what business has taught st agni’s lara bluett about life

St Agni studio Lara Bluett Smack Bang Designs 1
St Agni studio Lara Bluett Smack Bang Designs 2
St Agni studio Lara Bluett Smack Bang Designs 3

St Agni is a lifestyle brand with a cult-like following. Their stylish, simple and timeless accessories and apparel have global appeal with a spot-on aesthetic. We are big fans, let’s just say there are more than a few pairs of their iconic slides walking up and down the Smack Bang hallways. We recently had a chat with co-founder, Lara about their ever-changing retail space and the business benefits of a day at the beach.

what business has taught st agni’s lara bluett about life
St Agni studio Lara Bluett Smack Bang Designs 2
  1. HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE?
    I love a good Iced Latte.
  2. HOW DO YOU EARN A CRUST?
    My Husband Matt and I own a label called St. Agni.
  3. WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE TO YOU?
    I wouldn’t say I have a typical day… I would describe my days as organised chaos. However, I do like to start the day at the Beach with my Dog Harper followed by a coffee.

 

St Agni studio Lara Bluett Smack Bang Designs 1

“Our vision for this summer is devoted to the past, taking moods from vintage textures, colours and styles. The aim was to incorporate our love for mid-century modern architecture and fabrics.”

  1. TELL US ABOUT YOUR RETAIL SPACE, HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DREAMING IT UP?
    Our store is located in Byron Bay’s Industrial Estate; it’s a beautiful space with polished concrete floors, high ceilings and lots of natural light. We display our full collection alongside a few carefully selected third-party brands. I have always wanted to have my own store, I’m a retail girl, so opening a store came quite naturally to me.
  2. TELL US ABOUT THE FIT-OUT:
    When we first put together the concept we were limited by our budget, so as the business evolved, the space evolved also. I feel it’s really important to be fluid with the concept, to be open to change as the product and brand grow. I’m so happy with the space; I love spending time in the store.
  3. WHAT’S BEEN THE BIGGEST EYE-OPENER FOR YOU WHEN OPENING YOUR RETAIL STORE?
    Matt and I both have a background in retail, so I don’t think anything was a really big shock to us. The main shock was how busy the store would become. At the start, we naively thought it would be a little space we could run alongside the rest of the business. We never expected it would take on a life of its own so quickly.
  4. WE LOVE YOUR LATEST COLLECTION; TELL US ABOUT THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT: 
    Our vision for this summer is devoted to the past, taking moods from vintage textures, coloUrs and styles. The aim was to incorporate our love for mid-century modern architecture and fabrics. We introduced rattan mesh and tones of rust and clay. We wanted to emphasise the classic femininity demonstrated in the various 1960’s and 1970’s French films starring the likes of Birkin and Bardot. It was important for us to focus on comfort and quality.
  5. WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO REMEDY WHEN YOU’RE STUCK IN A CREATIVE RUT?
    Sometimes I lack creativity when my mind is too full… I find the best way for me to regain a creative outlook is to stop and relax. I feel most creative after a day at the beach or by having time at home to myself.
St Agni studio Lara Bluett Smack Bang Designs 3
what business has taught st agni’s lara bluett about life
  1. HOW DO YOU START YOUR WEEK?
    With a big to do list.
  2. WHAT ABOUT ENDING THE WEEK?
    The end of the week is when I wind down, generally we cook a nice dinner and enjoy a relaxing night in with a movie.
  3. TELL US ABOUT A PROJECT YOU’VE LOVED WORKING ON:
    We are currently working on collaboration with one of my favourite online retailers. It’s been such an honour working on exclusive styles for them – stay tuned for the launch in March 18’!
  4. WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST HURDLE FOR YOU WHEN STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
    Having your own business is one hurdle after another. For us, a big hurdle was space – our business started in our linen cupboard, it then took over the spare bedroom and then the rest of our house. We finally realised we needed a commercial warehouse in 2016, and then less than a year later we had outgrown that. Luckily we had the opportunity to take on the lease for the warehouse next door. I have a feeling our challenge with space hasn’t ended yet. Another hurdle I think all business owners face is ‘balance’, when you work with your partner it’s so easy to let the business consume you and your relationship. It’s something Matt and I are really aware of but still struggle with! It’s so important to keep time every day for the things that make you happy.
  5. WHO ARE YOUR CREATIVE HEROES?
    I love seeing people having a real go at something they are passionate about, it can be scary. In Byron, I’m surrounded by creative heroes, people who are creatively fearless.
  6. NEXT ADVENTURE?
    Our next big Adventure is welcoming our baby into the world.
  7. WHAT’S ONE LESSON YOUR BUSINESS HAS TAUGHT YOU ABOUT LIFE?
    To see each failure as a lesson! Mistakes happen, if you can learn from them then you’ve got the key to success.

Photos by Lynden Foss

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