Shop Tours, Travel

Shop Tour: Lark

November 4, 2009

It is time for another gorgeous shop tour with tons of photos with many little things to study! Ready to take a moment out of your busy day to go on a little shopping trip with me? Today you’ll meet Allison Jones, owner of Lark in Daylesford, a small country town in Australia near Melbourne. Allison opened up shop only one month ago and so this is an exclusive peek at her gorgeous wares. Allison selected her shop name because, “It means joy, fun, a happy song. It’s a very light-hearted word. Also my baby boy was always waking up so early, so I was forced into becoming a Lark even though I am naturally a Night Owl!”, she says.

Shop Tour: Lark

Lark carries their our own range of knitted toys and handmade accessories, plus homewares, stationery, totes, t-shirts and paper products. When I look at her shop it almost reminds me of a blog brought to life because she carries so many independent brands that you wouldn’t typically find if you were out buying at a trade show. This makes the whole Lark experience for someone living in Daylesford so very unique. For example you can find art prints by London’s Belle & Boo. In addition to small companies, Allison carries Japanese zakka and books, picnic sets from Danish label Rice, handmade children’s clothing, craft kits, zines and handcrafted products from Australian designers including Beci Orpin, Victoria Mason, Betty Jo, Little Shop Of and Twiglet. I asked Allison a few questions about her store and I’ve included her comments below with more deicious photographs.

Shop Tour: Lark

Why did you open a storefront? We started with an online shop, but I felt that it was missing something, I really wanted to meet our customers and for them to see how all of the things that we choose could work together in a space. We moved to Daylesford as a young family three years ago and it’s where we live and work so I jumped at the chance to open a shop when an old factory building came up for lease in the centre of town. It looked a bit ugly but I had just returned from a trip to Tokyo and been impressed by these amazing boutiques like the Jeu de Paumes shop and gallery, tucked away in unlikely buildings, so I knew I could make it look pretty. We could have opened our shop in the city rather than the country, but Melbourne already has so many amazing shops whereas here, people are surprised when they come across us, we’re like a huge burst of colour and craftiness, a fresh, young shop that you would not perhaps expect in a small country town. And Daylesford is a favourite weekend destination for people from the city because of its mineral spas and beautiful scenery, so we do get a lot of visitors coming through anyway.

What feelings would you like for your customers to have when they enter Lark? I hope that visitors feel welcome, surprised, a little excited, nostalgic and happy.

Do you have any perks to lure in new customers and to keep current ones? We have a store newsletter, shopping nights and free goodie bags to tempt customers. We also run a fundraising scheme with our local creche. But mostly customers return because we always have fresh new things to entice them!

Ummm a creche? What is that? Oh, it’s a community childcare centre or kindergarten! We have a great one locally, and whenever the parents come into the shop and buy something the centre gets a percentage.

Shop Tour: Lark

Shop Tour: Lark

Shop Tour: Lark

What future plans do you have for Lark? I would really love to open a cute tea shop inside Lark, serving classic Australian cakes like lamingtons, yoyos, and lots of different slices inspired by the CWA (Country Women’s Association). But I think we will need bigger premises for this!

Do you also have an online shop? Yes, right here.

How do you find the products that you carry? I organise a local makers’ market, so I have a lot of contact with crafters and makers from our area, there are some very talented people around here. The Australian website Made It is also a great source. When I want to look further afield, my main inspiration comes from blogs, Etsy, and my travels around Europe and Japan.

Shop Tour: Lark

Shop Tour: Lark

Shop Tour: Lark

Are you accepting new artists and designers and if so, if someone reading has a product that may fit your aesthetic, can they contact you? Certainly! Just this week I received in the mail a gorgeous brooch from a designer in Sydney who had read about our shop on my blog, and we are going to be stocking them very soon.

Thank you so much Allison for touring us of your exquisite and charming shop! All the best in your new business venture, I see a tea room in your future for sure. ;)

(photos: Rohan Anderson)

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  • Reply Kathi @ allthingswhite November 4, 2009 at 8:04 am

    This shop is wonderful- and Lark is the perfect name ! The fresh color and beautiful displays are so inspiring, I am off to visit the website right now.
    .-= Kathi @ allthingswhite´s last blog ..Tree Button Pillow =-.

  • Reply laura trevey November 4, 2009 at 8:04 am

    So many adorable things!! Love the cute coasters :)
    .-= laura trevey´s last blog ..Beach Chairs, Watercolor Print, 8 by 10, Colorful Home Decor =-.

  • Reply natasha November 4, 2009 at 8:31 am

    All these things are grandiose!
    .-= natasha´s last blog .. =-.

  • Reply natasha November 4, 2009 at 8:32 am

    All these things are grandiose

  • Reply Anna November 4, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Oh, this shop is just beautiful!!! It feels like, when you enter there, you MUST smile… What a pity it´s in Australia :).
    Thank you, Holly, for sharing this lovely place with us!
    Have a wonderful afternoon!
    Much love from Brazil…

  • Reply Ryan November 4, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Amazing! I am looking at those photos and thinking of how many things I would love to buy. I wish there were more stores like this in the US. Beautiful store!

  • Reply visualingual November 4, 2009 at 9:17 am

    A beautiful space, filled with so many objects to covet! The “creche” explanation was interesting and surprising — I’m Polish and, to me, a creche is an elaborate, highly decorated nativity scene. It typically looks nothing like a barn! You can see a couple of examples of this Wikipedia page. Anyway, lovely shop!
    .-= visualingual´s last blog ..Goetta Print from the Cincinnati Food Portrait Series =-.

  • Reply Ele November 4, 2009 at 9:32 am

    I laughed when I read your “What’s a creche?” question, Holly. When I moved to the UK I was just as flabbergasted by the term- I know it as a nativity scene, just like visualingual.

    The shop is lovely, I especially like how the space looks. She sure did a great job of taking an “ugly” building and transforming it!
    .-= Ele´s last blog ..No Substitutes: Meaty But Not Really Pasta Sauce =-.

  • Reply taylor November 4, 2009 at 9:43 am

    i HAVE to show this post to my mom. we’ve been dying to open up a store just like this and this is great inspiration! thanks!

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente November 4, 2009 at 9:48 am

    ACK! *sigh* (sob) but…but…I can’t fly all the way to Australia! :) I love all of it, from the name( so fantastic) to the shop, to the bicycle parked outside with pink streamers on the handles!( is it always there, I wonder?) Fantastic and you can bet I am off to check out the online store in a hot minute! Thank you lovely ladies for this wonderful tour. The addition of a tea shop would be just too divine.
    .-= Melissa de la Fuente´s last blog ..It’s my bag, baby! =-.

  • Reply Lydia, Clueless Crafter November 4, 2009 at 9:49 am

    I’m so drawn, even as an adult, to those big happy face pillows with sunbeam eyelashes.

    Is it okay to have one in our bedroom at this age??
    .-= Lydia, Clueless Crafter´s last blog ..The Homemade Halloween High =-.

  • Reply Lavendar Cupcake Home November 4, 2009 at 10:17 am

    What a wonderful, mystical store! I could spend hours there!

  • Reply Chelsea November 4, 2009 at 10:18 am

    I love the great color against the white, the shop really POPS! Guess I will have to schedule a trip to Melbourne.
    .-= Chelsea´s last blog ..Hump Day Bliss =-.

  • Reply caro November 4, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Oh, what a great shop! wow!
    .-= caro´s last blog ..Scherenschnitt =-.

  • Reply bomobob November 4, 2009 at 10:24 am

    I could go nuts in a store like that! What a great place to lose yourself :)
    .-= bomobob´s last blog ..Just the Three of Us – 11×14 Original Fine Art Print =-.

  • Reply nichole November 4, 2009 at 10:32 am

    That is the cutest shop ever. Wow.
    .-= nichole´s last blog ..This would have been so much cooler … =-.

  • Reply MiaNostalgia November 4, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Wonderful shop! I wish I lived close by so I could visit, but it is on the other side of the world for me – unfortunately.. :-)
    .-= MiaNostalgia´s last blog ..Julie & Julia =-.

  • Reply TheBellaLife November 4, 2009 at 11:35 am

    I am with Ryan… why can’t the US have more stores like this??? The pictures were major eye candy! Thanks for the inspirations.
    .-= TheBellaLife´s last blog ..Today I’m Thankful For~ =-.

  • Reply eve November 4, 2009 at 11:44 am

    lovely shop, it’s nice to see such beautiful pieces. there aren’t many lovely toys and items such as these, all you can find are plastic ugly toys…
    .-= eve´s last blog ..Europe’s Christmas Markets =-.

  • Reply Stephanie@Geezees November 4, 2009 at 11:46 am

    love this store! wow!!! everything about it makes me smile!
    .-= Stephanie@Geezees´s last blog ..Serendipity , fate Canvas Art Typography Distressed 10×10 Home Decor =-.

  • Reply simplygrove November 4, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Oh my! I am in love!! xx
    .-= simplygrove´s last blog ..Want more? =-.

  • Reply Juana @ SweetVisualAids November 4, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Lark is simply adorable!!! i hoped we could find stores like this in any corner :D
    .-= Juana @ SweetVisualAids´s last blog ..Remembering Barcelona!!! =-.

  • Reply Sarah November 4, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    I love the tote bag that say “Don’t worry, I Know Origami and Pilates” hilarious!
    What a beautiful little shop, I would love to meander around for a couple of years inside there :)

  • Reply nina November 4, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Such wonderful treats…I love the organic soap packaging…soooo cute!
    .-= nina´s last blog ..Roaring 20’s: Bridesmaids’ Style via Coral + Gold =-.

  • Reply Minnie November 4, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    What a darling store! I enjoyed the tour and interview. I love the colors and especially those wood shelves. They really pop out against all the white and bright colors. It’s so cool that this store is in the “country,” rather than the city where you would expect such a shop to be.
    .-= Minnie´s last blog ..The dreamiest kids’ bookcase =-.

  • Reply Renee Rivas November 4, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    so beautiful!!! Wish it was near me. I am bookmarking immediately.

  • Reply Dana November 4, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    What a lovely place!!! Everything is amazing there!!
    .-= Dana´s last blog ..Los Pattex somos todos =-.

  • Reply robin November 4, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    so cute! it makes me think of an anthropologie for children.

  • Reply Zee November 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    What a gorgeous shop! It’s a place to stay for hours!
    There is nothing like that where I live…
    .-= Zee´s last blog ..Sometimes… =-.

  • Reply Lisa P. November 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Makes yo wish you lived in Australia! I’ll check out the website, though. Thanks for highlighting this cool shop. All the independent designers shown there makes me think of this cool shop called Oak on Newbury St. in Boston that I once went into. I don’t know much about the shop, but it was sort of cool like this, only not as awesomely colorful. I saw tea towels there by Lisa Price–maybe you should check her out. I met her once–she’s a cool printmaker from Grand Rapids, MI, who also loves (and sells, I think) vintage goods. I think her etsy shop is something like art goodies. Thanks again!

  • Reply Penny November 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Hooray! I love Lark!
    .-= Penny´s last blog ..let’s chillax =-.

  • Reply Deb November 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    What a great article! I follow Allison’s blog and love all the things she sells (plus she’s from England and has moved away like me). I followed the work in progress on her blog and am so pleased to see so many photos of the results – a fresh, colourful shop for young and old alike by the looks of things :)

  • Reply Caroline Davis November 4, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    The Dandi ladies first saw Lark at a trade fair in Melbourne and completely fell in love with the beautiful range of products. We go gaga over vintage inspired pieces so there’s no wonder why we loved the range so much. Our next trip to Victoria we will head straight to the new store. It looks absolutely amazing and is filled with little treasures.

  • Reply jenn November 4, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    oh my goodness… this shop is absolutely adorable. great job!!!
    .-= jenn´s last blog ..visual updates… =-.

  • Reply Amanda November 4, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Allison is too modest! She neglects to mention that many of her gorgeous products are her own inspirations. She is so creative. The shop is such a natural extension of everything she does. It looks great!
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..turning japanese – paumes books =-.

  • Reply Anna November 4, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    How I wish I lived in Australia……

    Loved the crochet doughnuts in particular. I like the calm backdrop of white and old pine and all the fantastic colours and ambience coming from the products themselves.
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..My first ‘grown up’ home =-.

  • Reply blue bicicletta November 4, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Gorgeous shop! It does look like a burst of color and inspiration!
    .-= blue bicicletta´s last blog ..Something New: a monthly art club! =-.

  • Reply Brooke H November 4, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Such a lovely shop. I especially love the sign outside, it’s so cute and welcoming.
    .-= Brooke H´s last blog ..Bella Swan . . . a Bride! =-.

  • Reply Penny Patten November 4, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    A very sweet looking shop, I would surely love to have the opportunity to visit it some day!
    .-= Penny Patten´s last blog ..My Grand Children in Alaska =-.

  • Reply Megan November 4, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    YAY i am literally jumping up and down with excitement. I live in Melbourne and i can totally go visit Daylesford. I actually did a double take in my head when i read the start of the post and thought ‘Wow there is a another Daylesford in the US’. But nope, it’s our very own, here in Aus. I already have another shop there i want to go to called the Foundry. Now i have double the reason to go.
    .-= Megan´s last blog ..Treehouse Products =-.

  • Reply Kirsty November 4, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Allison’s Blog and Online store are just fabulous. I’m trying to find a way to visit her at her new store – hopefully sometime next year (fingers crossed!)

  • Reply Kiran November 4, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Awww.. This is such an adorable shop! And the knits, reminds me of my grandmother’s knitting days :)
    .-= Kiran´s last blog ..Orbbies: Orlando’s Rockin’ Blogs =-.

  • Reply Kellie November 4, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Super cute! Love the brightness and colors!
    .-= Kellie´s last blog ..Christmas Holiday Gift Tags =-.

  • Reply Stacey November 4, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    I visited Allison at Lark this week, I won the gorgeous blanket bunny she was giving away on her blog.
    The shop is fantastic lots of great gift ideas, cute finds and wonderful colour.
    I’m sure visitors definitely feel welcomed, surprised, a lot excited, nostalgic and happy, when they visit. Imagine sitting in this environment having tea and cakes…. Bliss!

  • Reply Jenni Price November 4, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    What a whimsical store! I wish it was nearby!
    .-= Jenni Price´s last blog ..Paper Clay Bunny and Duck Sculpture =-.

  • Reply maria1975 November 5, 2009 at 12:58 am

    Such an adorable little shop – thanks for the tour :)

  • Reply mellie November 5, 2009 at 1:35 am

    I absolutely love the Oui Oui bag!

    The store is an overall great design, I love it.

  • Reply littleray November 5, 2009 at 5:10 am

    this shop is gorgeous, i feel very privileged that it is so close to me – i can’t wait to visit!

  • Reply Danielle November 5, 2009 at 6:56 am

    oh my, what timing – my order from Lark arrived this very morning (a knitted pumpkin for a friend’s new baby, a new lunch bag for my daughter and the pack of children’s IOUs). So thrilled to see they have a real life store now, I will definitely make the 2 hour drive some time soon!

    Thanks for a great feature Holly :)
    .-= Danielle´s last blog ..oh my. LOVE IT =-.

  • Reply Sonja Barrett November 5, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    I live in Melbourne and didn’t know about Lark! Now I’m planning a day trip with a friend to go visit Lark and hopefully pick up some cute little things while we’re there.

    :o) Sonja
    .-= Sonja Barrett´s last blog ..Doodles =-.

  • Reply Anastasia November 5, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Allison is so lovely and her shop and brand are amazing – id love to visit her cute little shop one day even though she’s a good 14hour drive away from Sydney….
    .-= Anastasia´s last blog .. =-.

  • Reply Sarah November 6, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    This is the stuff my dreams are made of!!
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..WEEKLY REMEDIES =-.

  • Reply Kat November 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Ooooh what a gorgeous shop Lark is and i feel like i have had a browse around it now, with your post and also the online goodies to look at. Thanks Holly and Allison, kat x

  • Reply Stacy November 7, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Oh my gosh, I SO want the “origami and pilates” tote. Love it!

    Beautiful shop, beautiful blog!

  • Reply helena / little mo November 9, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    So lovely! makes me smile! xxxx

  • Reply Diana November 13, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Oh My!! This is a beautiful shop…reminiscent of Scandinavian style…I too, wish I was able to visit in person…although I think I’ve seen Lark showing in the UK recently, so maybe there’ll be a chance soon.

  • Reply Rebecca Grays January 26, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    I just visited Lark and it really is as delightful as the pictures. I also found out that one of the local designers Allison mentioned “Little Shop of” has her own store in Melbourne too and it is just the most fabulous too! all items are handmade in Melbourne or Victoria and everything is prices under $50.

  • Reply Mallory - Miss Malaprop April 1, 2010 at 10:52 am

    What a great looking little shop! Yet ANOTHER reason to want to go to Australia!

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