10 years ago, 2 creative minds got together for a casual lunch date which would change their lives for ever.
Libby Turner and Susie Lane were colleagues at Minimax and on the rarity that they ever had co-insiding lunch breaks they took the opportunity to catch up over coffee and plenty of laughs. This day in particular they were dining outside a local café and a mutual friend stopped to chat about a small hamper business that was for sale in the area. This planted the seed of a joint business venture for the girls and over the next 6 days they visited the business, made an offer and both resigned from Minimax. From that week on, the productivity never stopped!
From Hampers to Homeware
With hampers being a seasonal product they found the retail store side of it was more were their interest lay and soon enough they launched their own boutique homeware, furniture and clothing store, Turner and Lane. They purchased two stools that they would use for sitting on in quite periods and to this day, those stools have still never been used! After a few relocations to find the right space (and a lot of late nights) they now run a large shop, nestled among the hustle and bustle of Melbourne’s Malvern road. With the launch of two new stores, one in trendy South Yarra and another in a magnificent corner location in Middle Park, the brand Turner and Lane is really making a place for itself in Melbourne’s shopping scene.
With 25 + years of experience in the retail industry, these ladies really know what works. Not only do they sell local up and coming designers work but they also travel to the London and Paris trade fairs yearly to invest in exclusive European pieces that won’t easily be found anywhere else is Melbourne. They strongly believe in the products they source from the international trade fares and only import what they have a passion for. This balance of local, home grown designers and international, unique pieces gives them their point of difference in the market. They’re eye for one off finds and open minded approach when it comes to sourcing new pieces means these ladies rarely miss a new trend or hidden gem. This open mindedness has always paid off. At one fair Libby spotted a particular kitsch glass pineapple jug and convinced a reluctant Susie they should invest, surprisingly it looked fantastic in the store and they sold truckloads of them!
The Key to Success
With the philosophy “You should surround yourself with things that you love and then be amazed at what you end up with” the three stores all have a continuous Turner and Lane essence regardless of their varied locations. Each store has its own persona to suit its local market however they all possess the same philosophy and are filled with things that you instantly fall in love with. Beautifully printed cushions are a trademark feature along with natural chairs and stools crafted from interesting materials like jute, leather and aged timber. Their carefully curated stores tell a harmonious and cohesive story from the moment you step through the doors to when you make an irresistible purchase. Every piece of furniture, homeware, clothing item, jewelry, book, baby gift and quirky piece of art has been thoughtfully chosen by both Libby and Susie as they always source together. Even though they both have very defined roles within the business, by consistently buying together, they ensure Turner and Lane is a strong reflection of the both of them.
Libby does the visual merchandising between the three stores while Susie is based in the Malvern store managing the admin work and maintaining stock flow. For years they tried to blend every job, to have both of them controlling every aspect of the business, but over time they've learnt their strengths and weaknesses and, most importantly, to trust each other’s decisions. Not a day goes by in their stores where they’re not having fun. Libby and Susie have this amazing bond where they finish each other’s sentences, fill a room with laughter and make you feel like you’re sitting in their kitchen at home, chatting over a cup of tea.
When asked what they would be doing if they weren't running Turner and Lane?
Back to the lunch date ten years ago we didn't realise how hard running and growing this business was going to be – our visions of drinking coffee and hanging out all day was quickly stamped out! With saying that, there is nothing else we would rather be doing. Turner and Lane is more than just our names on a building, this is us! Despite the long days and the amount of hard work, we couldn't be happier “