|Sue Beagley, owner & buyer of My Global Merchant|
How would you describe yourself?
A Mum, a traveller, who is passionate, wilful and tenacious.
What was your childhood dream?
Just to grow up, it was a pretty wild childhood. I think I really loved fashion and was making my own patterns and clothes, so I really wanted to make anything eclectic. I have always loved beautiful things, paintings, ceramics and fashion.
What led you down your current path and inspired you to launch
My Global Merchant ?
Travelling opens your eyes to what the world is. Each country reflects something different in their art and craft and it's intrinsically in-bedded in what they create. This is usually diluted by the time we as buyers get to see it. So being able to share some of the amazing things I have seen whilst travelling really made me want to begin My Global Merchant. All my products are bought so someone can enjoy something beautiful from somewhere else, not just as a commercial enterprise. Through business we support family producers who are artisans and who create beautiful products in a traditional and ethical way. Mass production dilutes the purpose and detail and I really want to promote the small creators who do this as a way of life and who will teach their sons and daughters how to do what they do.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love sourcing the products and coming upon something and realising how special and beautiful it is. It's tedious and tiring, but also incredibly rewarding as we find just the most amazing stories behind these products. The negotiations enrich my life because I get to meet some many different characters, each with their own individual story.
What do you stock and how do you source your product range?
A thoughtful collection of ceramics, textiles, cushions, leather goods and rugs from Turkey, Morocco, Italy, France and Africa. I like to travel all around and source from any country I visit. I look for unique, handmade, traditionally crafted pieces that will remind you of the country they are from. They should speak loudly of their source and most importantly be beautiful and extremely well made.
Who are some of your favourite homeware designers?
I have always loved Liberty of London, very commercialised but the country girl in me loves the repetition and colour ways. Tinker by Printink Studio has the most lovely sense of colour and pattern and I'm loving Fictional Objects bedlinen.
What sets your store apart?
We are online, based in Brisbane. Every product is unique and we don't tend to repeat styles. Our range has longevity and I like the idea of people valuing them and keeping them for a really longtime. We don't stock anything mass produced and I think that is very important in today's throw away society.
What challenges have you had to overcome?
In life; balancing having four kids who all live in different countries and running a small business as well as a small cattle and fruit farm. In business; transportation from all over the world can be a bit problematic.
What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
The moment I decided this, which was a passion and hobby, could become a business that allowed me to share what I love with Australia. I believe that everyone should have a chance to purchase something from another country and know it was made with passion, integrity and skill.
What are your top creative resources?
Scandinavia; Sweden, Denmark and Iceland. Possibly......
When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Read - The latest bookclub read.
Watch- A movie at the cinema.
Cook- Using something I have grown at the farm.
Create- I'm making a mosaic pot with some ceramics that didn't make the journey!
Listen to- Oceania, Jens Leckman, Jose Gonzalez & Lou Reed.
Dream about- Family and everyone being a bit closer in vicinity to each other.
Look forward to- Time to catch my breath.