Back in the good old days of early 2018, before our current challenging times, I had the pleasure of visiting beautiful Brunswick Heads, and meeting with Louise Ralph of “Resould” in her vintage wares shop. Resould is a little different to most and I thought that Louise had an interesting story to tell. The great news is that Resould is keeping busy by doing things a little bit differently than back in the good old days.
Q1. I suppose one of the curious aspects of your business is the location, where exactly is Brunswick Heads?
Brunswick Heads is in northern NSW, a beautiful seaside town at the mouth of the Brunswick River. It’s approximately 15 minutes drive north from Byron Bay and 30 minutes drive south of Gold Coast airport.
Q2. With a population of less than 2000 people, why is “Resould” in Brunswick Heads NSW, instead of Brunswick Victoria?
In our 20’s, Michael and I travelled and worked abroad, living in major cities all over the world. We decided to make Brunswick Heads our home, about 16 years ago. We had both spent our childhood years growing up on the Gold Coast, and found Brunswick Heads a reminder of our halcyon days. So, we found the small town of Bruns, was the perfect place to raise our son; with fishing, surfing and swimming at our door step, also K-12 Steiner Schools in the area.
The strong alternative arts and cultural scene in the Byron Bay Shire and an abundance of organic farmers’ markets are a bonus ! This area attracts 2 million visitors a year from all over Australia and overseas.
Resould is located at 48 Tweed Street, the Old Pacific Highway, along with retro motels and other owner/operator creative businesses.
Bruns may be small in local population, yet we are big in popularity.
Q3. Apart from Resould what is the best thing about Brunswick Heads, and why should people take the time to visit?
Brunswick Heads is a Mid-Century Modern gem!
Promoted through the local chamber of commerce as a place to find ‘Simple Pleasures’, this laid back atmosphere makes it a great place to holiday, live, work, visit and shop !! With the pristine river and beaches it’s enjoyed by couples, families, fisherman and surfers alike. We are encased by the world renown Wollumbin Caldera region with various waterfall, rainforest and hinterland walks and drives. Over the past 10 years Brunswick Heads has been gaining a strong following by those who love retro heritage. I think many of the residents and visitors shop here because the businesses go against the growing trend of mass labels and franchise homogeneity that is so much part of the current Australian consumer experience.
If you can’t find what you are looking for at Resould we can suggest other local stores for you to visit. We are supported by a printed Collectable trail guide of all the like minded stores in the Nth Rivers area. Shop small forget the mall !
The Hotel Brunswick is an icon for its era. Developed by James Cavill as a first class residential and holiday hotel, it was opened in 1940. It’s art deco brick work design and gracious interior made it popular for honeymooners. Patronised by locals and visitors with live music nearly every day of the week and with it’s grand beer garden, you just can’t visit Bruns without a visit to “Bruns Pub”.
The recent re-opening of the fibro Brunswick Picture House, which has been restored to reflect its 1950’s heyday, now includes world class cabaret shows, live music and movies.
All this combined with good coffee, a vibrant café and award winning restaurant scene……
It’s a top destination !!!
Q4. When I did a google search for Resould, it said Resould is a collectible store, but looking at your stock I think that is not really accurate. Is there a neat pigeon-hole label for “Resould”?
I know, there isn’t a clear pigeon-hole for Resould. Born out of our obsessive interest in all aspects of design over the past 25 years or so, we are passionate about restoring, reusing and recycling. We refurbish furniture, create wonderful lampshades, cushions and stock works of art that reflect this era. We’re more a retail store that reflects the Mid Century Modern era. Much of our stock would be considered as highly collectible. We have an established reputation for high quality, genuine, authentic, contemporary fine vintage, retro and mid 20th century furniture, lighting and homewares.
Q5. Where does the name “Resould” come from?
It’s a long story… ha ha.
My husband Michael came up with the name. Our personal and business philosophy is focused around sustainability. To renew, relove, recycle, restore, regenerate. We’re about saving the planet. When I went to register a business name at the accountants, the one we wanted was already taken, then suddenly the scrap of paper that I had written down Michael’s suggestion, fell out of the folder onto the footpath. I looked down and I realised this was perfect… “Resould”!
To ‘ re soul’; not fully discard, bring back to life – not create a brand new thing.
A life renewed; original soul revived, recreated.
Then the ‘re sold’ part; re selling a past piece of history.
We wanted to move from collecting and resouling items for our own home towards re-selling to others. A retail store selling “resould” items.
The name represents what we wanted to do in our business, and also our own personal journey finding a new direction and careers that didn’t fully discard the past.
From a broken back work injury, I was deemed unemployable. The clarity came when I realised I had to be bold and put a plan together to create a new income and career; so I had to re-soul my life; and become “resould”.
We looked into our past careers and knowledge:-
Me – A full time career in fashion with an international surf and street wear label both in retail and wholesale account management, put me in good stead for design, visual merchandising, and display. With hobbies making lamps and lamp shades from vintage fabrics, and fossicking through car boot markets and vintage fairs.
Michael – apart from Mr Mom, his past expertise is in retail, carpentry, classic car restorations and furniture making. For a while he had been working for a Queensland Demolition business. Where he learnt the art of making and creating beautiful furniture using recycled timbers from demolished Queenslanders, mixing his own waxes, polishes, finishes and stains. His creations still sit in some of the high end homes on the Gold Coast.
We are Resould.
6) Do you have any/many customers from Sydney or Melbourne, or are they mostly from the local Byron Bay area?
Yes, we do have regular customers who come from capitol cities and all over Australia. It’s a great short break or holiday destination with a range of holiday rental styles. Some families have spent their annual holidays here since the 1950’s. Many of these interstate customers are looking for furnishings to freshen up and compliment their original family seaside mid-century modern (MCM) holiday houses. If a visiting customer purchases any size item we are happy to organise shipping and take great care in the packing and transportation of all items.
We have a strong local following as well, so much so we would call them friends.
(With the recent changes in the way people are needing to shop it is re-assuring to know that Resould was already experienced in packing and shipping their stock around Australia in a safe manner).
Q7. Who does the re-souling, and where does it happen?
‘Re-souling’ is mostly done by myself and husband Michael with assistance from local crafts people as required. We choose to source almost everything local, and those supporting sustainable practices in all aspects of our business to minimize our carbon footprint. I have a workshop here at the store where our lamps shades, and custom orders are created and this is where we house all our vintage fabric collections. Michael is busy restoring the furniture on our rural property. His workshop is housed in reclaimed shipping containers just outside Brunswick Heads, with breathtaking valley and ocean views. We are completely self-sufficient, using our own solar power and rainwater from our tanks. We love putting great effort into the restoration work we do.
Q8. Have you ever sold a piece then later regretted it?
I wouldn’t say regret, but we have sold items that I would say I miss from our life.
Maybe, the original Grant Featherston R160 Contour chair or the Roger Mclay Kone chair? However, both these pieces are now sitting and being admired and loved in their new homes in Sydney and Melbourne.
We only buy what we love, so it’s hard to part with beautiful objects which often have an intriguing past life, but are genuinely happy for our lovely things to go to a new home where they will be loved and admired.
We now stick to a household rule; if we find something we want to keep, we have to take two items from our collection at home to sell in the store! Do you know how hard that is for some-one with an obsession for high-quality collectible items??
Q9. You have been in business for over ten years, which is the same time that Secret Design Studio has been in business. What do you attribute your continued success to?
We love what we do. Resould reflects our shared obsession within all fields of classic design, colour, form and function. Library books and internet research feeds our obsession and thirst for knowledge which has led us to an appreciation of the world wide influence of Scandinavian design. We put a lot of thought and effort into sourcing our High Quality Vintage products and seek genuine and unique stock. I love to share my experience and knowledge with customers. Sometimes I encourage them to look outside the square by offering chairs in hot pinks, lime greens, or mixing up colours that they may be too scared to try. At the same time, we offer the classic Danish greys and neutrals, and of course classic mcm colours like teal, orange, red, mustard and turquoise.
Brunswick Heads is a great location for us. We believe in taking care of our all our customers; the newbies walking into resould for the first time, both local and returning holiday shoppers, we give that old fashioned retail service and want to make their resould experience a memorable one. Passion for what you do is infectious and customers appreciate this. We guarantee the quality of our work, Michael and I are both perfectionists when it comes to restoration, so we want to make sure they have the item for a lifetime.
In some ways we are old school in our business model, however of course we use social media as part of our continued success, with a website, facebook page and an active Instagram. Here I have to mention, that my beautiful orange 1977 F100 truck has stopped passing customers in their tracks when they recognise it from my Instagram shots. Both Michael and I have classic cars as daily drivers, in keeping with our Resould philosophy. We love what we do and do what we love.
Q10. What advice would you give to small start-up retailers in regional areas?
You need to find a niche that isn’t being filled. Make sure there is a market, even if it isn’t a big market. You need to determine if it will grow and is sustainable, then you can grow with it as you get stock and capital behind you. Be part of the restoration and re-creation of products so you value add rather than just buying and selling products made by others. Believe in what you do, and do what you do extremely well!
In Brunswick Heads we have a strong local chamber of commerce and this has been vital in building a small business community that helps support each other. It’s about helping other small businesses, so if I don’t have something and can’t help a customer I refer them on and often they will come back and business will develop from that, so it’s a great business model.
Q11. How do my Melbourne clients go about ordering from Resould? What type of packaging and guarantees do you offer for interstate customers?
Look at our website and social media to get an idea of what we stock. I am often sourcing items for customers, they let me know what they are after and we usually find an appropriate item. Obviously, patience is important if we don’t have an item in stock. We are meticulous in our packing and shipping of our quality items. We suggest interstate freight companies and once a customer has decided who they will use, we liaise with the freight business and make arrangements.
Q12. What does the future hold for Resould? Any plans to open a sister store in any of the capital cities?
We will continue to share the “resould” touch sitting happily here in Brunswick Heads. We absolutely love being hands on in all aspects of our business. Being the craftspeople in control of every stage of the restoration process keeps our quality consistent, which brings our customers back time and time again.
We want to retain a business size that allows us to be the creative team, so that certainly limits our future expansion expectations. As creative people it’s important we choose to live and work in an area that supports and maintains the sustainable lifestyle we love.
…renew rethink relove recycle resould…
”Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it !
Boldness has Genius, Power and Magic in it!
Begin it now !” … Goethe…
In the meanwhile feel free to see what is in stock by visiting Resould’s website at:
Or visit Resould’s Instagram page at:
Or visit Resould’s Facebook page at:
This posting was created during the height of Australia’s Covid-19 crisis. As the world recovers and slowly returns to being closer to normal many Australians will start to travel and take holidays in Australia. At this stage it looks like the availability for Australians to travel overseas for tourism may be delayed.
Brunswick Heads will continue to be a great place to visit, so for information on Brunswick Heads and the current Covid-19 restrictions please visit this site: http://www.brunswickheads.org.au/
If you live in the Brunswick Heads or Byron Bay area and would like help with pre-renovation planning, design and building advice then feel free to check our our “Dr Retro Virtual Visit” service: