Anna Chisholm first opened her store, Bungalow Trading Co., in early 2013. A Caulfield South local, Anna realised there was nowhere in her area to purchase the kind of art, soft furnishings, decor, unique gifts or fashion she was interested in. Coming from a background in finance and large corporations, Anna yearned to create her own community. Following the birth of her two sons, she took the leap to fulfil her lifelong dream of owning a store and opened Bungalow Trading Co. – a haven for the bright, bold and unique wares Anna had always loved!
Despite her little store being welcomed with open arms by the local community, Anna’s life was turned upside down by a number of personal hardships within the first 6-12 months of operation, so much so that she considered selling or shutting down within the first year. ‘My initial reaction was to shut the shop, or otherwise try to sell the young business so that someone could continue with the venture’, Anna explained of this difficult time.
Despite this first response, Anna did something brave that many of us struggle with – she accepted help. Her family stood in for her – ‘took the keys, made decisions, and paid the bills.’ A customer even offered to start working some of the weekdays, ‘which she did without any training’ (she still works with Anna today!). ‘The support I received from those closest to me and those I barely knew meant that I was eventually able to come back to the business, and it was exactly what I needed to focus on in order to rebuild my confidence and character after the turmoil’, Anna tells. And rebuild she did!
After four years in her Caulfield South space, Anna and the Bungalow team outgrew their home, and in June this year opened the doors to a larger new shop in Brighton. With an interest in supporting emerging designers, this bigger Bungalow space is a treasure trove of unique items in bright colours and loud prints – ‘the more clashing, the better!’ In addition to expanding Bungalow, Anna has also recently completed her Cert IV in Interior Decoration at The Design School to equip her with the skills needed to help customers with their interiors – making Bungalow a one-stop-shop for home styling, expert advice, gift buying, and more.
Bungalow Trading Co.
149 Martin Street
Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm
Saturday – Sunday, 10am-3pm