After moving her homewares store from Millthorpe to Carcoar, in NSW’S Central West, Belinda Satterthwaite hopes to bring new life to the historic town.
WHEN CUSTOMERS GO LOOKING for homewares store Tomolly in the buzzing village of Millthorpe in NSW’S Central West, locals turn and point south to Carcoar where it has recently found its new home. More often than not, these enthusiastic shoppers jump in their cars and drive the extra 20 minutes, enjoying the rambling bucolic views along the way. Belinda Satterthwaite never intended to relocate her decade-old business to Carcoar, a village with character aplenty but where weekend foot traffic is currently more trickle than flood. However, when she and husband Stephen found their dream home (a renovated flour mill — see page 38 for the story) in the area last year, it had a domino effect. Initially, she planned to open a second version of Tomolly. “But something didn’t feel right,” Belinda says. “I’m the face of my business and I couldn’t be in two places at once. People said I was mad to move but someone else told me ‘Build it and they will come’, so I shut up shop in Millthorpe.” Belinda was approached by another local business owner to consider establishing a retail collective and this March, Tomolly opened within an 1876 building called The Terraces in Carcoar’s main street. She and Stephen ripped up the carpet to reveal a beautiful timber floor and cleaned out the full-height cabinetry that flanked the walls. “Even the paintwork is still original,” she says. “Locals say this was once a barber’s shop and he used to have preserved snakes in glass jars on those shelves.” Belinda, a former nurse, says shopkeeping is her passion but it’s taken a few years to trust her personal style, which favours earthy tones and natural textures. “When I started my store was quite colourful and bright because I thought that was what people wanted. But that’s not really me — I’m a minimalist — so now I buy things I like.” Popular items include Redecker brushware, Pony Rider soft furnishings, Bison ceramics and artworks by Amelia Anderson Photography. Belinda also sources products from bespoke regional suppliers, such as Meeraboo candles from Canowindra, Orange’s Oh Hello Henry bread bags, Cathy Penton Atelier jewellery hailing from Meringandan, and Millthorpe’s One Hundred and One Linen bedding. “I try to support the smaller suppliers and look for unique pieces. I don’t go to trade fairs and I’ve also introduced a lot more old wares in this store,” says Belinda. Among the unique pieces are Stephen’s sculptures, which include ethereal birdcages reimagined from scrap metal. Belinda also offers a styling service and an online shop is on the cards. “Instagram also has a lot to do with my business and I’m amazed at the people who have come from Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne because they follow my posts.” Joining Tomolly in The Terraces is a clothing store, Vida Boutique, and The Village Grocer, a coffee bar and general store. Together they form the Carcoar Collective that hopes to spur a retail-led revival in the village. “When we want to promote things we do it as a group... the idea is that people can get a coffee next door then check out homewares and fashion,” Belinda says. “New accommodation has also opened in the post office and there is a café and surgery coming, so things are starting to happen here.” Tomolly is at 7 Belubula Street, Carcoar NSW. For more information, follow @tomolly_carcoar on Instagram, telephone 0417 426 472 or visit carcoarcollective.com
ENTERPRISE CARCOAR NSW The main road of the historic village of Carcoar, NSW. Belinda Satterthwaite’s store, Tomolly, is housed within The Terraces, built in 1876. FACING PAGE The shop’s original shelving now holds products including old produce boxes, candles and soaps.