Welcome to the first instalment of #SheLivesFree spaces, where we show you the special stores around the globe who stock Auguste!
We were always so intrigued about this little Melbourne seaside boutique called Love Iluka, who would tag us on Instagram in snaps of their store that looked like a bohemian wonderland. Along with Auguste, the boutique stocks a variety of clothing, art and homewares including gorgeous Nusa Indah Surfboards and so many more beachy treasures.
We spoke to the #SheLivesFree Space owner & founder Rachel about her special space and how it has come to be...
What made you want to open a boutique?
I’ve been working in surf/skate shops since I was 15 years old and I’d always dreamt about having my own store for so long but never had the finances to make it happen, until unfortunately in early 2014 when my mother passed away. As you can imagine this was a huge turning point in my life and I decided to use my inheritance towards a dream that she could be proud of and to turn that devastating loss into a new journey for us to share on a spiritual level.
I wanted to create something really different and unique but also wanted to feel like I was helping women. Ideally my aim was to incorporate an organic cafe and holistic practices, which would benefit, inspire and nurture mentally, physically and emotionally. I found the right building and shared my ideas with the owner and although I couldn’t afford to do it all myself he agreed to run the cafe and turn the upstairs residence into studios and now that vision has come to life incorporating all that I value and believe in.
Love Iluka now shares the building with a wholesome food cafe - The Wholesome Nest and holistic studios upstairs (Beach Lane).
Tell me a little about Carrum, where your store is based:
Love Iluka is nestled in beside the beautiful yet understated Carrum beach in Melbourne’s South East Suburbs. The beach is heavenly, it’s a little like living in a small coastal country town that’s family orientated.
We have found our current home in a gorgeous old building with a beautiful vibe, there’s a lane way that takes you to the beach and through our backyard which hopefully by next summer will have an outdoor cafe/bar.
The name Love Iluka which was for my mother as she adored the beach and it was a huge part of our lives. Iluka means ‘by the sea’. I grew up in Carrum and have loads of childhood memories growing up around the beaches nearby, so it’s nice to feel at home with Love Iluka opening up here.
You support a lot of small designers, authors and artists… what do you look for in the labels you stock?
I began with a selection of talented local artists and designers as l had quite a few friends that had already started their own labels including clothing, jewellery and leather accessories. I would sometimes help them out at the markets which led to me wandering around meeting many more creative souls who had a great products I wanted to stock and share with others. We have so much talent in Australia and l love being able to support their dreams as much as my own.
There are a number of things that come to mind when I’m looking at labels but I’m a sucker for anything handmade, sustainable, organic and fair trade. The majority of my choices are things l love and I’m told l have great taste…ha ha!!!
Your space is so beautiful and well thought out… what inspired the aesthetics of your store?
Our overall vibe is for the new and old school Bohemian who lives for the sea and is all about loving herself unconditionally, feeling amazing in her own skin and with what she wears.
Bringing a little bit of Byron and Bali to Carrum was defiantly the feel and look l was going for, l knew l had a very small budget for the fit out which was ok because l wanted a slightly rustic coastal look using as much recycled materials as possible (and my tradie husband for labour). I found a demolition yard who had loads of timber and came across weatherboards from a very old home which was painted a mint colour which was perfect for the counter!
I designed the whole layout, counter, racks and change room myself and there is so much more l want to create with this store but it’s a little hard with the space as we need the walkway to cafe, so I guess we will just have to save all the new ideas and designs for the next Love Iluka store.
What music would we hear if we walked into Love Iluka?
The Cafe has control of the music we play as all controls are located down the back but thankfully the girls have great taste. There is such a variety everyday with some old favourites thrown in like Fleetwood Mac, Janis Joplin and The Beatles. It’s all pretty chilled and bluesy types of music but if anything I would like to throw in some Bell Rays and Ash Grunwald to the mix.