While local labels like the Daily Edited make it possible for you to add your initials to leather goods, Sydney’s first full-spectrum lifestyle monogramming store, The Monogram Mode, allows you to add your name (or anyone’s) to pyjamas, homewares, travel goods and kids’ clothing.
The store has opened in Double Bay, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, opposite Shelter, and allows you to personalise items with different embroidery and font. It’s a niche founder Juliet Schiff says needed to be filled.
“I wanted to create a lifestyle brand offering monogramming across the board,” says Schiff. “I wanted [The Monogram Mode] to be the beautiful beach bag that mum [or dad] goes to the beach with, and the kids in our swimsuits and monogram towels. And then you come home in the evening and you have robes for you and your partner to put on. [It’s] a full spectrum.”
Schiff is married to a Texan and wanted to bring a dose of American culture to Sydney. “When I was living in the US, I became obsessed with the art of monogramming – it’s far more popular in places like Nantucket [a tiny island off Cape Cod in Massachusetts) and Texas – there’s a huge monogramming influence over there. And when I moved back to Australia I wanted to have that opportunity here to do cool, personalised things for the house and the kids,” she says.
It’s a smart move. Oiu Yafu, chairman of China’s largest textile manufacturer, Y Ruyi Fashion Holding Group, has predicted customisation will become the norm in the fashion industry as technology and big data becomes increasingly influential.
For Sydneysiders, they can go in store and monogram a selection of Schiff’s favourite US and UK kids’ brands, exclusive to the store: Minnow Swimwear, Roller Rabbit, CPC Clothing, Rachel Riley and Petite Plume. Schiff wants to bring back traditional kids’ clothing, shelving unicorns and sequins in favour of beautiful collars and smocked, seersucker-striped dresses and rompers.
For the adults there’s piped French pyjama sets and striped robes, as well as cornhusk woven straw totes and rattan clutches. You’ll also find homewares from labels such as Matouk, which can be personalised in-store, too. Prices start at $29.95 and stretch to $149.95 for a full set of bath accessories. Everything comes in white-ribboned boxes and colour-coded grey carry bags for easy gifting. And when ordering online, your package arrives in 24 hours.
Despite claims bricks and mortar retail is struggling, Schiff is confident the time is ripe to set up shop.
“I really believe that in-store experience is something that’s really lacking here in Australia. We’ve got drawing tables for kids, champagne is available in-store and, in time, we’ll have coffee carts on Fridays and Saturdays so that it’s a really [special] experience for shoppers. And when people come in [and see the space], we want them to feel genuine comfort, this feeling that’s so close to home.”
The space is reminiscent of the Hamptons: white and bright, with an A-frame pitched roof. It’s a homely space with white-washed Australian timber panelling, marble details and MCM House coastal-style furniture.
Monogram Mondays will be introduced in the future, where customers can bring in their own things to be personalised. “You can come in and create your own custom family emblem or crest, which we then can digitise onto [a gift] – for a wedding, 21st birthday, baptism ...”
There’s not much Schiff won’t have a go at doing. She founded her own real estate company, Boutique Estates International, but then made the unexpected segway into the custom fashion and homewares world. She hopes to expand Monogram Mode all over the country and is working on introducing an in-house brand of clothing and homewares line.
The Monogram Mode
2 Short Street, Double Bay
Mon to Fri, 9am–5pm