in and get nostalgic, wistful about certain things they had in their family homes. It’s a happy place I hope. I hear so many great stories. One girl bought an orange Pyrex dish identical to one given to her by her late mother. She was so thrilled because now she had one to use every day without fear of it being broken. I love that. My flamingos out the front are a talking point too. I am surprised at how open most people are to pre-loved items. I thought I might appeal only to vintage lovers but it’s not the case, people recognise and appreciate the quality and design. Which really is what I am all about. Good design is timeless.”
Urban Rustic, 6b Robertson Road, Newport, NSW 2106.