We ONLY stock local, boutique and unique Australian designer brands – that’s why! I feel like not enough people know this about HART so I thought I’d write about how this came about!
I am thoroughly obsessed by that beautiful feeling when you walk into a home and it makes you feel like you want to stay. My obsession stems from my mother. She made every single part of our home growing up feel like that and still does to this day. That’s her in the picture above – this is her as a tiny girl obsessing over some flowers. She still does that to this day too!
I knew when I walked out of my money broking job at the end of 2014 that there had to be more to life, so I immediately took my passion for home décor and started curating an online homewares store specialising in purely Australian designed products.
I was in the process of renovating a Victoria terrace house in Darlinghurst, Sydney at the time. It was proving terribly difficult to find interesting home décor that didn’t look like everything else out there. So I started trawling Instagram looking for inspiration. I discovered masses of amazing designers right here in Australia! Furthermore I discovered how hard it was for them to transact as they were running their stores over social media which meant they often got let down.
This made me decide two things – that I had to create a place where people like me could find these designers and that this place had to be a safe & secure environment for them to transact.
HART Home Décor was born in the basement of Surry Hills library in Sydney right there and then. I launched the site with just 300 products in February 2015 and this has grown rapidly to currently over 2,000 with new products being added almost daily as more & more designers jump on board.
Many designers said no to working with me in the beginning as they were concerned about my credibility as a complete unknown in the interiors space. Luckily that changed pretty quickly as the store grew & they could see my determination & passion for what I was building. Now I have people applying to me on a daily basis to join the family which is truly wonderful.
We are rapidly growing our online sales across Australia, USA, UK & Europe and recently stocked a hotel full of our cushions in San Diego! Who knew that our Australian designed cushions would end up in super glam hotel in America – yay for us Aussies!
Mission & Charity
My mission has always been to ‘have a positive impact on others’. This is being achieved by working with small designers to help them grow their businesses. And also give them exposure to a much wider audience. Why not check out all the brands we stock here!
Furthermore the business also has a partnership with The Freedom Hub, a Sydney based charity that supports victims of human trafficking in Australia.
I met the Founder of The Freedom Hub, Sally Irwin, in 2015. I was amazed by her story of how and why she started the charity. The amount of human trafficking happening right now in Australia is utterly shocking. Sally’s work in her ‘Survivor School’ helps survivors to integrate back into a fully independent life.
We started to talk and decided that together we could produce an ethical & slave free range of homewares here in Australia that could be sold with 100% of the profits going to the charity. I loved this because the designers’ businesses would benefit alongside benefitting Sally’s truly worthwhile cause.
So we produced our Freedom Hub range of hand poured soy candles and reed diffusers. Check them out here – they are have become one of our best selling ranges and I’m super, super proud of that!
Sally runs the Survivor School with all the profits from her two cafes in Waterloo, Sydney and Palm Beach, Queensland. She ethically sources everything! This includes the tea and coffee!
Both industries, especially tea, are notorious for slavery. So Sally and I have worked together to produce a range of teas exclusive to the Freedom Hub that 100% slavery free. Served in both the cafes and blended here in Sydney we can trace the entire supply chain. The teas are super delicious and you can order them online here!
So there you go! My ‘why’ I started this business and where it has led me over the past 4.5 years. I feel truly the luckiest girl alive to have a second chance at a career after having already had a 15 year one. This is where my heart lies and I will spend my days doing whatever it takes to build it more.
There is much more to the story of running your own business of course. The highs and lows, the sacrifices you have to make and the friends you will almost definitely lose and the amazing new ones you’ll find! My life has changed so dramatically since I left my money broking job it is basically unrecognisable.
I’m in the process of planning a book to help people understand what the whole process is like. Especially as I have done this all by myself so far – no partner, no investors. Just my awesome girl gang who all have their own businesses too! We all have each other’s backs and for that I am truly grateful. They are all coming over to my newly completed city apartment on Friday night for our monthly W(h)ine & Dine get together. Gives us all the perfect opportunity to ask for help and simply just vent if we need to. Cant’ wait!
I hope you have enjoyed reading and see you soon for more interiors musing!
Love Tiffany x
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