The story of Ivy Muse is one of two beautiful friends with a love of all things creative.
Jacqui Vidal and Alana Langan have been long time friends of over 14 years, who have both been running their own creative businesses. They had always been keen to collaborate together in some way…. but were just waiting for the right moment when the idea of ‘ Ivy Muse‘ was first discussed, it just ‘clicked’ for the duo.
At the time Jacqui was living in an apartment with no outside space and Alana was in a rental with limited area to display her skills as a ‘green thumb’. They we were both keen on the idea ‘bringing their greenery indoors.’ Being friends for so long they knew they could work well together, one of the biggest business decisions you have to make working with friends….can you actually do it?! They decided they could… how lucky are all of us … and were keen to take the plunge with their complimentary skill sets….Perfection!
As already noted, the duo come from creative backgrounds. Jacqui is the owner of ‘Signed & Numbered’ an incredible store that sells ltd. edition works on paper by Australian and International artists, and Alana worked in PR for Disney, prior becoming a much sought after Melbourne-based interior stylist (editorial and commercial) under the name of ‘Hunt & Bow’.
With such creative backgrounds and an eye for detail, the duo launched Ivy Muse in Spring 2014 and have since launched five stunning collections.
What makes Ivy Muse ‘stand out from the crowd’ ?
I think it’s their forward thinking practical designs, quality, detail!
Jacqui describes Ivy Muse as “….. all about beautiful, functional plant stands and botanical wares that help encourage people to get creative with their greenery. Our products are designed to allow maximum flexibility in the many ways they can house plants and are suitable for a variety of pot sizes and shapes, so there’s no hard and fast rules about what suits them. We are proud that all Ivy Muse products are designed and made in Melbourne from quality materials that will last a lifetime.”
What they love the most about their business…well there are a few things but they both agree on being …“surrounded by so much greenery, having total creative freedom and of course being lucky enough to get to hang with each other most days; it often doesn’t feel like work!”
Their new Botanical Emporium Concept Store is something that they are extremely excited about! I went to the launch last week, and let me tell you it’s a must visit! They are also just putting the finishing touches on an exciting collaboration with a talented Melbourne designer… this will be released in the coming months.
They love being a part of the Melbourne design industry, and are so grateful to be surrounded by so many supportive and inspiring creative and friends.
What is the most challenging part of their business?
Jacqui noted that both of them knew their individual strengths from the start, they knew they had to be mindful to work as a team to succeed. For them, it is all about “keeping the communication lines open and if one of us doesn’t feel right about a decision, then we don’t proceed. We like to keep things simple and really go with our instincts; it’s worked well for us so far. Work hard and trust your gut!”
The vision for their new store, was to “create a captivating and engaging Botanical Emporium; a design-driven space housing the entire collection of IVY MUSE plant stands and products, complemented by pots and plants and a curated collection of homewares sourced locally and around the globe, all with an undeniable botanical-lean to them."
Brands that will inhabit the space I have spoken about here….you need to see that line up ! I also LOVE the idea of their lean on a ‘gallery’ feel, featuring artists who will produce original ‘botanical inspired’ works invited to exhibit and maintain a presence over 6 weeks. Robert Bowers has been selected as the lead artist; his works will exhibit from Friday 19th August 2016 with further announcements to be made on subsequent artist exhibition.
Ivy Muse also provide ‘plant solutions’ for all spaces, their team will work with you on the best plants for your space.
I asked the girls to finish a few quick sentences to get get to know them a little better…
The best day of the week is…
Alana – Fridays; I usually spend the day balancing time with my kids and working, so it’s the best of both worlds really!
Jacqui – The best day of the week is the day I get to work alongside Alana in our beautiful new shop. Who else gets to spend the whole day with their bestie!
My dream holiday destination is…
Alana – I’m all about relaxing beach holidays these days so it would have to be the Caribbean!
Jacqui – My dream holiday destination is somewhere I can kick back and relax. Anywhere where there is salt water, sun and ‘shoes not mandatory’
Our biggest ‘pinch me’ moment has been…
Alana & Jacqui – Seeing our dream of the Ivy Muse Botanical Emporium come to life…! It’s been a crazy 2-year ride and to be able to realise the vision we have for IVY MUSE is so exciting!
The best advice I have ever received is…
Alana – Well it was the best I’ve ever read actually… ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’. If you can push through your fear you can achieve anything.
Jacqui – Don’t ever say anything about yourself that you don’t want to come true! It’s so easy in this day and age to turn against yourself and aim for ‘perfection’, so this quote is a nice reminder to stay positive and not play to the negative
What I’m reading is….
Alana – Marie Kondo’s ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ – it’s a game changer!
Jacqui – Rosie Waterland’s Bachelor Re-caps on Mamamia. I’ve been a bit time poor of late so these five minute reads are a good dose of humour!
Visit their NEW Botanical Emporium at: 1250 HIGH STREET, ARMADALE 3143… and tell them I sent you !
Photography Annette O’Brien, Styling Alana Langan.