We escaped the heat this afternoon and called into Inverloch's latest pop up store Fig & Willow and caught up with the delightful owner April Morris, a lifelong Inverloch local who has been running her business online successfully for the last year and has just opened her first pop up store right next door to Gusto, possibly the best Gelato shop this side of Melbourne.
Tell us about your Inverloch business, how did it start?
So I started Fig & Willow as an online only boutique based in Inverloch just over a year ago now. After that, I started doing market stalls and trade fairs locally, selling my plants and home wares, clothing, that sort of thing. I thought now would be a great time to do a pop up store in Inverloch as the town gets busier and more and more people are moving here from Melbourne. I got talking to some locals and friends, and together we thought it was a good idea to give it a go.
How long have you been in Inverloch?
I live in Inverloch full time, so I'm a local girl. I grew up here and went to primary school at Inverloch primary, and then loved the town so much that we built our dream home here. Yeah I'm very lucky that I live here, and also really happy to start working here as well, which I'm loving.
Was your business set up online originally?
Yes, originally just strictly as an online store. I've also done lots of local market stalls as well, but I am still primarily based online. We ship Fig & Willow products all over Australia and globally, except the plants. It's really good to actually, have a physical pop up shop as well, so people can come in and touch and feel the products, and get a sense of what the brand is all about. You could say it's my tentative first step at expanding the business.
What do you love most about living in Inverloch?
I love the people. I love how everyone knows everyone. All my friends are still here. The people that I grew up with, and too so thats especially nice. Inverloch is a really friendly town and there is a great mix of locals and sea-changers. Of course I absolutely love the beach as well. If I'm not working, I'll be on one of Inverloch's many beautiful beaches.
Are you finding you are selling different lines in the pop up store compared to online?
I'm definitely selling a lot more Fig & Willow products when people can touch and feel them, and a lot more of them all in the same space. People online might buy one or two things. But when they're in the physical store, they tend to buy more things. The Inverloch pop up store is it's definitely good for sales in that way. Especially the clothing, with people being able to physically try items on.
Do you think at some stage in the future Fig & willow will open permanently in Inverloch?
That would have to be the long term goal for Fig & Willow for sure, I know this is definitely what I want to do. I've been doing it for a little while now online but yes long term I would love for Fig and Willow to have a full time home in Inverloch.
What has been your bestseller so far in the pop up store?
100% all the indoor plants. They're huge at the moment. They're selling really well. Also things like the rattan products, the mirrors, and also we've got some planters, which are ... well, I've only got the one left now! I've been selling quite a few of those. The clothing has been going quite well too.
How can people find you in Inverloch?
That's easy, we are right next door to the best Gelato this side of Melbourne, Gusto and opposite the post office. of course people can browse Fig & Willow online store as well. We offer free express delivery to customers who live in Inverloch & Wonthaggi and we also offer a free local pickup service.
We are open Thursday-Saturday 10:30-4:30 and every second Sunday 11:00-4:00. (Latest info will always be available on my socials @figandwillowau
At this stage we will be open all of Jan-Feb with the option to continue on if we want to.