It feels like forever since we have given you an update so we wanted to let you know what has been keeping us busy. My family and I were lucky enough to have enjoyed a holiday in Europe in May. We visited my family in Greece along with some time in France visiting friends in Lille, as well as a few days in wonderful Paris. Towards the end of our holiday we spent a magnificent week staying with some friends in a beautiful villa in the South of France, just outside Provence. My husband David also ticked off one of his bucket list items by going to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco. Thankfully we were able to enjoy a nice break because as soon as we returned home, we were straight into a refurbishment and fit-out of our first ever retail store in Round Corner, Dural.
As a little bit of background, my husband and I are long-standing Hills District locals and we started the In My Hood business just over a year ago as an online only retailer. After attending a number of local area market events including the Sydney Boutique Markets at Rouse Hill town centre, the Hills District Mums ladies night markets and the Hills Upmarket at 42 Bannerman restaurant in Glenhaven, I realized that there wasn’t really any other children’s retailers who carry the type of product that we have. All the feedback we received was really positive which really spurred our decision to pursue a physical store opening.
Despite starting as an online store my vision was always to build a dual-format children’s lifestyle emporium. When the opportunity to secure a fantastic retail location in the Round Corner, Dural precinct presented itself, my husband David and I decided to take the plunge and sign up for a lease on the empty store. The store was previously a ladies fashion outlet named Emily Rose. We took it over as a vacant possession and as you can see it had good bones, but needed plenty of work to turn our vision into reality.
In order to give the store that real wow factor we engaged our talented designer Jessica Blanchard before we left for overseas. Jess works as visual merchandiser for a national retail fashion chain and her vision and execution was beyond our expectations. She mapped out the floor plan and fit out requirements for our DA approval through local council which was relatively straight forward
Once we returned from our holiday with our council DA in hand we jumped straight into refurbishing the store, and sourcing fittings to complete the look. As you can see from the photos it needed quite a lot of work. We repainted the whole store, replaced all of the lighting and installed some new pendant lights, had the air-conditioning systems replaced and built a new a storage area. We also handmade a huge two piece plywood pegboard for displaying our product.
The last step of the stressful but ultimately very rewarding store refurbishment was the fit-out and visual merchandising which was the really fun part. I feel so lucky to have had Jess to guide us through this process. Not only because of her ability to create such a wonderful visual showpiece but also that she was so much fun to work with! Thank you so much Jess, we really wouldn’t be here without you and the store wouldn’t look half as good without your flair & talent. I have gained a friendship and look forward to having you continue to merchandise our store.
As you can imagine it has been a pretty hectic time but we are so pleased with how the store has turned out. It was a hard slog but we were over the moon to finally open the store, just over three weeks ago. The In My Hood store is located at shops 1 & 2, 3 Ward Place, Dural. We hope that if you are ever in the Hills District area that you pop in and say hello to Marcelle, or myself in store.
We would also love to hear your thoughts on how you think the store looks and any suggestions for products or brands that you may have. We aim to feature a carefully selected range of apparel, toys & gifts, home & décor and accessories that will help bring your children’s bedrooms and play areas to life. If you are unable to make it into the store, our online shop is open 24/7.