For this week’s Ladies We Love feature, we were thrilled to catchup with Trish McCormack, part-owner of the thriving homeware boutique that is Ampersand.
Read on to hear all about Trish’s favourite products, the latest homeware trends and her life as a local business owner.
Trish! Thank you so much for featuring in CM’s signature series, Ladies We Love. Lets start off by enlightening our readers to who you are and what you do for a living?
Trish McCormack, I am married to Pete, we have two dogs Charlie and Meg. I love to cook, we love to travel, be in the outdoors and around our family and friends. We can’t wait to start renovating our own home. I am an Interior Designer and one of the business owners of Ampersand Geelong.
How did you venture into the homeware and retail industries? Have you always had an interest in this area?
I always have had an interest in Fashion and Interiors, love clothes, love houses – all goes together really nicely actually! I worked on a few interior publications in London, one of them was Inside Out and Elle Decoration. Plus I completed my Diploma of Interior Design at the Gordon in Geelong. I always wanted to open a store and when Jonno and Bille approached me with the idea of the store, I jumped at the chance, as it was really good timing. I was ready and excited to start using my interior skills.
What were you doing before Ampersand was at the height of Geelong homeware styling?
I was studying Interior Design at the Gordon, previously after coming back from an overseas working holiday for 3 years, I was just trying to find my feet, where do I fit in? And what am I going to do? I did a few different sales and marketing roles in Melbourne and Geelong.
Ampersand is a unique yet understated classy name for a retail store, did you come up with this yourself? If so, what is the reasoning behind it?
Well, Ampersand stemmed from the four of us sitting around trying to come up with a name, Bille and I liked the idea of Frankie&Co but there was already a store in Hampton that was too similar, so Jonno came up with the idea of the ‘&’ as most businesses were ‘something & something’; so we agreed it had a nice ring to it.
Describe what you might find in store currently.
I would have to say Terrazzo is making a big comeback, so you will see in lamps, vases, planters etc… Plus gold metallics in mirrors and various home decorations. Marble is still big, natural timbers and neutrals are coming back in… but I think there is ALWAYS room for a spot of colour!
If you had to pick… What would be your three favourite product in store as we speak?
Oh god how can I choose just three, okay well The Dahlia original canvas by Morgan Jamesion because it is just gorgeous, the Gus Morgot Velvet 3 seater sofa in Midnight by Globe West and anything from Fox & Ramona.
Is there anything new and exciting that will drop in store?
Yes lots of new exciting furniture pieces will grace our floors and lots of new artwork; especially new pieces by Prudence Caroline and Ali McNabeny-Stevens. We have a great new candle range called Luxuraite, gorgeous new Swell drink bottle colours and stunning knits by Ella Sanders. Also great new Rollie AW17 range.
Running a small business reveals a lot about ones character and underlying persistence. What values do you hold and a local business owner? Do you think this impacts on your customers overall experience?
It is important to get to know your customers, I really enjoy speaking to them about what they are doing in general and then when they need help choosing a gift or decorating their home; I feel we are there for them. Value your customers, be respectful to everyone. Know your products and generally just have a good attitude. We really want to make sure our customers are having a great experience when they walk into Ampersand.
As the unapologetic snoops we are… Can you indulge us in what a day in the life of Trish looks like?
Early start at KX pilates and go for a run with the dogs, breakfast, I am either working from home which means helping my husband with invoicing for our plumbing business Contemplumb, client appointment, on site appointments, trips up to Melbourne to get stock or working in Ampersand. Cooking dinner and maybe a yoga class in the evening. It is important to stay healthy while you are working and juggling lots of different things.
What are your short term and long term goals for Ampersand and what can we expect from you in the future?
Short term goals is to continue finding lots of new and exciting great products to bring into the store for our customers and long term would be going online and creating our own products; another store! The list goes on…
Lastly, if you had a bucket list, what would be number one?
To have a baby!
+Project Assistant, Bella Dalrymple