And I got a sneak peek and shop before the rest of Sydney. Talk about a special moment for a dedicated shopper like yours truly. And we were made to feel so special today with access to the store and meeting some of the amazing staff the day before the big official opening. In fact there were some fancy pants magazine people and Melissa Hoyer getting a tour just before we did.
And at the moment I am like a fountain of knowledge on Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma. Ask me a question and I probably know the answer. I was like a sponge today. Did you know that Australians are their biggest customers outside North America. And particularly Sydney siders so we got the first store. Did you also know that they spent a considerable amount of time and resources getting the pricing just right for the Australian market. And it shows.
The prices are much better than I expected and I passed that information on – from one mother of 5 children who loves to shop to the people in the know at Williams-Sonoma.
I was lucky enough to take the lovely A Beach Cottage who is such a sweetie and took that picture of me post-shopping. And does she not look like she’s in her second home here at Pottery Barn. She drove because I have height issues with the WBJ carpark and my multivan. I love that I told her that I knew the way and then managed to get us lost and take a few wrong turns. But we got there. That’s the important thing.
Security was on hand at the door as not everyone was allowed inside (only us VIPs!) and we started the day with Williams-Sonoma. Heaven. I mean everything was heaven but Williams-Sonoma was just foodie heaven. The yellow le creuset was a stunning wall of top to bottom heaven and is something to be seen and greets you as you enter. There are food demos and there was juice to taste and it’s all about the experience.
I have a real soft spot for the baking goodies and came home with just a couple of things for my kitchen. I’m dying to use the vanilla bean paste from Madagascar (just under $13 for the jar).
Roxan is the store manager and when I came back for some shopping she held my basket, helped me pick a few things when I told her what I like to bake and nothing was too much trouble! She has been working for Williams-Sonoma for over 5 years and is now in Sydney setting a very high standard for customer service here. I’m excited to tell you that I was the very first customer at that counter. Yes, little old me.
At the back of the store is the Cooking School headed up by Vlad who is very easy on the eyes. His passion is food and his new home in the cooking school is a super light and airy space. I am definitely coming back for a course with him. For the food of course, definitely for the food. I can see the ladies queuing up for his classes.
We were shuffled off down to West Elm next. I didn’t know what to expect with West Elm but this one is for you crafty, creative and eclectic tastes out there. Reclaimed wood, textiles, new York style and working new things in with what you’ve got is the word from Vanessa the creative director for West Elm. They like to collaborate with crafters and there are some aussie designers they are working with but it’s all hush hush. And pricing is reasonable. $119 for a gorgeous quilt set. My favourite was a shibori doona cover. Lots to love here and some really stunning cushions.
Next up….Pottery Barn. Heaven. Both Pottery Barn Kids and Pottery Barn are next to each other and share the same staircase leading upstairs. Also a lift for those with prams/wheelchairs, I do always look out for the lifts since I almost always am with pram. OK so downstairs just gives you a taster of what is come. and it’s luxurious homewares and inviting bedding. I fell in love with everything and can’t believe that the first thing I bought was potpourri! Potpourri.
All those gorgeous lights, towels, frames, clocks, candles and glassware and I buy potpourri. I can highly recommend anything in pomegranate and the heirloom rose and everything is smelling fabulous at my house right now.
In my defence I was seriously overwhelmed and knew I had to come back for a second look and let this be the trip to soak it all up.
I did fall in love with these wall clocks. All totally my style.
Pottery Barn Kids is full of everything you need for kids bedrooms and the nursery area is like nothing I’ve seen before. Especially for boys, stunning navy and white chevron that has emerson’s name all over it. Monogramming is done in the Pottery Barn kids area upstairs while you wait and costs $9 per item. It was great to watch the monogramming while we had our morning tea.
What you need to know
– you’ll find the stores side by side at the top of Oxford Street Mall and Grosvenor Street in Bondi Junction. A map is here.
– Park at Westfield BJ (unless you drive a VW multivan or need 2.1m clearance in which case look for street parking), look for NAB and leave WBJ, cross the road (walk don’t run) and then you’ll find where you’re meant to be.
– order online and have your goods shipped to you anywhere in Australia.
– get your Pottery Barn catalogues here and sign up to be in the know for your favourite stores within the group. Um that would be all of them for me. Finn has been coveting the Pottery Barn Kids catalogue because of the Star Wars bed set which thankfully is not like any other licensed quilt sets he usually has his sights on.
– there are some great activities for kids in Pottery Barn Kids and they love kids to come up and see them.
– monogramming can be done while you wait in Pottery Barn Kids (upstairs)
– get ready to shop and just feel right at home
– West Elm, Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids offer free design services and will come to your house (if you live in Sydney) or you can do it in store and get some design help for your house. I’m going to use this for the kids bedrooms once the carpets are down upstairs.
A big thank you to all the special people involved in making today happen especially the lovely friendly staff of Williams-Sonoma and Tracy and her team. I met Leigh who was showing us around Pottery Barn, Vicki in Pottery Barn Kids, Anna the creative director of Williams-Sonoma, Roxan the friendly store manager of Williams-Sonoma, there was Vanessa the creative director of West Elm and so many more. It was a real honour to get a sneak peek and little shop today and I can’t wait to come back again! For those who like to brave the crowds the stores will open to the public tomorrow morning.