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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Soul Kollective: offering mums in business a Merewether base

Supporting young mothers in business is something Jasey Stanley is passionate about.

That’s why the decision to open Soul Kollective was so easy, she says.

“When something is meant to be, it just falls into place,” she said.

Based in Merewether, Jasey’s latest business venture is a collaborative space stocking the wares of a range of Newcastle small businesses – all belonging to local mums.

From clothing and accessories to gift ideas, books, oils and candles, the pastel-coloured heritage building with a classic ‘corner-store feel’ is the new home of a unique business concept.

“We have 20 businesses in house at the moment,” Jasey said.

“All sharing a business space and ideas and positive energy.

“In May 2020 there was just three or four.”

After closing its doors for ten weeks during the height of the pandemic, the former site of Newcastle’s Merry Go Round on Railway Street, has been transformed into a retail space shared by a range of small local business owners.

“I originally called Tegan (the store’s previous owner) to ask about including my photography business at the site, but she told me she was selling and I blurted out: ‘Ok, I’ll take it’.

“It was an opportunity that literally fell into my lap.”

Opening in May 2020 following renovations, Soul Kollective launched with the aim of “seeing mums share shifts and workloads to allow time with their kids and their lives,” Jasey says.

“I love the supporting role, and sharing with other businesses.

“I’m no expert but I love sharing what I’ve done and bouncing ideas off other mums. It’s a win-win.”

When Jasey took over the running of the store she rebranded it, visually establishing a fresh start.

“Kollective with a ‘K’ is in honour of my mum, Kimbo,” she said.

“And I wanted something that represented that we are all beautiful souls, all of these businesses and all of these mums.

“If a mum had to open her own store to sell her products when she was just starting out in business, and she still had to try and juggle her family life, she’d be exhausted.

“It’s about timing. It’s got to be the right time, and then it’s about finding the right balance.

“If collaborating together with other mums helps one of them find the right balance then I’m happy.”

While the space may stock similar products, the group share a commitment not to overlap by selling the same items.

“Similar is ok, but we can’t have the same,” Jasey said.

“Being a collaborative space we aim to keep it fair.”

Her sharing philosophy doesn’t stop there.

“We have a weekly random acts of kindness initiative,” she said.

“We send something out to a random shopper that I’ve either purchased from one of the businesses in-store or that they’ve donated and we just call them and say: ‘here’s a little bit of kindness for you’.

“Half the time they’re so overwhelmed, it’s so good to share kindness, it really is.”

Soul Kollective is open from 9am to 4pm weekdays and 9am to 1pm on weekends.

Retail sales is the task of in-store small business owners who share the responsibility.

The group also host exhibition evenings, a community library, and Santa’s Letterbox.

On Friday 26 March Soul Kollective will host a Shopping and Champers Night. See its website for more details.

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