Meet Catherine from The Spring Blog and now also The Spring Shop. Originally hailing from Toronto, she met the love of her life, who just happened to be Aussie, in Cambridge & after finishing their studies they rolled a dice & decided to move to Brisbane, Queensland together. A crafty, stylish little blogger, Catherine lets us in on her favourite recipes, crafty projects, her personal style & home decor style, health, beauty, gardening & best of all, her favourite things to do, see, & eat in South-East QLD via The Spring Blog. Recently she opened an online store filled with neo-traditional goodies, offering a range of affordable new & vintage home and food styling products. Some of which can often be quite hard to track down in Australia.
Catherine was sweet enough to answer a few questions about herself, her blog & her online store for Looking Glass readers...
When did you start "The Spring" blog and why?
I started The Spring Blog two and a half years ago while waiting in Canada for my Australia immigration papers to be processed. I was so excited about the new life I was about to start (in 1-9 months, the embassy couldn’t be more specific) that I began blogging to catalogue my dreams for this big fresh start. I also began reaching out to Aussie bloggers, and becoming part of that online community right from the start made adapting to life in a country where I knew almost no one so much easier.
What prompted you to open "The Spring" shop?
Two things, really. First, since moving to Australia I’ve found it difficult to find (or find at a reasonable price) the kind of traditional wares I’ve always loved cooking with, entertaining with, and crafting with. I’m talking mason jars, bakers twine, beautiful paper tags, cast iron skillets… So I saw a gap in the market and thought I could bring joy to people like the ones who read my blog if I could fill it.
The second thing is more personal. I want to live a creative, flexible, self-directed life and I just couldn’t think of an existing job out there that would tick all those boxes. I’ve had a deeply felt, totally scary feeling for years now that I’m entrepreneurial at heart – I find building my business and coming up with new marketing ideas just as creative and fulfilling as all the design, photography, writing and craft I do every day. So once I had the what and the why figured out, there was no excuse left NOT to start up The Spring Shop.
What does a typical day for Catherine entail?
It varies, and that’s what I love! I still teach part time, but I get whole days to dedicate to the shop and blog now, which is AMAZING! Shopping for new stock is the most fun part… Then there’re always emails to write, parcels to post, DIY ideas to develop, stock and projects to photograph, descriptions and posts to write, and social media platforms to tend… so what I’m doing changes hour to hour. I do have a regular practice called ‘hustle time’ when I put on my marketing hat and brainstorm ways to reach out and be of service to select brands, publications, and readers who may not even know about The Spring yet.
Any exciting new plans for The Spring blog / shop on the horizon that you can share with us?
I love exploring Australia so I’m super excited that a small resort on the Southern Tip of the Great Barrier Reef has asked us to come up as their guests and write about the fabulous experiences available for tourists in their area. It sounds like the perfect excuse for a mid-winter getaway to me, and I’ll let y’all know more about it as the plan unfolds.
What's your favourite product right now on The Spring Shop?
Obviously I'm deeply digging the whole range… but if I have to pick a favourite it’s the all natural long & elegant beeswax birthday candles we’ve had custom made in the USA. They’re so beautiful and 100% edible; the days of toxic wax drippings on our celebration cakes are over!
What are you reading right now?
The latest issue of Fete magazine… I’ve never been to South Australia, but if it’s anything like what’s inside that magazine, I’m a packing my bags right now!
What are you listening to right now?
Otis Redding. Always Otis Redding.
Finish this sentence: the perfect day of indulgence for me would entail....
A two hour Thai yoga massage, all the fresh pressed green juice I care to drink, and having someone else to clean the juicer (and my house) while I’m in bliss-mode.
Favourite place in the whole wide world?
Easy. Driving down a Simcoe County road with the windows down on a hot August afternoon. There’s just a certain quality to the late summer, the sweet smell of the cornfields, the warm breeze blowing, and the crunch of the gravel under the wheels… it’s home, it’s nostalgic, it’s perfection. You can take the girl out of Ontario…
What advice would you give to any readers thinking of opening their own online shop?
Be very clear about why you want to go into business. Entrepreneurs work twice as hard for half the money… so you gotta be in it for the love.
Do everything yourself. There’s nothing that you can’t figure out using a combination of your own intuition, youtube, and the google. There’s a steep learning curve when you begin to create anything on your own, but you’ll keep costs low and gain a level of mastery over your own business that’s worth every hour of fiddling you put into it.
Thanks for visiting us Catherine! As a Sydney gal, I love taking a peek into the lifestyles of bloggers living in other Aussie cities. I can't wait to get my hands on a few goodies from Catherine's store, namely the pie set & some moonshine mugs!
~ Clare x