Spell Spell

Spotlight On Our Stockist ~
We chat with Tiff from Nikkou Store on the stunning space she has created, her idyllic seaside home, the role of womanhood in her business and Spell {of course!}

Firstly this is such and honour to be interviewed for a feature on the Spell blog. It has been a dream of mine for many years to work with the team at Spell and i’m still pinching myself that I am here.

A little over a year ago I left my full time roll as the wholesale manager for Zulu & Zephyr in Byron Bay to open Nikkou Store. Nikkou is located just 20 minutes south of the Gold Coast in a beautiful coastal town called Casuarina. It was a lifelong ambition of mine to have a business of my own, having various experience in retail, customer service, management and wholesale the idea of opening a clothing store made a whole lot of sense. I have a passion for personalised service, beautiful aesthetics and pushing creative boundaries but when I slow things down I enjoy getting out in nature, waking up to the sound of the ocean, a good morning coffee and an afternoon swim at the beach.

When people ask you what you do, what do you say… How do you define your work?
I am yet to perfect this answer as I wear so many hats. In reality I am a business owner, director, buyer, customer service manager, baby sitter, warehouse manager, cleaner, bookkeeper, sales assistant, therapist, marketing manager and everything else in between. At the end of the day my work revolves around bringing brands like Spell to everyday women and for them to feel empowered every time they pull it out of their wardrobe to wear it.

What led you to this point, what gave you the motivation to start Nikkou?
I have always had a burning desire to own my own business but I wasn’t always sure what that would look like. In my early 20’s it was going to be a fashion and events company but as I moved into fashion wholesale management I became more intrigued with fashion buying. At the end of the day a business idea is just that – an idea. You need a backbone to execute it. You also need to surround yourself with a support team who you can pull inspiration and encouragement from. Being able to bounce my crazy and wonderful ideas off the people I am surrounded by has helped me turn them into the reality it is now.

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What does Nikkou stand for ~ literally, and the philosophy behind the brand?
Nikkou means sunlight or sunshine in Japanese so I wanted to translate that feeling throughout the store design and on the shop floor. I knew how I wanted it to feel and I built on that. I wanted it to be calm, romantic, reflect on the surroundings of Casuarina but also have a sense that it had been here forever.

Describe the shopping experience… How would you define the space?
I wanted customers to walk in and immediately feel a sense of calm, spend time exploring around the store and just hang out and have a chat. It has become a meeting spot for the community, I have made the most amazing friendships with a few of my customers becoming very close girlfriends and even housemates of mine. I also played cupid in-store with two of my friends who have now moved in together after dating for the past year. Nikkou has a magic about it.

The store is stunning! Where did the inspiration for the store fit-out come from?
Thank you! The store fit out was a really important part in piecing the entire concept together. I pulled a lot of inspiration from stores I came across on instagram; @shop_passenger, PLAYA by @Lucy_folk and @magalipascal. My girlfriend Vanessa Webber who is an interior designer put together the final design for me, we would work on the store design after hours late into the night at her office in Surfers Paradise. We would step out the measurements of every detail, I wanted to ensure the movement and workability at the shop was perfect.

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Tell us of the team, what role does womanhood play in the space ~ through the staff, your customers…
For me sharing the feminine consciousness and the importance of women empowering women is magic. Nikkou is a true example of what can unfold when women support each other in whatever they want to do in life. There are so many strong women close to me and in the surrounding community that are hustling, I wanted to create a space that brought this hustle together. It simply isn’t a store, it’s what it stands for that is important to me. The future really is female.

What does it mean to you to work with Spell?
As a previous wholesale manager for Zulu & Zephyr I would see a lot of my accounts attending showings, long lunches and Spell events. From an outsider’s perspective it always looked incredibly inspiring and dreamy. I saw Lizzy speak at an event in Byron Bay two years ago and completely fell in love with her down to earth nature, rawness and vulnerability in business even with the prominent success of Spell. I walked away thinking I need to work with her and Spell. To be able to work with Spell as a brand within my business is honestly a dream come true.

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Talk us through the Lady Amethyst event through your eyes…What a day! Hannah (Spell’s Wholesale Manager) and I had originally discussed doing an event when she was showing me the collection back in June of last year. My birthday falls in February so with my birthstone being Amethyst I really wanted to create an event to celebrate this. For the event we reached out to two of our favourite suppliers, Sunday Lane and Auric Alchemy to see if they wanted to come onboard to create an ‘Amethyst’ exclusive. They both said yes! So from here we created gift bags that included a Spell drawstring bag, Spell hair scrunchie, an Auric Alchemy ‘Amethyst’ spray and an ‘Amethyst Woman’ Sunday Lane print. Every Spell piece purchased in-store and online received one of these goodie bags. I really wanted to reward my customers for being so loyal and this was the perfect excuse. I also created a giant fruit platter with scrumptious pastries from Tucker and had mimosa’s at the ready for the line up at the door that had formed by 9am. The rest has blurred into one day of Spell fever madness.

Tell us more about the custom gifts with purchase ~ how they came to be and how our collections muse spoke to you…

The Amethyst Woman print by Sunday Lane ~
Caitlin from Sunday Lane was so excited to create a print dedicated to the amethyst women. In her words – “honestly, you and all the beautiful Aquarian women who relate to my work were the driving force behind the amethyst woman words. Your love, the absolute passion I could feel when you asked me to be involved, it is what helped me to finish this project in no time at all. You were my greatest muse.”

The Amethyst Dream Mist…
Madeleine from Auric Alchemy designed a blend based on the amethyst being. Inspired by the amethyst woman she designed this to calm, unwind and settle the mind. In Maddie’s words – “Amethyst allows us to connect to our intuition, acting from our divine feminine and allowing creativity to flow.”

It was humbling to work on this little project with Maddie and Caitlin, both of their products are well loved in-store and to create exclusive pieces meant so much. Women supporting women, gets me very glassy eyed!

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Your pick of the collection ~ how are you styling it, where are you wearing it?
This absolutely has to be the Seashell Organic Tie Top. I’m styling it back with high waisted flared jeans and a headscarf. Im wearing it out to dinner at the new restaurant called ‘The Tropic’ at Burleigh Pavilion this weekend for my birthday. The best margarita drinking outfit if you ask me.

Aside from Spell, what’s your pick in-store for what you can’t leave without?
A bath soak from Auric Alchemy, a pair of peachy frames from Velvet Canyon, a bikini from Peony swimwear and a onesie from Millk.Co oh and my favourite scent ODE from The Ayu. Actually just give me one of everything please.

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You’ve chosen to live and work in dreamy Casuarina. Describe your little pocket of the world to our readers…
I grew up on the Gold Coast and for the past number of years was driving to and from work in Byron Bay. Settling somewhere in between really just fell into place at the right time. I moved into the sweetest beach villa in Casuarina early last year with two other roommates. Its situated 25 metres from the beach and literally seconds from the store. I wake up to the sound of the ocean in the morning, ride my bike to work, have my coffee at Tucker everyday and have become one of the locals. I run into customers crossing the road or ducking into Coles, I feel as if I am living out my childhood dreams of living in Summer Bay. Remember Tammin Sursok? Who didn’t have a life crush on Dani and Kane.

Give us a guide to the ultimate visit to Nikkou…

Where to eat, drink, stay, the locals secret to where to watch the sunset – make a day (or weekend of it…)

A lot of tourists come through my doors at Nikkou so I get asked this question almost daily. My answer on the best way to explore the area would be to visit Tucker for breakfast (conveniently located next to Nikkou Store), followed by a shop and chat with me in Nikkou Store. I would then say a swim at Cabarita Beach followed by a late lunch at Paper Daisy restaurant, sit up at the bar and order a prawn sandwich and glass of rose. If you chose to stay I would recommend checking out Grounds of Cabarita on AirBnb or indulge with booking a room at Halcyon House. You can also explore and eat your way through Cubby Bakehouse in Chinderah, Farm & Co, Taverna and Spice Den at Santai resort. Sunrise or sunset is best spent on the headland at Cabarita, stay and watch the whales or dolphins pass by. The best part about a trip to Casuarina is that you can do as much or as little as you like and still have a relaxing time.

Explore more of Nikkou Store here.