New botanic fashion label with eco layers

As models took to the catwalk at Raj House in the city of Adelaide last week, Lauren Crago saw the fruits of her design labour appearing in more ways than one.

Not only was she showing the first ever Solomon Street collection of ethical clothing after a hard year planning and designing – the collection also centred around her own designs featuring bold, fruit-inspired prints.

“At the moment the designs are inspired by fruit and vegetables, there is a real beauty in them,” Lauren says.

“The current prints are focused mainly on apricots and figs, they hold a special place in my heart with family, my mum and grandma, and my love for cooking…. I have great memories of me and my mum picking figs.”

The clothing range is also remarkable on another layer. All the garments were made from carefully selected, sustainable fabrics including recycled fishing nets, and were printed in Australia. The label was greeted with strong support for the launch at the Feast Festival headquarters in Adelaide’s West End.

Among the family, friends and loyal customers were other local makers and those involved with other eco fashion brands including Huntermade and organic sleepwear label Jager.

Solomon Street’s pieces are centred around fruit and vegetable prints and made from sustainable fabrics.

It’s been a whirlwind month for the entrepreneurial 25-year-old as her burgeoning label also opened its first bricks and mortar home in historic Regent Arcade off Rundle Mall with support from Renew Adelaide.

In a world dominated by consumerism, Lauren says it’s been a passionate pursuit. She first started Solomon Street to sell eco-friendly biodegradable textiles and stationery online about a year ago, creating bound books she designed and cut herself along with cards.

The name for the clothing and stationery label came from the street in the Adelaide CBD where Lauren previously worked at Fairweather coffee as a barista.

But she kept her eyes on the end goal; to produce her own eco fashion label. She is now creating bold designs then taking them to a Melbourne manufacturer for the fabric to be printed.

The fabrics range from organic cotton, a linen and cotton blend, and recycled nylon made from fishing nets in Italy, used in her line of swimwear.

Garments including bathers, leisure wear and jumpsuits are then sewn either by Lauren or through another Adelaide business with the final products landing in the store or being sold online.

Lauren Crago recently celebrated the opening of her bricks and mortar fashion store in Regent Arcade, off Rundle Mall.

“My inspiration comes from changing the way businesses behave, we are a very consumerist society, the fashion side of things is a large part of the business,” she says.

“There are so many facets to the designs. I wanted to create clothing that was comfortable to wear but in a flattering silhouette, it’s reminiscent of the ‘70s, A-frame dresses and flared, wide-leg pants. They are vibrant and fun but comfortable and they will last a really long time.”

It’s been a boost for Lauren, moving into the like-minded hub of Regent Arcade.

There’s a vegan juice bar nearby along with Have you met Charlie?, a gift store featuring homewares, jewellery and prints from independent South Australian makers, many with a sustainable bent.

Oh Deer Sugar is nearby with its non-edible bakery making ‘food for the skin’ bath and body products – all handmade in Adelaide using cruelty free, vegan ingredients to replicate desserts.

And there’s the small design studio Leatherworks Adelaide that specialises in quality, handmade leather goods. It’s owned by Lauren’s family friends and she created the store branding.

“I’m really excited to be in Regent Arcade, it’s known as a hub for a lot of young and up and coming designers in Adelaide and being part of that cohort is pretty cool,” she says.

Solomon Street’s line of swimwear is made from recycled nylon from fishing nets in Italy.

Lauren is also working hard to make Solomon Street a zero-waste brand with the current packaging bio-degradable and products which can be recycled or are also biodegradable.

She also says customers buying her clothing can bring them back for alterations – like tightening straps – to ensure they last longer.

There are plans to use some of the sales profits as loans for those experiencing poverty to gain financial support.

“I want to create ethical and sustainable fabric and paper products from beautiful prints that fund life-bettering projects for our local and international community,” Lauren says.

“We believe that humans are innately generous and kind. Our beliefs lie in the idea that even as one person, one team, one community, we can make the world into a better place.”

Industry in focus: Craft industries

Throughout the months of November and December, the state’s craft industries will be celebrated as part of I Choose SA.

South Australian craftspeople make up some of our most creative thinkers and makers of sustainable and innovative goods. Read more craft stories here.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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12 ways to choose SA in Rundle Mall this Christmas

Christmas is a time for giving and with the festive season officially upon us, it’s time to do the rounds and buy something special for our loved ones.

There’s no better time to choose local than the lead up to Christmas, and with Adelaide’s premier shopping precinct launching its festive decorations last week, Rundle Mall is set to sparkle.

So give back to SA this Christmas by supporting local businesses in Rundle Mall when embarking on your Christmas gift hunt. When you choose SA you’re supporting local families, jobs and the future of our small businesses.

Here are 12 ways to choose SA in Rundle Mall before the big man in red visits at Christmas.

1. Go nuts at Charlesworth

This long-standing family business has been around in SA since 1934. The fresh nuts are cooked on site and a number of nut, dried fruit, chocolate and confectionery gift baskets, boxes and platters are sure to be a winner around the table on Christmas Day. Charlesworth also have bake-at-home packs of Christmas cake, muffins, pudding and continental panforté.

2. Indulge at Haigh’s

Australia’s oldest family-owned chocolate company is a must-visit every year, because what is Christmas without something a little special? Located on the historic Beehive Corner, Haigh’s Chocolates has an extensive Christmas collection of boxed and loose choccies and truffles, advent calendars, gift tins, chocolate filled stockings, bon bons and hampers. Editor’s note: one can’t go by the devilishly moreish berrychocs and the dark ginger chocolate bars.

3. Buy something you won’t find elsewhere

Regent Arcade gift shop Have you met Charlie is full of wares made by independent artists and makers from around the world, with many of them from SA. You’ll find gifts by local makers Ettie Ink, Kindred Self, One Seed, Tea 4 Two and more. While many of the wares will delight the ladies, you’ll also find gifts for blokes, babies and the home.

4. Visit Australia’s largest speciality hat shop

Adelaide Hatters has been around for more than 25 years and is the largest hat shop in the country, spread across two floors in Adelaide Arcade. The store stocks a number of classic hat brands as well as hard-to-find speciality items. Whether it’s a funky sunhat, stunning headpiece, or a stylish cap – there’s a hat for every occasion, as they say.

5. Discover ‘every bear that ever there was’

Located in Regent Arcade, The Teddy Bear Shop has been home to Australia’s largest range of bears for almost 30 years. You’ll find rare collector bears and popular classics that make a memorable gift for little ones of friends or family members. Discover your inner child while browsing the bears big and small.

6. Check out the local produce window display

Take a wander along the mall and you’ll notice a dozen different window displays scattered throughout, each one individually crafted with a different theme. Behind one of the windows is a beautiful festival table setting featuring SA produce such as Haigh’s, Woodside Cheese Wrights, Riverland citrus fruit and Charlesworth Nuts. We won’t give the secret away on the other 11 displays, check them out for yourself!

What’s behind the beautiful local produce window display.

7. Get party season ready at BNKR

Find a knock-out party dress at BNKR, home to labels produced by Adelaide-based Australian Fashion Labels, including C/MEO Collective, Finders Keepers, Keepsake and The Fifth Label. You’ll find stand out and versatile pieces that are on-trend, but most importantly, designed here in Adelaide.

8. Choose chocolates almost too good to eat

Just Bliss Chocolates are hand-painted, delicate creations boxed up beautifully and will make a perfect gift for the luxurious chocolate lover. The store stocks chocolate pralines, truffles, rocky road, chocolate blocks and chocolate spoons, as well as complete gift boxes. Flavours include gin and tonic, Barossa shiraz, whiskey caramel, espresso martini!

9. Buy bath bombs so delicious you’ll wanna eat ’em

Oh Deer Sugar in Regent Arcade is the non-edible bakery handcrafting food for the skin. Launched by “two vegan girls” Sharni and Nikki, these bath products replicate our favourite desserts, waffles, chocolate blocks, and Turkish delights in the form of bath bombs and body scrubs. The Christmas range is inspired Christmas favourites including gingerbread men, candy canes, and even The Grinch! All products are vegan, ingredients ethically source and packaging recyclable.

A giant gingerbread bath bomb.

10. Brew a tea from T BAR

Know someone mad about tea? We bet that at T BAR, you’ll find them a tea they’ve never tried. T BAR stocks 120 blends and varieties sourced from all over the world including loose leaf black teas, beautiful green teas, herbal teas and white teas. T BAR was co-founded by Peggy Veloudos in 1991 and was Adelaide’s first tea salon.

11. Find your beauty fix 

Hebe & Co in Regent Arcade is a skin care store with a range of cruelty free and vegan products, many of them SA and Australian made. You’ll find organic body wash with scents of mandarin, patchouli, geranium and cedarwood, bright liquid to matte lipsticks, breathable nail polishes, natural perfumes and makeup palettes.

Editor’s note: one must treat the hands to Yard Skincare’s hand cream (a favourite is the mandarin and kunzea with maracuja oil) stocked at Hebe & Co. It’s made in the Adelaide Hills from a concentrated blend of antioxidants and plant actives and will satisfy the fussiest of hand cream obsessors!

12. Fill up at Soonta

Kill off the hunger pangs by choosing a local food vendor in the mall, Soonta being a good choice. This year marks the 10th anniversary for the Vietnamese eatery which does a mean banh mi, crunchy salad bowls, delicious noodle and rice bowls and smaller eats such as cold rolls and spring rolls.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Adelaide Hills shoppers nuts about Charlesworth

Longstanding family-owned business, Charlesworth Nuts, will have a crack at the Adelaide Hills retail market when it opens its 11th South Australian store in Mt Barker later this month.

The new nuts, dried fruit and chocolate store will open on October 17 in the Mt Barker Central Shopping Centre, with four staff soon to settle in their roles, plus another 12 workers employed in time for the peak pre-Christmas period.

It will be the first time the 80-year business has branched out into a regional area, and CEO Brett Charlesworth says the company has already been warmly welcomed by the local Hills community.

“We are really happy to be opening in Mt Barker,” he says. “The area has a lot going for it, with new estates opening, as well as a new sports centre recently announced.

“We have been pleased by the level of enthusiasm from the community. We had around 500 people send in a résumé once word had spread that we were recruiting.”

New Charlesworth Nuts employees undergo an in-house training program both away from the shop and in-store.

“The main thing we look for is a bright and bubbly personality and someone who is interested in helping our customers,” says Brett, who is also I Choose SA ambassador.

“We are very passionate about what we do, and we have built up the business on our reputation for quality, fresh products.

“We take a lot of pride in our work, and our people do as well. We have many employees who have been with us for 20, 25, even 30 years. We are very lucky to have such genuine people working with us.”

Charlesworth Nuts CEO Brett Charlesworth is also an I Choose SA ambassador.

There are also those who are second, or even third generation employees – taking after the Charlesworth family, with Brett and his brother Mark, chief financial officer, the third-generation business custodians and Brett’s sons Rhys, Kain and Liam also working in the business.

The Charlesworth legacy began in March 1934, when Herb Charlesworth bought a small nut stall in the Adelaide Central Market, one of the largest undercover fresh produce markets in the southern hemisphere.

The store continued well for the next 20 years, but when Herb’s health began to deteriorate, he called upon his son Chappy to take over the business.

Chappy built the business further, laying a strong foundation for Brett and Mark who took over and were able to open the company’s first new store in 40 years in the Westfield Marion Shopping Centre.

Four more retail outlets soon followed at Colonnades Shopping Arcade, City Cross Arcade, Tea Tree Plaza and Elizabeth Shopping Centre. New stores have since been opened in Rundle Mall, West Lakes Shopping Mall and Burnside Village.

“We are careful about the locations we pick,” Brett says. “We are all about making sure we are in the right centre, and the right site at that centre.”

Brett says the fit out of the shops is kept similar between outlets, but that the Mt Barker store will include some ‘experimental’ displays.

“Our shop fitters have just finished refitting the Tea Tree Plaza and Marion stores, so it was straight from those projects onto the Mt Barker build,” he says.

The shop displays take around 2-3 weeks to be built off site, then another 2-3 weeks in store when the displays are installed.

“One of our core principles is that customers should be able to buy fresh nuts, cooked on-site, at each of our stores,” Brett says. “The hot nuts are certainly a product which leads people in with their noses!”

The Charlesworth family at the Marion store.

With the retail market set to enter the busiest time of year – the Christmas shopping period – the nuts, dried fruits, chocolates and other treat maker is set to experience yet another influx of consumers.

“At this time of year our gift sales go through the roof, as do our mixes, cooked products, and chocolate range,” Brett says.

“We find that people are looking for something to either take with them to a party, or to serve when they are entertaining.

“Now is also the perfect time to pick up one of our Christmas cake ingredient packs which have the dried fruit and nuts you’ll want to make your own cake – and the tried and tested recipe to put it all together.”

Charlesworth Nuts also has a new product out – Salty Macadamia Pearls – with a portion of the proceeds going towards a local cause.

The new line has been launched in conjunction with the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation with 20% of the proceeds donated to the foundation’s Beach House Project.

“The Beach House Project is a holiday house at Encounter Bay which has been fitted out with all the equipment necessary for families with children in palliative care to have a relaxing holiday,” Brett says.

“It is all about creating beautiful memories and making the most of the time the family has together. We are really pleased to be supporting this worthy cause.”

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Adelaide Fashion Festival 2018 rundown

From the fairytale creations of internationally renowned Paolo Sebastian to the stylish minimalist garments by Acler – (of whom Beyoncé is a fan) the 2018 Adelaide Fashion Festival (AFF) will showcase the best in the business.

The city’s most anticipated fashion event of the year will spread across various locations from October 17–21, showcasing South Australian fashion success stories as well as new kids on the block.

With runways to be walked, trends to be set and collections to be revealed, the activity will come alive at the event’s hub, the AFF Runway at the Torrens Parade Grounds, as well as various other locations across the city.

We’ve bundled up some highlights to give you an idea of what’s in store. But it’s just a snippet of the action, so head to the website to check out the full program.

Be enchanted by Paolo Sebastian
SA has birthed some of the Australian fashion industry’s greatest talents, notably Paul Vasileff, the creative genius behind Paolo Sebastian and a past I Choose SA ambassador.

The couture house will open the fashion festival on October 17 with its AW 2018/19 collection The Nutcracker, inspired by the works of Russian composer Tchaikovsky.

The showcase will be accompanied by a live score by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and is likely to take you somewhere magical.

When: October 17, 5.15pm, 6.45pm (sold out) and 8pm
Where: AFF Runway, Torrens Parade Grounds
Tickets: from $99

Paolo Sebastian ‘Once Upon a Dream’, 2017 AFF. Photo by Shauna Voon.

Hear from the industry’s elite
AFF goers will have the chance to hear from two fashionistas who have helped shape fashion in Australasia for the past decade, Vogue China editor-in-chief Angelica Cheung and Vogue Australia editor-in-chief Edwina McCann.

The trend-setting pair will host an intimate breakfast event alongside The Australian’s fashion editor Glynis Traill-Nash.

Angelica, who founded the up-market magazine and played a crucial role in surging China’s fashion industry forward, is no stranger to SA, having achieved her Master of Business Administration at the University of South Australia in 1999/2000.

When: October 18, 7.30-9am.
Where: Electra House, Adelaide.
Tickets: from $99

Check out local threads
SA’s top fashion talents will share their creations at the SA Designer Showcase, including some of our Shop South Australia vendor favourites Julie White and Naomi Murrell.

The runway will include showings by old favourites and newbies, such as men’s swim short label, Vacay Swimwear, who will hit the AFF for the first time, as will activewear champions Ryderwear, among others.

The showcase will be styled by Vogue Australia fashion editor Philippa Moroney.

When: October 18, 7pm and 8.30pm
Where: AFF Runway, Torrens Parade Grounds
Tickets: from $79

A model wears a GretaKate skirt and Ryderwear top.

Hit the mall
Rundle Mall will be even more stylish than usual, with a two-day Vogue Festival taking over the central shopping precinct, offering consumers a sneak peek at the hotly anticipated new H&M store.

Shoppers have the chance to win vouchers ahead of the store’s opening on November 2 in the newly redeveloped Rundle Mall Plaza, as well as the chance to be the first to shop there ahead of the public opening.

During last year’s Vogue Festival Rundle Mall recorded $45 million in sales and a 21% boost on its usual activity. About 230,000 visitors are estimated to have poured into the shopping strip across the festival.

The 2018 Vogue Festival will also bring entertainment, styling sessions, pop-up bars, DJs and exclusive shopping offers.
David Jones ambassador Jessica Gomes and Vogue Australia editors will also make an appearance.

When: October 19, 20
Where: Rundle Mall
Tickets: free

Spot the next generation in fashion
Emerging local designers will showcase their pieces for the AFF TAFE SA showcase, entirely produced by TAFE SA students from hair and makeup, lighting, visual merchandising, catering, event management, and music and graphics fields.

Second and third-year design students will present looks that represent their vision of ‘athleisure’, which is one of the fastest growing sectors in the global fashion industry.

When: October 19, 6pm
Where: AFF Runway, Torrens Parade Grounds
Tickets: front row $50, second row $30, standard: free.

Slow it down on Saturday
The fashion world revolves around new trends. But what about designers who are slowing it down and championing for sustainable and ethical fashion?

October 20 is Slow Saturday, a three-part day where guests will attend a runway styled by Vogue Australia fashion editor Philippa Moroney featuring a collection of sustainable brands. Vintage threads and surplus stock will also get a restyled run.

Tasting Australia’s Simon Bryant will prepare a three-course lunch teamed with Wicks Estate Wines.

The day will also include a discussion with Vogue Australia’s sustainability editor at large Clare Press and a team of local SA designers who are also slow fashion enthusiasts.

When: October 20, from 11.30am
Where: AFF Runway, Torrens Parade Grounds
Tickets: from $120

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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H&M announces opening date for Rundle Mall Plaza store

Fashionistas, make room in your wardrobe because global fashion giant H&M is almost here.

Shoppers have been eagerly awaiting the details surrounding the opening of international fashion retailer H&M’s first South Australian store.

The Swedish fashion company will open its doors in the redeveloped Rundle Mall Plaza on November 2.

The H&M store will span across 3000 sq m over two levels, offering apparel, underwear and accessories for men, women and children.

It will also include an H&M Home concept featuring homewares, curtains, rugs, bed linen, cushions, blankets, storage, serving-ware and decorations.

“We are excited to finally be able to announce the opening date for our Rundle Mall Plaza store on November 2 and to offer our customers an incredible fashion shopping destination within Adelaide,” says Thomas Coellner, Australian Country Manager for H&M.

“We are also looking forward to introducing our H&M Home concept to Adelaide as we feel this really rounds out our wide assortment offering.”

H&M will be the major tenant in the redeveloped Rundle Mall Plaza. Photo supplied by Hames Sharley.

H&M will be the major tenant of Rundle Mall Plaza which has been under redevelopment for most of 2018.

The overall plaza redevelopment, undertaken by owner The Weinert Group, spans over four lower levels of the nine-storey building.

In addition to H&M, a ‘tech hub’ with offices and co-working spaces, a higher-end dining level, and health and well being precinct are also envisaged for the building.

The higher-end dining precinct will offer quality dining experiences that still cater to the lunchtime trade.

Large glass windows in the dining precinct overlooking Rundle Mall will be a feature of the building, as will the relocated Progress status, a welded copper structure created by Lyndon Dadswell in 1959.

H&M entered the Australian market in 2014 and now has 31 stores across the country.

It is understood that about 100 jobs including management positions are being filled within H&M’s Adelaide store.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Shop the maker: Kindred Self

There’s a saying that’s been floating around recently: “people don’t buy from businesses – they buy from people.”

And so, with the brand new Shop South Australia up and running, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to shine a spotlight on the people behind the local brands and businesses you can shop from on the purely SA online marketplace.

The first maker we’d like you to meet is Kyrie from Kindred Self.

A former graphic designer turned counsellor, Kyrie had the “strong inkling” that one day she would work in “some kind of healing modality”.

Kyrie was first introduced to essential oils 15 years ago when her specialist informed her that she had breast cancer – and handed her a tissue infused with lavender oil.

From there, the connection to essential oils became stronger and, fast forward 12 years, Kyrie set out to create her own range of essential oil products.

Kyrie, left, with her one of the handmade essential oil products.

How did the idea for Kindred Self come about?
After completing my formal counselling studies, I reflected on my personal experience of using essential oils for emotional support when I had cancer, and all of a sudden, the connection between counselling and aromatherapy seemed so obvious to me. And so, in a very organic way, the Kindred Self product range for self-care came to be.

What sets Kindred Self apart?
As a counsellor, my point of difference is how openly I connect with people by sharing my passion for oils, my life and personal insights. I often find myself at markets or in the shop having deep conversations and the essential oils are the gentle segue for this to happen. Feeling supported and heard is a big part of the Kindred Self experience.

What do you love most about being based in South Australia?
Adelaide is the perfect place for small start-ups, especially if you benefit from a bit of old-fashioned marketing such as ‘word of mouth’!

What have been some highlights for Kindred Self so far?
The biggest highlight is watching my little business grow – literally. When I first started, I leased a vestibule of an old church hall in Croydon. From there I moved into my shopfront in Grange. In October, I move into a much larger space in Port Adelaide, which feels extremely grown up!

Another highlight is witnessing my customers resonating with what my business is all about. My products are ‘heart crafted’ in small batches – a lot of time and love goes into what I do, and that energy is felt by many who come into contact with Kindred Self. I receive so much support and positive feedback from the community, which is so encouraging for me.

Kyrie outside her shopfront in Grange.

What’s next for Kindred Self?
Quite a lot actually! I’m about to setup a new workspace in Port Adelaide called Urban Wellness. This space will be HQ to Kindred Self, but also a shared space for likeminded wellness practitioners. The space will be a haven to connect, share, cultivate, heal and be well.

I’m also about to launch a spring/summer workshop series focusing on creative self-care, which will run at a few locations around Adelaide from October to February, and I’m developing some new products to launch in the new year.

Connect with Kindred Self on Facebook and Instagram.

Shop South Australia hot pick

May I Be Nurtured Pulse Point

A hug in a bottle, this pulse point roller is a blend that can improve sleep quality and ease symptoms of fear and anxiety.

It’s a synergy of lavender, cedarwood and chamomile that can be rolled onto the soles of your feet as you jump into bed, supporting a more restful sleep!

Shop South Australia is home to a unique collection of over 300 South Australian gifts and goods from more than 70 local makers and producers. Choose local and Shop South Australia.

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There’s a new way to shop local with Shop South Australia

One online place where South Australian gin, chocolate, wine, jewellery, skincare, clothing and homewares can all be found? We know. Legendary idea.

Brand South Australia is proud to launch the new look of its online marketplace, Shop South Australia, in celebration of the abundance of talented makers and producers we have right here in SA.

The overhauled marketplace is home to a collection of more than 300 local goodies and gifts from over 65 brands.

You’ll recognise a few, from the legendary Fruchocs makers Robern Menz and chocolate heroes Haigh’s Chocolates, to the warm and snuggly woollen quilt and pillow makers, Mini Jumbuk.

Other brands include Ambleside Distillery from Hahndorf, McLaren Vale’s Fox Creek, fashionista Naomi Murrell, botanical beauty company Yard Skincare, and East End Flower Market.

There are goodies and services for her, him, the home, kids, babies and everyone in between.

Just a few of the goodies that can be found on Shop South Australia.

Shop South Australia is a product aggregation site, allowing users to browse for local products and services before being prompted to purchase directly from the vendor’s website, ensuring profits remain with the maker.

Brendan Carter, owner of Gumeracha’s Applewood Distillery and wine label Unico Zelo, says the marketplace will help grow awareness of the great products that hail from SA.

“To have our meticulously crafted products sitting alongside some of the best in the state is a brilliant opportunity,” he says.

The local shopping ethos of Shop South Australia aligns with Brand South Australia’s popular I Choose SA program, which encourages South Aussies to support local jobs by buying from local businesses, retailers and suppliers.

After something special? Visit Shop South Australia and don’t forget to use the #shopsouthaustralia hashtag on social media when snapping your purchases!

Shop South Australia is home to a unique collection of over 300 South Australian gifts and goods from more than 70 local makers & producers. Choose local and Shop South Australia.

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Small online venture boxing up luxury on Limestone Coast

With her impeccable style, bubbly personality and passion for sparking joy, Katie Fox is a Mount Gambier woman on a mission to deliver happiness to the world – one luxe gift box at a time.

The popular make-up artist’s new online business Little Pink Fox ticks every box on the ultimate pampering wish-list.

Her distinctive pink packages filled with her own vegan body whip, hand-poured soy candles, crystal earrings and sparkling wine recently won the People’s Choice Award at the Limestone Coast’s inaugural eNVIes live pitch night hosted by Flinders University’s New Venture Institute (NVI)

Katie Fox at Flinders University’s New Venture Institute eNVIe awards.

Katie says the program handed her the tools and connections to refine her business model and broaden market reach.

“Joining this accelerator program was one of the best decisions I’ve made for my business; I learned so much, the guidance from the teachers and mentors was truly amazing, and the classroom camaraderie from everyone who went through the program was fantastic,” she says.

After 15 years working in fashion, the style guru switched her career focus to professional make-up and hair styling, and promptly became one of the Limestone Coast’s go-to girls for special events and photo shoots.

It was while working behind the scenes at weddings when Katie came up with the idea for her latest business venture.

The bridesmaid gift boxes feature candles, sparkling wine, jewellery and other wedding preparation essentials.

“I have worked on hundreds of weddings, and I have seen stressed out brides struggling to find the perfect gift for their bridesmaids, and I thought ‘I could do this – I could create the ultimate gift box for bridesmaids,” she says.

After launching last Christmas, she quickly realised the growth potential despite some strong competition.

“In a market this size, there is always room for unique, beautifully packaged gifts; Australians spent more than $11 billion on Christmas presents last year and attended an estimated 119,000 weddings, but it’s husbands and commercial businesses who have also embraced the click and send concept,” Katie says.

“Everybody wants the easy way to purchase the perfect gift.”

Katie Fox runs her own online gift and accessories business from the Limestone Coast.

Buoyed by positive feedback, Katie is now exploring wholesale markets and extending her range.

A Happiness Box is among the products in the pipeline, complete with inspirational cards and a short book containing tips on how to sustain a positive mindset.

Katie is planning to pay it forward in the community which has thrown its support behind her, and will donate part of the proceeds to Lifeboat South East, a group for people suffering stress, anxiety or depression.

The next NVI program intake is in September/October. Click here for more information.

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Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Adelaide men’s swimwear brand catches eye of major online retailer

Temperatures might be dipping into icy figures as Adelaide settles into the thick of winter, but South Australia’s Jordan Kallios and Corey Decandia still have board shorts on the brain.

Less than a year into the trade, the pair’s online men’s swimwear brand Vacay Swimwear has caught the eye of Australia’s largest online fashion retailer, The Iconic.

Specialising in vibrant male swim shorts, Vacay Swimwear gathered popularity on Instagram before being picked up by the US and European markets.

Based in Adelaide, Jordan and Corey’s label recently received praise from The Iconic’s head of menswear, Tom Simpson, who says Vacay Swimwear ranks in his top five swim short brands.

“Vacay Swimwear is an amazing brand, it knows who it is and doesn’t over-complicate things,” he says.

“Possessing basic prints in amazing shapes with added details, it is a great price point and relates well to the typical Australian man.

“It was the guys that made me want to stock the brand. Every brand that I bring into The Iconic has to have a story.

“I met the guys and you could feel the passion and enthusiasm for the brand – that’s what sold it for me, and it just so happened that the product was amazing as well.”

Vacay Swimwear pieces feature bold prints and are named after some of the world’s most exclusive holiday destinations.

“We’ve both been avid shoppers on The Iconic and we have to pinch ourselves when we see Vacay Swimwear stocked among some of the biggest brands in the world,” Corey adds.

Header image features Corey Decandia, left, and Jordan Kallios.

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our state by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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Drakes Supermarkets creating 550 jobs for SA

South Australian-born Drakes Supermarkets is building an $80m distribution centre in Adelaide’s north, creating up to 550 jobs.

The project has received the green light from the Playford Council and is expected to create about 300 jobs during construction.

Up to 250 full-time equivalent positions will be created once the centre opens in June, 2019.

The 17ha site at Edinburgh North will incorporate a $12m high tech warehouse picking system.

Drakes general manager Bob Soang says the centre is a major investment in the sustainable future of the local, family-owned business founded in 1974.

“It’s also a long-term investment and vote of confidence in our loyal customers and suppliers,” he says.

“As a local family-owned business we are pleased to create so many jobs in the northern suburbs of Adelaide which have faced many challenges in recent years.

“It will be the most advanced independent distribution and logistics centre in the state and is a key plank of our group’s vertical integration strategy within the supermarket sector.”

An artist impression of the distribution centre, expected to be completed in June, 2019.

Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty says the development is a major boost for the economy to support 35,000 new residents expected to live in the council area by 2026.

“As a gateway to the north, we are perfectly positioned to accommodate this development, particularly with infrastructure development such as the Northern Connector Expressway,” he says.

The 104,000sqm development will have the capacity to house about 23,000 lines of products including grocery, dairy and frozen foods and will include a site suitable for future development.

Drakes’ fresh fruit and veg distribution centre will continue at Pooraka, as will its meat distribution centre at Beverley.

Since being established in the ’70s, Drakes has grown to be one of the largest independent grocery retailers in Australia, with an annual turnover of more than $1 billion and 5500 staff.

It operates 57 stores across SA and Queensland.

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our state by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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