“The whole thing started when we moved out of home, we felt there was a lack of affordable fresh homeware,” explains Sienna Arena, co-owner of Dear September. “We wanted people to be able to play with their house like they would their decor, keeping it affordable with new stock all the time.”
Sienna runs Dear September with her twin sister Lauren Johnson, the idea conceived over several cups of tea and a few glasses of wine. Having made a success of their online business they fulfilled the original ambition of opening a store in March 2014. Some eighteen months later they are considering opening a second shop which would provide them with much need workshop space.
Theirs has been a carefully studied path to entrepreneurship, Sienna has a background in fashion wholesale and Lauren in events. Together they started selling jewellery at Bondi Market before moving operations online. Growing up in the area has enabled them to identify opportunities in the local market. “There’s a beautiful community of people here,” reveals Sienna, “all working together to create unique and fresh products. It’s a real community of shops working together to promote the whole area. Instagram works well for us too. Many sales filter through that.”
Their passion for vintage clothing and worldly trinkets is evident from the store’s quirky, eclectic and tasteful range, whether it is a Moroccan leather pouffe, a Nordic fish bowl or an Indian lantern.
“Being true to our starting goal has been important,” explains Sienna. “It is easy to get sidetracked. You can become so absorbed working 24/7 and it can be hard to shut off and forget timeframes.” Fortunately, the sisters have each other for support. All of the purchasing and ordering is done in close collaboration and where possible they source handmade and Australian products.
Their advice for other aspiring businesses? “Stay motivated,” explains Sienna. “It’s not going to happen overnight.”
North Bondi for a swim at night
Bellagio for a coffee
Vacanza for a pizza
Address 23 Albion St, Waverley NSW 2024
Phone 0403 996 664
Mon-Fri 10.00am – 5.00pm
Sat 9.00am – 5.00pm