Shannon Urquhart and Cathy Kent met three years ago when their boys started kindergarten together. The idea to start their own business developed over many afternoons sitting on a park bench after kindy pick-ups. “We wanted to bring original, quality pieces to Toowoomba and regional areas. Also, we wanted to find a way to balance work and family,” said Shannon, a partner of The Wild Haven Collective.
With five children between Shannon and Cathy, family was always an important value considered in the planning. Also important: creating a space where any need could be met. At The Wild Haven Collective, stumble upon anything from furniture, homewares and lighting to fashion, accessories and body products. “We have handpicked, high quality, one-of-a-kind pieces for The Wild Haven Collective,” said Shannon. The furniture ranges from an antique Indian console table to Moroccan leather ottomans to Australian hardwood furniture.
“Our timber furniture is handcrafted in Mullumbimby from reclaimed timbers and our rattan is handmade to the highest quality,” said Shannon. All certified fair trade, The Wild Haven Collective even offers custom design and construction on its timber. As for homewares, the boutique has sourced an eclectic mix of handcrafted pieces from around the globe. With a focus on sustainability, The Wild Haven Collective also sources feature lighting made from organic materials including sea grass, rope, timber and rattan.
After all, the women behind Wild Haven did not just want to provide a place to shop, but a place to discover an exquisite, personalised piece that brings a touch of personality to your home. The vision of our business is providing quality product that is environmentally sustainable, Fairtrade certified and supports local artisans,” said Shannon. Keeping business local was an important aspect for the team, so clothing, footwear and accessories are all made by Australian designers, from the highest quality material and leathers. A Byron Bay organic body range is available, as well as a vegan range of nail polishes. The Toowoomba boutique has received an overwhelming reaction from its customers. “They are loving finding such quality and variety in Toowoomba. Some favourites have been the rattan bed heads, rattan seating and our handmade cushions,” says Shannon.
Shannon and Cathy are partners of The Wild Haven Collective with Yvonne Bewes, Cathy’s mother. With a background in accounting and business, Yvonne handles the financial side while Cathy and Shannon provide the creative passion. “For Cathy and me, opening our own business has been a dream in the pipeline for a while and as a partnership, we all work beautifully together,” says Shannon.
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