All Australian Homewares Store
Merri at Home
Since the global pandemic reached our shores, the hunt for sustainable Australian-made products has never been more intense. You can virtually stop looking now, as a new all Australian homewares store has hit the web. It stocks only local products that are made in small batches, ensuring zero waste. Introducing Merri at Home…
Just before the pandemic hit, Penny Davies was in the process of moving the manufacturing of her sandal brand, Pieds, back to Australia. Mid-pandemic, she opened Merri Cards, designing unisex greeting cards so people could spread love from a distance. Post pandemic, she has combined the two stores to create Merri at Home – an Australian homewares shop where every single piece is made in Australia.
Merri at Home is a hand-picked collection with functionality at heart. The shop has tablecloths, handmade stools, beeswax candles, apothecary, and of course the Pieds and Merri Cards range. Everything is made in small batches or using a made to order model to ensure there is no waste.
“Our collection is hand-picked for purpose and joy – we don’t want to clutter people’s homes.”– Penny Davies
“Our collection is hand-picked for purpose and joy – we don’t want to clutter people’s homes. Instead we focus on pieces that will be used, used again, be handed down, and that tread lightly,” Penny said.
Stocking only Australian-made has its pros but also has cons. “There are some products we just can’t find – they are simply no longer made here in Australia. I’m confident that will change as more makers establish themselves and people see there’s a real desire to shop locally post pandemic,” she said.
“I think the biggest question mark at the start of the pandemic was whether people would actually fork out extra money for locally made products or whether it was just idealist thinking – because the reality is that it costs a lot more to make things here (Pieds sandals went from $69 when they were made overseas to $145 when made in Australia by hand – that’s more than double!). In our experience, people have been very happy to pay more for something Australian made. That’s really exciting for us, for creatives across the country, and for industry in general.”
“With all products being made in small batches, or made to order, the shop’s footprint is very light. “– Penny Davies
On the flipside, there are many pros. One is not having to worry about international supply chains, which have been rocked since the start of COVID. “I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to not worry about products being held up overseas. We are operating very locally. Many of our makers drop the goods off to us in person, or we grab a coffee to take the stock. It’s really lovely to work so closely with people”.
““We won’t be holding sales, firstly because we have no need to, and secondly because we don’t agree with the culture it creates.”– Penny Davies
With all products being made in small batches, or made to order, the shop’s footprint is very light. There’s no dead stock and no sales, including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day.
“We won’t be holding sales, firstly because we have no need to, and secondly because we don’t agree with the culture it creates. People tend to buy things they don’t need when sale signs are flashing before them and we don’t want to be part of that. A lot of sale purchases end up as landfill and that’s something we really need to get a handle on as a community,” Penny said.
More pieces will be added to the collection over time, as Penny finds products that meet the shop’s values. “We’re not in a rush but we always have our eyes peeled. We encourage artists and makers to get in touch if they have something they think would suit our store,” she said.
“The biggest source of joy has been working closely with Australian makers to create pieces for the shop as many are custom made for Merri at Home.”