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Having a health scare can often mean the end of a career and life as you’ve come to know it, but for Stacey Hunter, she managed to turn it into the beginning of the business she’s always dreamed of.
“The job just got bigger than I was. I was leaving at 4am to get to the airport to fly to Perth, doing back-to-back showings all day, catching the red eye home, getting back to Geelong for a few hours sleep then back up the highway to Melbourne,” Stacey says.
“It was full on, but I loved it and leaving was the hardest decision I had to make. Within two weeks of getting out my health dramatically improved, so I knew it was the best thing to do.”
After leaving her job in April, Stacey has since created SIT-KA co, a home wares label that turns fashion trends into stylish cushions, furniture and interiors. Launching the business mere days before I sat down to chat with Stacey, she was still in a blur of excitement at the support she’s received.
“It feels like it’s been a long journey that’s all sort of happened very quickly. The day I launched, trying to put the photo up on Instagram, my hand was shaking that much,” she says.
While it seems like it’s been a quick process, Stacey has been very careful in each step she’s taken for the business – ensuring that every element is at the highest quality. With an eye for design from years working at a national fashion wholesaler, Stacey has personally screen printed the design onto each cushion after months of perfecting the print.
As a shopper Stacey had been looking for quality black and white interiors for a long time, and this was the ethos behind the colour palette of her first range. She felt that SIT-KA co’s designs could easily slot into anyone’s house, no matter what colour your couch is.
“I’ve pretty much put myself onto cotton – so hopefully everyone likes it. Not everyone is going to, but that’s okay,” Stacey says.
And Stacey’s attention to detail stems much further than the type of stitch, colour combination on her products or the choice to use organic cotton. SIT-KA co will have a limited online presence and will be stocked in a select few stores across the Geelong region.
The stores have been carefully selected and are shops she visits on a regular basis. The reason for her limited online store is that she wants to lessen the online shopping trend and encourage people to take part in the shopping experience.
“I don’t just want people behind a computer to click away and have it on their doorstep the next day,” she says.
“I still want people to walk into the store and experience what they have on offer.”
One such store is Goose in East Geelong, the first stockist for SIT-KA co and a spot that Stacey shares a lot of love for. “Goose has been going for 19 years and I don’t know another home wares store in Geelong that’s that successful,” Stacey says.
At this stage the SIT-KA co range contains a copper ladder, made by Stacey, and monochrome cushions with a trademark pop of copper in the zip. There are plans to expand with a copper side table and light in the works and furniture set for early next year.
While Stacey can’t divulge the designs of the furniture, she assures me they will be true to her style with the addition of some colour and all made from Australian materials – partially put together by her.
“I’m designing everything and I’m even learning how to weld over Christmas,” she adds with a laugh.
“I would like every element, even the cushions and the ladder, to be made by me – though I don’t sew the cushions together. So that’s why I’m trying to learn everything I can.”
In leaving her job at a national fashion wholesaler, the past nine months have been a huge adjustment. She’s gone from wearing stilettos at work to Nike’s covered in paint while cutting copper – the changes are huge but each and every one has paid off, and it looks like there’s only more room for SIT-KA co to grow.
If you’d like more information visit the website, Facebook or head to Goose in East Geelong (91 Garden St) to purchase some of the SIT-KA co range.
By Amanda Sherring