And what do you think is the secret to your success after 21 years?
Carole: I feel we are the brain of a mini department store but with the soul of a boutique. So you can’t say we are a fashion sort first or a gift shop first – because it all forms a story. I love the sense of treasure hunting here, the space lends itself for people to explore and find items that speak to them. I want to keep doing that. Because we really like a one-stop-shop for so many different people and needs.
That is so true. Going through the shop you really feel like a kid in a candy shop – I love that every time I come in. You are also in a unique part of Sydney – have you had to adapt over time as Pyrmont changes?
Holly: Oh, it has evolved a lot which has allowed us to be more adventurous. When we first began 21 years ago, it was just a ghost town – quite a sleepy part of Sydney. And now, it’s just like this buzzing corporate society from Monday to Friday. And then on the weekends, you’ve got this amazing relaxed local community that comes alive. I love being part of their lives and hearing about what they are doing. Obviously, with COVID that changed this last year because we were able to be a lifeline to people who still wanted to connect with others and celebrate in tough times. You’ve got diversity here, which means it’s different every day. Customers become friends. So we are very lucky.
You also have a wonderful team. How did that come together?
Holly: I just think there’s a really strong push for women at the moment. That makes me really appreciate our women. We’re all different. But we’re all very similar and we love being around creativity. We have this real love of design. And we all love people I feel blessed to be working with such a great group of women. I love the idea of expanding that.
Carole: Very soon after we started the business we were blessed to have Lou join us. She has contributed immensely to how we developed. She has a natural ability to connect with our customers on any level. After 21 years, she is like family and I can’t imagine this shop without her.
And now it’s time to celebrate! How does it feel still being here after 21 years and what does this celebration mean to you?
Carole: I just think of right now. For me, it’s all about customers and great service, today. We have some fabulous clients and my enjoyment comes from hunting for treasures they will love. Celebrating our birthday this month is to thank them for the 21 years of support.
And what’s the next stage of the journey for Urban Oasis?
Holly: I’m excited to develop exclusive Urban Oasis product! It just seems the next step for us. We’ll always keep doing what our customers love which is finding new Australian designers, however, I want to bring our unique style to more people.
We are also exploring the idea of expansion to another shop. Just like it was with Harris street, you wait for that right moment. So look out Sydney!