Handcrafted Slate Homewares
Property Donor: The GPT Group & Urban Growth
Launched: 6 May 2013
Closed: 12 August 2013
about Annabell Stone
UPDATE NOVEMBER 2013 Annabell has taken up the opportunity to return to her previous place of employment, a stone merchant, that will now also stock Annabell Stone products in their showroom!
UPDATE AUGUST 2013
The Emporium, the site where Annabell Stone has been located, has temporarily moved out of the former David Jones site to enable the owner to complete some building works on the ground floor. We are looking forward to moving back into the space under a new configuration. We are still drawing up some plans, but we expect that there will be a similar number of boutique RN shops and galleries, and we expect to re-open again in a couple of months. You can sign up to the RN e-news (top right of page) to find out when the new space will re-open. In the meantime, keep up to date with Annabell Stone like their Facebook page.
Annabell Stone is a Newcastle based business with a brand new collection of hand crafted stonewares. This collection includes natural slate cheese platters, place settings, coasters and more.
The Annabell Stone Collection is all about the raw, rustic, timeless, unique & natural. The range is designed to embody these characteristics and is inspired by a great passion for interior design combined with a country upbringing and love for travel.
The Annabell Stone story begins with the 2013 Stonewares Collection which is a result of a huge admiration of natural stone and its unique properties. Every piece of the Annabell Stone collection has a story, one that I hope you can help pass on!
More bits and pieces will be added to the collection in the near future, but in the meantime…enjoy!
Who are you? I grew up on a property near Mudgee but completed an Interior Design degree in Canberra then later ended up in Sydney to complete a postgraduate business degree. While studying I worked in marketing and sales for the natural stone importer, Bellstone, and it was while I was there that I came up with the idea to set up my own business, Annabell Stone. In doing this, I have been able to bring my business, interior design, sales and marketing experiences together – which has been great fun!
What do you do? Annabell Stone was founded in July 2012 as an online business selling a range of all natural, handcrafted stonewares. The idea for the business came about while working for natural stone importer, Bellstone, where I began to notice a rising demand for more durable & unique homeware items such as slate boards. As a result, I decided to start up my own business, which was aptly named Annabell Stone (Anna + Bellstone).
Utilising Bellstone’s slate, I have designed and created a range of stonewares including cheese platters, coasters, garden markers and more. Each item in the range utilizes natural slate from across the globe, which was formed over 500 million years ago and would otherwise be used as a roofing material. Every Annabell Stone product is handcut to size and comes individually wrapped in hessian which makes for a perfect gift!
What inspired you to get involved in Renew Newcastle? I was told about RN by friends and after a little bit of research I decided I wanted to be a part of it! The program inspired me to move to Newcastle from Sydney, to a place where I can grow Annabell Stone more readily and within a community that can help!
Being part of the Renew Newcastle scheme would allow my customers to see and feel the products in person rather than just seeing photos on a website. It would allow me to give them more of a sense of what Annabell Stone is about, as the space would be designed and fitted out to reflect the values of the business.
Financially, the Renew Newcastle scheme was also extremely attractive. As a start up business my funds are limited, as is my space. To be able to utilise a space to not only sell but also to manage and build Annabell Stone is a dream come true. One of the reasons for moving from Sydney is to find somewhere appropriate to run the business without breaking the budget. This scheme gives me this opportunity and more!
Finally, the Renew Newcastle scheme would allow me the opportunity to interact with my customers and gain invaluable feedback on my products. It would give me a better sense of who my customers are and what they want, which would give me the opportunity to alter the Annabell Stone business plan if needed at an earlier stage than would otherwise be possible.
What are you doing in your new space? The space is being used to display and sell the Annabell Stone products. All core items are unique and handcrafted and this is emphasised visually. The stonewares range is made from natural slate, originally intended for use as roofing slate, but now given a new lease on life; a new purpose. The visual merchandising of the space is therefore focused on showing off the natural beauty of this stone and reminding us to use what is already surrounding us in nature.
Tell us about the space – what was its previous use? The Annabell Stone space is located at the entry of The Emporium building (former David Jones) on Hunter Street, which means I am the first point of contact for many customers. I have had so many lovely and interesting people walking through the doors telling me their stories of what the Newcastle CBD used to be like and the effect of the David Jones closure on the area. I am also getting very good at pointing people in the right directions – call me the concierge if you like! I have attempted to brighten the space and give it some life to encourage people to come inside the doors and see what is going on!
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