It was a childhood dream of twin sisters Lauren Johnson and Sienna Darville to own their own store. Now, three years after starting their online shop Dear September, the pair have transitioned seamlessly into bricks-and-mortar retail – a cosy spot on Albion Street, Waverley. “It was the perfect fit for our store,” Johnson tells us. “We have grown up around the area and still live nearby … the neighbourhood has a fantastic community feel.”
Dear September – a reference to the twins’ birth month and a time, “When people used to send letters,” Johnson says – came about when the sisters were first moving out of the family home three years ago. “We wanted to be able to decorate affordably with what was currently on trend,” Darville says. The concept was to provide a bright, cheerful selection of vintage and modern homewares at accessible prices for people who wanted to update their home decor as frequently and as easily as their wardrobes.
The aesthetic of the Dear September online store – fresh, youthful and fun – has translated to the new boutique. Displays are filled with colour, as neutral-hued ceramic crockery shares space with pineapple-topped spoons, paint-splattered cheese boards and handmade Indian pompom tassels. “We have long been avid collectors of vintage clothing and trinkets,” Darville says. “We love the idea of combining vintage with new things and our customers really enjoy it too.”
The twins head to markets seeking out high-quality, good-condition vintage objects – such as glass cookie jars and retro tea sets – to mix in with pieces they have sourced through more modern means. “We often see wonderful products via social media,” Johnson says, “and get in touch with makers that way.” That’s how the pair found their current favourite; a range of pinstriped virgin wool throws from Mexico that is testing Johnson’s powers of restraint. “It’s so hard,” she admits, “we usually want to take everything home!”
23 Albion Street, Waverley
Mon to Fri: 10am–5pm