Merewether’s feel-good collaborative store
There’s a sweet corner store in Merewether, just off of Glebe Road that is well worth the visit for those who love a browse of all things local, handmade and just downright beautiful. The store is none other than The Soul Kollective; a collaborative space that has kindness and community at its core.
Owned and run by the ever-so bubbly and lovely Jasey Stanley, one step inside The Soul Kollective and you’ll feel like you’ve just received the biggest warmest hug ever imagined. Originally from Sydney, Jasey has called our seaside city home for the past 15 years and has never looked back.
“I bit the bullet and bought my first business here after about 12 months of being in Newcastle. I bought a little spray tanning salon which I did for about five years before I had a baby. Then my career took a back seat, but I always knew when my son started school it would be time to pick my career back up,” Jasey said.
A bit of an entrepreneurial soul, Jasey has jumped from all kinds of jobs over the years, but one has always managed to stick - photography.
“The photography has always stuck, and I’ve found my little niche with the Santa photos. This, The Soul Kollective, is the big girl grown up step. I’m not sure where it’s going to take me but I’m loving it. It’s all about supporting and encouraging women.”
Getting her hands on the keys right in the middle of COVID-19 on the 28th of May, Jasey was thrown in the deep-end with the shop having been closed for over six weeks during restrictions. The small local team came out swinging though, with the doors flying open with a fresh feel over the June long weekend.
“I just had this level of faith. It just so magically fell into place and I’ve always believed that anything that is meant to be will be easy. I guess I’ve been manifesting this for years and every little job I’ve done over the years has tied into what I’m doing here.”
If you’ve ventured into the corner store in the past, you’d know it’s had a few names over the years. Changing it to something that reflected the store’s philosophy was incredibly important to Jasey.
“I decided that the business needed a name change and I wanted it to really be something that reflected what we are about. I truly believe that my mum’s energy and her spirit was behind helping me and supporting me along with this. We threw a few names around; soul and collective were always floating around.
“My mum’s name is Kim, and everyone always called her Kimbo and I called her Mumbo. So, the K in Kollective which is Ko for short was in honour of my mum.”
Wandering around the store you can see the love that goes into each and every one of the brand’s products that line the walls, fill the floor and bring life to the window fronts.
Currently, The Soul Kollective is home to over 20 separate brands which you can find all about here. Being a collaborative space, you can expect to see some new faces as time goes by, however, the space will always be dedicated to a unique collection of vintage, florals, crystals, gifts, fashion, homewares, and much more.
“It’s this real magic kind of connective collective. Everyone that is in here are such beautiful humans.”
Not just a retail space, The Soul Kollective is big on being a hub for the community. With a weekly random acts of kindness initiative, a community library, Santa’s letterbox and the occasional exhibition nights.
“We do our random acts of kindness at least once a week. I will send something out to a random shopper that I have either purchased from one of the businesses in store or they’ve been donated. We’ve also got the community library out the front. The book swap allows people to come and swap books out for something they’d like to take home and read.
“We’ve also got Santa’s letterbox as well. The children of the community, well anyone really can send their letters to Santa! We also occasionally put on our exhibition nights where we put on free entertainment and food and drinks. We want to start doing more workshops and things for the community.”
As the space continues to grow, Jasey wants to continually bring love and kindness to the community and promote small local businesses.
“There’s a big thing at the moment to support local small businesses, so it’s nice to bring something different to the community, especially in this climate.”
Whether you’re looking for a gift, need a bit of retail therapy or just want to get out and support a group of likeminded individuals and their small businesses, a visit to The Soul Kollective is a must.