Hip Hip Hooray - we made it to double digits!!!
It’s our tenth birthday and we couldn’t have made it here without you! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for joining us on this incredible journey. Never did we ever think ten years ago when we were launching a little website while still working in the corporate world, that norsu would evolve into what it is today.
The truth is, we wouldn’t be standing here holding our blush balloons if it wasn’t for you!! Without your visits to our store, online orders, messages on social media, and genuine friendship, norsu simply wouldn’t exist, and for that, we are eternally grateful.
Together we’ve shared a love of beautiful homewares, and making our houses feel like home. Our mission has always been to ‘love where you live’, and we’re proud to say it’s just as strong today as it was ten years ago.
We also need to thank our team and our families as we couldn't have done this without you. Just like the saying "it takes a village to raise a child" it also takes a team (and in our case, a family) to run a business.
We’re so excited to share the next decade with you! Let’s take a walk down memory lane…
Big love, Nat, Kristy & team norsu
Three friends. Many of you may not know that while we were dreaming up norsu, we were a trio! Our dear friend Treah joined us on the norsu journey for several months before her commitments of family and her nursing career at the time would no longer allow her to juggle all three. We have so much appreciation for the short time Treah joined us on this journey, and love that she’s still one of our norsu besties.
Fun Fact - norsu is the Finnish word for elephant. The idea for norsu was born after Nat gifted Kristy a piece of beautiful fabric from the Finish company Marimekko. Printed on the fabric was a beautiful aqua elephant, which Kristy stretched and framed for Lachy’s nursery. This artwork received so much attention every time a guest walked into Kristy’s home, that it sparked the first idea for norsu.
Year One - Ready, Set, Go!
After a chance meeting at mother’s group and discovering our mutual love for interiors and design (especially Scandinavian), norsu began as a passion project, and a way to channel some creative energy. We began importing unique homewares from Scandinavia, and set up a website to bring them to Australia. We ran norsu like this for a full year while still working full time in our corporate roles, packing orders after hours and on the weekend, and answering emails on our lunch breaks.
- We create our brand. What was with our love of aqua!?!
- We sneak out of work to deliver products to Ruth Welsby for our first media mention in The Age
- We have a coffee with mentor Julia Green who connects us with Inside Out mag and we feature in their Christmas campaign. A WTF moment!
- We conduct of first photoshoot with Greenhouse Interiors in Nat's home
- Bec Judd releases our shoot photos and the website hits skyrocket
This was our website on the first day we launched (cringe!) in September 2013.
Year Two - Our first store
With our homes overflowing with stock (seriously, Nat couldn’t shower in her spare bathroom because it was filled with boxes), these two fresh faced corporate girls thought it would be a fun idea to open their first shop! After receiving multiple requests from our customers to see our product in person, we took the plunge and left our ‘real jobs’. With newborn Harvey in a rocker behind the counter with us, and absolutely no retail store experience - we opened the doors to our first bricks and mortar store in Malvern East!
- Nat's on parental leave with Harvey so it's the perfect time to open a shop...says no new Mum ever!
- First store opens. Kristy decides she's not missing the fun and quits her corporate life
- Nat's first home reno finishes and it hits the media
- We conduct our second photoshoot painting Nat's living room pink. Sorry Dan!
- We appear on TV show Reno Rumble
- We recuit our first norsu employee! Lena congrats on your new baby gorgeous
Us on our very first day (when we didn’t even know how to use the point of sale or payment terminal). What is that necklace!?!
Year Three - Our store gets an upgrade
We had well and truly outgrown our little store, and hit the jackpot when we secured the space next door. Within days, we’d knocked a hole through the wall, and began our expansions with our first clearance sale. We also secured a warehouse across the road (aka apartment - if anyone visited that site to collect furniture, you know what we’re talking about 😉) - and we were set! We also had the incredible opportunity of being featured on The Block with Shay & Dean, with TV cameos from Nat in our very own store. And the most rewarding part of all…our team started growing - there were nine of us at the Christmas party that year!
- We expand and take over the space next door and open the artLAB (remember Ruben Ireland and Vee Speers)
- We host our first warehouse sale (ummm where did you all come from!?)
- Dulux converts our warehouse into a shoot location for their Colour Forecast
- The Block accelerates norsu to searing heights! Thanks Shay and Dean, we'll be forever grateful
Year Four - One Store becomes Two
With one store under our belt, we took the leap to open another. We secured the keys to norsu Hawthorn, with a vision to transform this space into a fully styled ‘norsu home’ upstairs.
- We host another epic clearance sale, and wished we’d hired security (if you came along - we apologise for the stampede)
- We rode the gallery wall craze, stocking more prints than you could ever imagine (hello Mrs Mighetto, Ruben Ireland & Love Warriors)
- We lived out a dream flying over our good friend Michelle Halford aka The Design Chaser over from NZ to style a photoshoot with Lisa Cohen
- We hosted an huge event at Nat's house with our much-loved industry friends. We'd be too scared to do that now
- The Block happens again with Ronnie & Georgia, and even got caught up in a Block cheating scandal!
- We feature on a Channel 9 series My Dream Job
Year Five - Two become Three!
Just when we thought we were done opening stores, we were given an opportunity to pop up in Brighton that we couldn’t refuse and did it again - oops!!
- We launched our own bespoke norsu cushion collection - our very own product collection. What dream come true!
- We styled the campaigns for Carrie’s Beanies for Brain Cancer charity. It's not every day Carrie drops into your DMs
- We expand our Scandi roots and fall in love with locally handmade wall hangings and leather balloons by Honey Honey Creations
- Nat sold her house and we finished on a massive high as Natty bought a new house and the ideas for norsuHOME began brewing!!
Year Six - The year of renovating
We dove into this year with the renovation of Nat’s beautiful norsuHOME! Partnering with incredible suppliers (now lifelong friends) while capturing every step of the way on film. This led us to proudly launching our norsuHOME Interior Design Studio, and we began transforming the lives of our lucky clients. We also learned that good things come to those who wait, as we signed a lease on our dream store in Malvern East, and began consolidating our three stores into one incredible concept store.
- Opened the norsuHOME Stylelab in our new Malvern East store
- We launch our second instagram account norsuHOME because one just wasn't enough...NOT
- We participated in the Feast Watson Relove project
- We drink champagne at Breakfast during the In Bed with Eadie Lifestyle Campaign
Year Seven - Our year of giving back
This one was special, with one of the most precious initiatives we’ve ever undertaken - Project Seven! Placing a Tiny Home by SoulSpace Studios into the backyard of a dear norsu friend for her eldest son to live in and make way for two delicious foster children in the family home. Oh, and while we were at it, we also renovated the family kitchen. Words cannot describe how special this project was, as we changed the lives of this deserving family. We still gasp at the sight of this tiny home being craned over the actual house as we all held our breaths.
- We partnered with realestate.com.au to capture a client’s full home renovation in the series ‘Upsize with norsu’
- We styled Carrie Bickmore's daughter's nursery
- We visited Satelite Island for Kristy's birthday and never wanted to leave
- We all fell head over heels in love with Mustard Made Lockers! Still our best sellers today
Year Eight - The year of the pivot!
This year started rocky with the devastating bushfires and with your help, we raised over $15,000 for bushfire relief support. And, it didn’t end there. To use a term from our corporate days, when covid hit, pivot is exactly what we had to do! Being forced to close our doors and go back to our grass roots of online trading was a challenge, as was navigating our team through the most uncertain times from afar! But we kept it real (and fun along the way).
- The Puzzle desk became our best seller
- We made masks from our cushion scraps and raised money for Mental Health Awareness
- Friday night team drinks became zoom drinks
- We found our groove in Nat’s styling videos - spreading positivity and joy through the places we needed it the most - our own homes!!
Year Nine - One word - Lockdown!
After a false start believing we were returning to normal, we were back in lockdown, and traded for almost an entire year with the doors closed to our retail store. We continued to focus on spreading joy within your homes, as we ran the business from our own homes.
Highlights (or in some cases lowlights) include:
- Styling product for Instagram in our living rooms while also homeschooling our children
- Stock became hard to come by, and you sold us out of Robert Gordon Poet’s Dream Fruit Bowls more times than we can remember!
- Packing shifts in our warehouse - day and night - became a thing as we socially distanced
- We launched eStyling Services to style your spaces virtually
- Despite all odds, our team grew to the largest it had ever been
- We bought a blush pink van. In a full circle moment, employed Oscar (the owner of the tiny home) to drive it
- We outgrew our tiny warehouse, and moved into a much larger space that could handle the online orders
- We opened another pop-up store in Hampton with our friends at Lowe Living
Above all, we felt enormous pride for our team who navigated through it all like absolute champions.
Year Ten - Our norsuHOME 2 era begins and we say Hello to norsu Cabin!
Believe it or not, five years had passed since we renovated the norsuHOME, and with our children growing into their next phase (Annabel begins high school next year), it was time to extend! With the help of Loz from our norsu Design team, we designed Nat's dream forever home.
Highlights so far:
- We donated the entire contents of our home to the Lighthouse Foundation
- Began the enormous task of renovating (we’re 15 months in now and still going)
- We also embarked on our next chapter… The norsu Cabin! A dream from the beginning, we’ve always wanted to share a space with our wonderful community. Stay tuned for it to open - we can't wait to have you stay!