Take a trip with us
In the name of keeping it real, we're pulling back the curtains and inviting you all to join us as we relive our most recent buying trip. (It was a good one, so we are kind of excited to relive it with you!)
Starting with a red eye flight to Melbourne, day one was a big one for team Girl Meraki. To ensure we were getting off on the best foot we obviously had matching Cheese + Tomato jaffle's from the airport cafe, shared a fruit salad and made sure to purchase some gum for the flight.
In flight entertainment for Maria was the back of her eyelids, Paige opted for a podcast - Coffee Convo's.
Off the plane and down the longest terminal walk ever - if you know, you know. It's the longest 7 minute walk you'll ever do with a carry on bag in a sea of people rushing to get out of the airport and on their way. Okay, maybe not the longest, but you get the picture.
Into our lovely, but also unbelievable stuffy Uber (Air con, its a love hate relationship) and off to our destination for the day - The Royal Exhibition Centre for the Life In Style trade only event.
No matter how many times we've attended this event, the building has us equally in awe each time. From the detail to the ceiling height and the architecture.. it sets the stage perfectly for showcasing the best in the wholesale + design trade.
And just like that.. we're no longer tired, we were far too distracted by the abundance of goodness on offer.
First up - First In Style. This is an area dedicated to smaller brands who are new to exhibiting in the trade show.
It won't take you long to work out who our favourite supplier in First In Style was.. our dear friend who we already stock (so we know you all love her range too!) Athena + Co. We know we shouldn't play favourites, but how could we not - we love Athena.
Further into the building we headed, dropping our baggage off to the cloak room on our way and fully immersing ourselves. I mean, can we just take a minute to appreciate the cloak rooms - whoever thought up the first one in history, we owe you one buddy.
Topping up orders and discovering new product ranges - we're not sure if we can break down what we love most.. catching up with our current suppliers, making friends in new ones, being inspired by their new works or the anticipation that comes with knowing and crossing our fingers you guys will also LOVE it all.
As we worked our way through the stands, browsing doing lots of ooo-ing & aaa-ing, pointing to each other, we very quickly lost Maria in conversation with Sarah (Out here from New Zealand), if you're reading this Sarah - we're SO down for a swim in that heated pool of yours, and we certainly won't say no to a ride in your unbelievably sweet bus!
After 6 hours at Life In Style it was time to call it a day and head to our Air Bnb in Southbank - into the next Uber and straight into some good old comfy PJ's!
Deliveroo for dinner, Queer Eye playing on our laptop + Ben and Jerry's for dessert. It's not always flashy dinners and fancy views when travelling for business.. we save those as a reward to ourselves for the last two nights and honestly, its so nice to wind down together and settle into our little air bnb ready to take on the next few days.
We ran through our wish list, looked over our customer special requests and brainstormed how we hope to merchandise our newly ordered product.
Day two for team Girl Meraki started with a big breakfast at Billys Pantry - the cutest cafe conveniently just around the corner. Hopping into our next Uber ride and back to Life In Style to finish our dealings with suppliers there before then making our way to The Big Design Trade at the Meat Market.
Along the way we spotted some amazing architecture, both hard-lined modern and beautiful old traditional terraces. Without saying a word we looked at each other as if to say, we have to come back here later!
Popping into The Big Design Trade meant the discovery of a few additional new suppliers - slightly more bespoke, unusual and appealing to the creative soul. We're excited to share with you a brand new body care range + another special gift option which we found here.
On our way out we made a b-line for those beautiful buildings we had passed, we had done our work for the day so now it was time to have some FUN!
Yep, our idea of fun is exploring the streets of Melbourne in search of amazing homes. Free inspiration, how could we not. We then spent the afternoon making our way/ salivating through the Queen Victoria Markets.
Unbelievable amounts of antipasto goodness, sweets to match and even tea. Don't worry guys, we were tempted but we had control for once! It may have helped that we knew we were planning on a yummy dinner not too far in the near future.
Highlights from our afternoon of total exploration in Melbourne City were - stumbling upon the unbelievable talent that is Natalie Trayling the Pianist. Her music is freeing, emotion provoking and calming - she was amazing to observe as she played in the streets and passers stopped to watch also. We got talking to her son and found out that coincidentally, she was going to be featured on Sunday Night that coming Sunday, so you know we are going to tell you - go watch it!
We also loved the soulful gem that is - Otre Gallery. Tones of affordable prints and a range of artists to immerse yourself in. We could have spent hours here, we also could have purchased a few pieces if we had more room in our suitcases!
Popping into a quirky store with crystals, herbs, and witch craft essentials - we span a wheel of stars for our fortune, but weren't too fussed on our predictions so they very quickly went into the bottoms of our handbags. Whoops! (We're all about creating your own destiny anyway).
And that leads us to Hardware Lane, a little place called Amigos and a few jugs of Sangria to share. We drank, laughed, laughed some more, talked about Girl Meraki and paired all of this with share plates of the most delicious casual entrees.
Before hopping into an Uber back to our Air Bnb we stopped into the closest E-zy Mart to grab what was their healthiest breakfast cereal on offer- believe it or not, Rice Bubbles seemed the only choice.
Day 3 - Rice Bubbles for breakfast- its all glamour here!
Off to an early start with the opening of both AGHA and Reeds Gift Fairs at the Melbourne Convention Centre - two more trade only events (and the largest at that!) with crazy amounts to browse, buy and suppliers to touch base with.
Each year we're overly optimistic, thinking 'we'll smash this out really fast'.. but sure enough it gets to 6pm and we've both had a bottle of water, some rice bubbles and a coffee for the day.
This could only mean one thing, we had been BUSY - busy working. Shopping up a storm sounds fun, but there is also a whole lot more to it. Our time, energy, vision, branding, what you guys want and ensuring price point is always considered for you also. We love stocking stunning, unique pieces - we also try really hard to ensure we're providing you with a collection you love that is also within reach.
For our last night in Melbourne we made our way along the Yarra River, passing hundreds of amazing restaurants to land at our favourite restaurant of all - Teatro.
We discovered Teatro 4 years ago and we've been back each year since - if you're heading to Melbourne, you MUST eat here. Order yourself the Buffalo Mozzarella, you'll thanks us later!
Each other, melt in your mouth food, wine + our favourite restaurant on the river - this is what we appreciate most each trip (Our yearly celebration + thanks to each other) and to be completely honest, we should really be thanking you for this.
Without your support we wouldn't be able to continue our dream that is Girl Meraki together. We love each other (even if one of us snores, not naming names), we love our store and we love you for allowing us to do this. Thank you.
Big hugs, and a big cheers to you!
After heading into yet again, you guessed it, another Uber - we ate the last of our Ben + Jerry's and stood on the tiny balcony in our Pj's looking on at the city lights. We're really lucky in this life and I'm sure at this point (we were being sarcastic and silly- whats new) but we both knew it more than ever.
And then.. we fell down the trap. Getting totally sucked into a movie - you know the ones that look interesting and are kind of true to life so you're watching on falling into the story and then WHAT NO THAT CANT BE THE ENDING.. yep, no real conclusion at all.
Day 4 / Our final day in Melbourne - Breakfast at Billys Pantry again, justifying it to ourselves like 'it's the last day, why not'.. when in reality we most definitely could have survived on another bowl of Rice Bubbles, but you're only in Melbourne for work once a year right?!
Finishing off our dealings at AGHA + Reed Gift Fairs again before jetting it to the airport for our 7.40pm flight, making sure to see our girls Evangeline and Jo (Pictured below). A late one, but we were determined to fit everything in and successfully we did so.
Ending our trip on a high feeling more inspired and determined than ever, and.. running into Athena and Dan from Athena + Co at the airport, only to be sat one row apart on the plane home. How good is that.
Touch down, one last uber and bed time - Another one for the Girl Meraki books and until next year.. it's been fun Melbourne!