If you’re a surfer and lover of the ocean, then chances are you have come across a store like Salt Living and wanted to turn the entire store into your new open plan apartment. That’s pretty much what 28 year old Jacinta Bishop did upon returning home from years of travel across various continents. Jacinta returned home with a new found direction and motivation to pursue a career in home interiors and a coastal way of life. She worked hard in completing a Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design Futures – Interior Environments before opening the Salt Living online concept store in early 2014. The immediate success of this online boutique store allowed Jacinta to open our very first brick and mortar store in the new Strand at Coolangatta in 2015. I caught up with Jacinta last week to gain a bit more of an insight into this passionate and successful boss lady.
Salt Living… Wow! Absolutely stunning store. I’m in love! Apart from the love at first sight reaction I get, can you please let us know a bit more about your store?
At Salt Living we are dedicated to sourcing the highest quality natural, ethical, sustainable and handmade homewares and coastal décor pieces from Australia and around the world. We are constantly searching for the very best international Fair Trade Artisans and boutique Australian Designers to offer unique, hand crafted products that bring that calming, fresh ocean feeling into your home, and into your life everyday.
So your brick and mortar store is on the Gold Coast… Have you always lived here?
My childhood was spent in a little beach town in Tasmania, but I’ve been on the Gold Coast for half of my life so it is definitely home to me.
I hear you’ve travelled a fair bit before committing to your own business. Would you say travelling and experiencing different cultures helped you find your calling?
Before Salt Living I was a bit lost. I had spent time backpacking around South America, Asia, Europe and Africa. I had lived in Thailand teaching English as a second language, before moving to Korea to continue teaching. I then spent a few months in India doing yoga. Though I never seemed to find my calling, I never felt fulfilled. I missed living by the ocean and I wasn’t content living out of a back pack any longer. I realised my passion lay in home interiors and the coastal way of life, so starting Salt Living was my way of incorporating all of my experiences and passions into one creative outlet.
How did you go about opening your first online store and following its success, how did you go about opening the first brick and mortar store on the Gold Coast?
After returning home, I wanted to gain more knowledge to support my passion, so I studied a Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design Futures (Interior Environments) before opening the Salt Living online concept store in early 2014. The immediate success of this online boutique store allowed me to open our very first brick and mortar store in the new Strand at Coolangatta in 2015.
I saved some money to start me off, then just took it one baby step at a time. I taught myself new skills by reading articles, watching you tube tutorials, researching, talking to people, asking questions etc. Figuring out what works and what doesn’t was just a matter of trial and error. You try, you fail, you learn from it, you try again. I just worked hard, every day and gradually built Salt Living into the business is it today. Nothing happens over night and every day I’m still building!
What do you stock at Salt Living?
I am dedicated to continuing to bring you the very best handmade, natural and individual beachside homewares and home décor products from local and international creatives. We stock a range of home decor, soft furnishings, furniture, rugs, lighting and gifts. Living on the Southern Gold Coast our whole lifestyle revolves around the beach so we also stock everyday essentials like swimwear, surf wear, beach towels, beach bags and beach umbrellas!
What would you say is your mission in running Salt Living?
I knew there must be others out there who also wanted alternatives to the mass-produced, cheap import products available everywhere, but to be honest I have been overwhelmed by the positive response. I’m not interested in trends at all. I’m interested in QUALITY things, NATURAL materials and GOOD design. I also love inspiring people to create their own style and forget about what everyone else likes.
What do you love most about running your own business?
So many things! The confidence it has given me, I have more belief in myself now than I ever have in my life! Salt Living is absolutely an extension of myself. I have given it so much of myself, and it gives me so much in return. I also love the excitement of wondering where it will take me in life.
Any plans for future stores?
Absolutely! I am such a dreamer and am always making plans. My next dream is a bigger shop, then after that I’d love to open a second store maybe in Sydney’s Northern beaches. My partner Jake has his heart set on living in San Diego one day so who knows where life will take us!! Its all one big adventure!
Thanks for chatting with us Jacinta! Hope to see one of your stores in Sydney very soon! :)
x Kim Eulenstein
Girl Surf Network