Cafe | Homewares
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BY ALICIA POOLE
When two young mums Jen and Rochelle got together, they both were wanting to take a step away from their usual career paths and tap into their creative
side. In late November, Rochelle and Jen opened the doors and the response from the local Redhead community has been overwhelming.
Originally Rochelle had planned to open an online homewares store as a New Year’s resolution, but after chatting with long-time friend Jen, and hearing
about her concerns of sticking with her teaching career, an idea was born.
“I was starting Villa Lane at the beginning of the year. It was in some way my 2018 New Year’s resolution and was only going to be online. Then Jen and I were away camping at Crescent Head in March and she was feeling a bit jaded about her teaching career,” Rochelle told me.
“One thing lead to another… and I said I’d really love to have my own café and be creative. A business where I can be my own boss,” Jen explained.
“Originally I wasn’t going to have a physical store, but decided it would be good to be able to shop the collection, but I was concerned about the outlay and doing it on my own. So, we decided to merge the ideas and create a coffee and homewares store together,” Rochelle said.
The pair can’t quite place their fingers on when and how they met, but watching them bounce ideas off one another and finishing each other’s sentences; you’d think they’d been best friends for years!
“We don’t remember when we first met but our daughters went to Pre-school together, and I think we just knew each other from the area. Then our husbands started surfing together and then all of a sudden we’d be doing family get-togethers,” Rochelle told me.
The space itself is incredibly inviting and reflects what both Rochelle and Jen wanted to create in their individual businesses. It’s the perfect spot
to just sit, slow down, relax, and even do a spot of shopping.
The cafe, Sea Maiden, focuses on having incredibly good coffee from our friends at Glee Coffee Roasters, as well your usual healthy alternatives like kombucha, cold pressed juices, healthy nourished treats plus a simple light food menu.
But what about the name?
“I really wanted a link to the ocean and the sea with being in Redhead. Because Redhead beach is so iconic, but at the same time, I thought, we’re two females joining forces, and even though we aren’t maidens… it's our maiden voyage, being the first thing that we’d done together,” Jen said.
The furniture and homewares side of the store, Villa Lane, has a stunning earthy palette that revolves around rattan, sea-grass, jute and wood tones. With
Rochelle sourcing all of the pieces herself across Indonesia and imported from Morocco and Turkey; you’ll be sure to find something one-of-a-kind.
“We proudly source homewares that are handwoven by original artisans around the globe. We believe the natural textures, fibres, and variations they possess help to create an unparalleled warmth and character to any style of interior,” Rochelle said.
Whilst the area of Redhead was an obvious choice with both Rochelle and Jen and their families living locally, it also has the perfect vibes to match. With that relaxed, friendly and community feeling, the store fits right in.
“I think Redhead has got a lovely community feel. I always say that there is one road in and one road out. Everyone here is very passionate about Redhead, especially if they’ve grown up here,” Jen said.
So, treat yourself to a coffee, a healthy treat, and even browse the incredible selection at the back of the store and support the incredible women of Sea Maiden + Villa Lane.