As you guys all know I wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to the creative people and businesses we feature on TDF. Whilst I always love discovering and introducing new finds, there are some obvious old faves which I know creep up time and time again, and it's no secret that Safari Living in Prahran is one of them!
Safari Living proprietor Felicity Rulikowsi, is, in my humble opinion, one of Melbourne's very best independent retailers. Felicity was one of the first local businesses ever to sponsor The Design Files and work with us on giveaways and other promotions - I think she saw the potential of this little beast long before I did! That's the amazing thing about Flick - she is always one step ahead. After 11 years in business, she is a stickler for doing things 'properly' - her store always looks incredible, and the range of homewares brands and products under one roof is unrivalled, despite the relatively modest shopfront Safari inhabits on that distinctive colourful corner of High street in East Prahran.
Felicity is a great supporter of both local and international emerging labels, and travels extensively every year on the endless hunt for exciting new finds for her store. This means that alongside the obvious classic pieces (Missoni towels, Dibbern ceramics and Marimekko), you can always be assured of discovering something new here - Flick's latest finds include handmade Doug Johnston cotton vessels and Zuzunaga woven cushions and throws from Spain in the most incredible range of colours!
S0, with Christmas terrifyingly close, I figured it was an opportune time to let you know that Safari Living have just launched a beautiful new online shop! Working with a bunch of talented local creatives including local design studio Alter, Felicity and her team have done such a stellar job of updating Safari's digital presence. But be warned, the website is just as dangerous as a visit to the store - and will inevitably result in an unexpected purchase or two!
Do pop over and see what gorgeousness there is to discover - today is in fact the final day of online shopping at Safari Living if you require pre-Christmas delivery! (Shop until midnight tonight for any gifts which require delivery before Christmas). In the spirit of doing things properly, Safari also offer complimentary gift wrapping for all sales both online and in store, and all orders over $100 benefit from free shipping within Australia!
We asked Safari Living proprietor Felicity Rulikowsi a few questions about her background, the Safari Living story and the development of Safari's new online store -
I opened Safari early December 2001. I had worked in fashion for over 15 years and had enjoyed that immensely. However, my interest in design was starting to shift from fashion to interiors and industrial design. I had always travelled a lot both for work and pleasure, and along the way I found myself thinking about ways to combine the extraordinary craft skills that I discovered during these travels and practical everyday items.
My first foray into this was in a village in East Bali where they had a tradition of weaving baskets using a locally harvested vine. I developed a collection of baskets, vessels and stools that combined the fine skills of these craftsmen, a high quality, locally sourced material (the ata vine) with items that could be used and enjoyed everyday. As much as I loved spending time on the product development I realised that I also needed to spend time developing the showroom, which I had opened in a small corner store in East Prahran. So, I started to spend more time in the showroom, adding local and European products to the mix, with an emphasis always on quality and creativity.
We had been talking about upgrading our online store for a while. The actual website was perfect as it was, but our e-commerce needed to be streamlined in order to provide a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience, and be able to handle the large range of products that we now carried. Work on the new site only started in October.
The landing page images for the new-look site were shot at our warehouse space in Richmond by the very talented Brooke Holm, styled by the super creative Marsha Golemac (who also created the incredible pom pom window installation now in store for our summer campaign!).
All marketing direction has been smoothly and superbly handled by Neil Kenna. And my enormous gratitude also goes to Sharon Orgad who has only recently joined the Safari team and has been responsible for overseeing the entire production. Without her dedicated attention to detail and awesome skills in many areas, turning this new website around in time for Christmas would not have been possible!