Behind each of your favourite stores are passionate, hardworking people who welcome you to take part in their story, every time you walk in. Here, we introduce you to the faces behind some of your favourite Stockland retailers. Learn about the history of their business, the products and services they offer and what they love about their local community.
Meet Steve, Unik Home
1. What products, services or experiences do you offer?
The name UNIKhome , is derived from the Indonesian word UNIK, meaning ‘unique’. I believe we provide a unique experience. Products are personally sourced in Java and Bali, always with the promise of something new and interesting. Antiques, recycled products and new lines of furniture, homewares and collectibles, a whole range of artisan wares.
As well as sourcing a great deal of treasures personally, we also offer a custom made furniture service where I work with my customers and our artisans in Java to create something bespoke and just for them. Being a personal business, we definitely often ‘go that extra yard’ for personalised service . For example we are happy to assist with home delivery and even over night trial of our rugs, from India. We know our customers homes are important to them, so the pieces they choose need to be just right.
2. What feedback to you get from your customers?
Feedback in the past has been very humbling, I'm very grateful for our wonderful customers. In general I get lots of comments about our affordable prices, our interesting items and personal service .
3. What are some common customer questions you get?
I often get queries about hard to find items, which customers have been searching for. Or customers hoping to get their hand on special pieces they have their heart set on, but are looking for something more affordable. I really enjoy helping them find that special piece, and can search suppliers for items or even have something made especially. That side of my job is really rewarding.
4. With regard to your store type, what are customers wanting right now?
Currently rattan furniture is trending big time, so a lot of that. Plus recycled doors and louvres which my customers use in so many great ways to finish off their homes. I've seen them used as decoration, as well as bed heads, turned into side tables. Mirrors, sideboards and daybeds are always popular too.
5. What do you love most about your job?
To be honest it’s the hunting for products. I love the entire creative process. Travelling, searching for the unique and interesting, working with artisans and definitely always looking for that magic combination of best prices and amazing quality.
6. How have you coped with COVID-19 and what are you looking forward to?
We have remained open in Stockland throughout, and it has definitely been a trying time. For me personally, I also had been undergoing chemotherapy for a chronic form of leukaemia which had resurfaced after a number of years in remission. So to say it's been trying is somewhat of an understatement, that's for sure! That being said, it was this illness in the first place all those years ago that led me to follow my creative passion and start Unik Home, and again, it's been this passion that has seen me through.
Being unable to travel to Indonesia as I usually do to source my products, I've had to get creative and be agile through this new set of challenges, and my wonderful network of suppliers and artisans have worked with me to do the same. We have worked together in new ways, over Instagram, WhatsApp and video calls to curate a fresh container of treasures which are due to arrive this week.
I also share our shop space here at Stockland with La Pearl (who stocks a fantastic range of bohemian wares) and I'd love to acknowledge here how wonderful it has been to work along side such a terrific support and friend for whom I am very grateful.
Looking forward to a return to normal, getting back into travel and back to visit our wonderful artisans, and to good health!
If you’d like to read more about your most-loved retailers, their products, and the faces behind the businesses, click through to the Retailer Stories page on our Belong hub. There are plenty of stories to share!