Phew what a year it’s been. I get to the end of the year and wonder where the hell it’s gone. Then I flick back through Insta and think, oooooh that’s right. So here’s the highlights reel, along with some truly crappy lows, because that’s kinda life right?!
We bid a sad farewell to our mates at Plyroom, who we shared a very cool loft style Northcote warehouse with, and entered the Bayswater North scene (by scene, we mean nada, nuthin, is there anythin’ going on out here?). We were desperately in search of more space and we found it! I swore I’d never let this place look any less spick and span than the day we moved in… Admittedly, standards have slipped a little… aka the floor is no longer a mirror.
Post move we went straight into a 3 day photo shoot at one of our favourite homes ever, Casa Warrandyte. We shot our standout Barrku range and our new core linen range all in 42 degree heat with bushfire alerts to boot. You can’t stop a lunatic A-grade team who will work in rain hail or shine.
And we welcomed baby Hazel into the SxC family! Mother Hen Liv returned to work in record speed, bringing Hazel along for us to goo and gah at all day. Very unproductive.
Dad and I road tripped to Bondi to launch our Barrku Collection at the Greenhouse Interiors trade fair, including the ‘bath mat that stopped a nation’. It was sans husband and child so I worked hard and partied harder (responsibly of course!). Weather was tropical warm, everyone in Bondi looked like they were straight off the catwalk, and we ate things like Poké bowls and Acaï bowls and activated nuts and all that other fun stuff. Came back feeling deliriously tired but with a heart full of pride and happiness.
Our Barrku range landed and arrived at our doorstop after a few false starts. Yep, they delivered to our old warehouse twice despite us updating them of our new HQ several times! #faceplant. Dad, Chris and I unpacked the whole 40 footer with our bare hands – I know, aren’t we amazing?!! And then we got to work on the mountainous task of getting all of your orders out. It was a BIG month.
We called in Alison for a few weeks of reinforcement and after realising we just couldn’t let her go, I pleaded with her to stay and SHE DID! I challenge you to find a thing this lady cannot do brilliantly. #noyoucannothaveher #donteventry
Not gonna lie, this was a hard month. Dad / Mr Twiggargerie /Mr Who Took My Stapler ended up in surgery to remove an aggressive form of Prostate Cancer. Not only did we miss him at work but we were also by his side every step as he recovered. Very fortunately he made a full recovery and we’re even more grateful now for his Dad jokes and minute by minute updates of what’s going on in his day, even if they truly bore us to tears (hehe sorry not sorry).
I took my first holiday since starting Sage x Clare that involved not once opening my laptop. NOT. ONCE. My team proved that they’ve got my back and it was a valuable lesson in learning to let go and entrust the amazing people around me to get sh*t done.
Game changer: Got myself an account GENIUS, Atal… He has literally changed my life.
We also launched our bestselling Frankie and Paloma linen – all shot in the Riad of our dreams in Morocco by genius behind the lens, Armelle Habib. Did our jaws hit the floor when those shots came in! When can we move to Marrakech?!
We bought a house, sold a house, and went overseas 3 times. That’s what I call living life to the full!
We ticked an overseas shoot for Sage x Clare off the bucket list, enjoying long shoot days backed up by foot massages every night. Gotta love Bali! We also sneakily told our Husbands and kids that we wouldn’t be coming home as per the itinerary, instead extending for a spontaneous girls trip to our favourite paradise of all time, Desa Seni.
After some much needed sun baking, I returned home only to jetset off again with Dad and Jude to my other second home, India. We visited our artisans, stayed with my sister in Jaipur, showed Jude the peacocks, swum in the pool at Samode Haveli (OMG so beautiful), reviewed techniques for our upcoming range (oh just you wait!), took many, many rickshaw rides and managed to fart with confidence the whole trip (woohoo!)
Moved into our new pad in North Warrandyte and just sat for days to stare at our view. I hate to say it, but it’s just that jaw-dropping. We lit our first wood fire, did our first bush walk and woke to the most stunning sunrises. Lucky ducks.
With much excitement and anticipation, we launched our Rumah Collection to the world and thankfully you guys didn’t just like it, you loved it! As soon as it went live on the website, I sat and cried my eyes out – a mixture of absolute exhaustion, butterflies, and total admiration for every single creature that contributed to it. We’re a small team but I’m so proud of what we continuously put out to our creative community.
This high was sadly short lived, when the penny dropped we’d been scammed and scammed good. We lost a pretty sum of hard earned cash to a clever and sophisticated scam that knocked us for six. Of course, we didn’t take it lying down. While we never recovered a cent, we spread the word to anyone that would listen, because we wouldn’t wish this upon even our dear worst enemies (p.s. we wrote all about it on our journal, along with some tips for how to avoid this happening to you).
We did our best to dust ourselves off and commence mission ‘damage control’ post scam. Aided by an outpouring of support from you guys (honestly, you’re actually the best) and a home tour with Tash from @thecolourtribe, which kept us suitably distracted. Sometimes you just gotta keep on keepin’ on, so that’s what we did.
I witnessed the real life childbirth of my niece – Nelly Mae. It was both exactly as I’d expected after watching countless episodes of One Born Every Minute and delivering my own son, and also completely the opposite. It was a magical time, welcoming Nelly into the family and watching my twin sister, Jem, and husband, Paul, navigate the whole parenting thing with a mixture of #ivetotallygotthis and #omgwhatthehellamidoing.
We also said goodbye to our customer service wiz, Katie, as she prepped for baby number 3! I know, brave right? Things weren’t quite the same with her gone and Sage x Clare went from totally under control to *holy shite*
We launched our Xmas Nudie Rudie Bath Mat and realised within hours that we’d kinda severely underestimated your love for this fun guy. You guys don’t just love it, you’d actually sell your left arm for it. So we ordered some more and some more again, but…. in the words of Porky Pig, “that’s all folks!”
And after mistakenly thinking we could make do with skeleton staff we welcomed the delightful Sam. He’s a pom through and through, and uses language like ‘pickle’, ’hanGer’ (the G being very pronounced – we think he means somewhere to hang your coat??) and ‘trousers’. How very posh.
Just because we hadn’t done enough this year, we launched our two new linen colours – Dusk and Sundance! Man how good are those names?! And had our very beloved Nudie Rudie Bath Mats arrive just days before Xmas – what a nervous wait that was!
And…. perhaps most importantly, we celebrated our little man’s 2nd birthday with a party at home and much ripple cake. When I say much ripple cake, I mean MUCH ripple cake.
So thanks for coming along for the ride. You’re a special tribe and we’re lucky to share our lives with you.
Have the merriest of Christmas’ and see you on the flip side for waaaaaayyyy more of the good stuff! Promise.
Phoebe and the Sage x Clare team