Q&A with Everingham & Watson

Liz Watson and Susie Everingham of Everingham & Watson.
Liz Watson and Susie Everingham of Everingham & Watson.

This is the first in our series of Q&As with independent retailers and designers who are doing an excellent job of creating a differentiated identity and product. Everingham & Watson are fellow locals from Brisbane and we LOVE what they do. The media can’t get enough of what they do either – these two don’t look for media coverage now – bloggers and magazine editors are beating a path to their door.

How did you come up with the idea of selling Australiana inspired gifts, accessories and homewares?

We love Australiana and thought there was a gap for our take on Australian design.

How much did know about retailing, online marketing, design and production before you started out?

We both had retail experience from University days, however our other life experiences are very different. Susie studied Business (marketing) and Law at university and Liz has a background in Graphic Design and Marketing.

Susie had studied interior design and completed several interior and construction projects. In the past she also worked with her husband in the production side of his wrought ironbusiness, Ironfist.

Liz has worked at the Queensland Art Gallery for many years, abroad at Links of London and various design firms. She also works at the Asia Pacific Design Library, SLQ part time.

What were the most valuable sources of retailing and online marketing advice when you were starting out? What are they now?

We went in blind!! Sounds like a cliché, but we have learnt so much over the past year being online. It’s all new to us, so its been a fun journey!

What’s a typical day at the E&W ‘office’ look like?

Lots of colour, lots of drop in visitors, lots of talk, lots of tapping on laptops, lots of tea, later, drinks…

What do you do in-house and what do you outsource?

We are trying to do as much as we can business wise in-house. We outsource some production. Between us we have legal, graphic design, interior design and small business experience so we’re very lucky in that regard.

What online marketing strategies and publicity channels have been most successful?

Direct contacts, relationships and excellent photographs. But essentially, working hard to get the products right in the first place. We are proud of the collection we have curated and work hard on the site.

What have been your top 3 best selling products online?

Our own E&W products. Textiles, jewellery and boards. We have found that for many customers, weight isn’t always an issue!

What is the difference between products that sell well online vs in your popup shop?

Larger items and more tactile and fragile items sell better in store. The pop up is also in November so very much a one stop Christmas shop.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start an online retail business?

It is constant and very hard work.

What do you love most about what you do?

Working for ourselves, so enjoying the products and the process. Also the flexibility within the constraints of the huge amount of work it’s been. We both love seeing new E&W stock when it arrives.

Where to from here for Everingham and Watson?

We just launched a showroom in Newstead Brisbane and will be working from there 2 days a week. We are also launching our wholesale range at Life Instyle Melbourne later this year.

We will also have a longer November 2013 pop up shop in Brisbane this year.

We’ve loved the pineapple but we’re ready for a new motif du jour. Predictions?

We have just launched our Prawntastic design and have others ready to go for the Christmas season. Watch this space!

 

E&W Prawn tastic tea towel (Fluro/Neon pink and white on Beige linen)
E&W Prawntastic tea towel (Fluro/Neon pink and white on Beige linen)