I have known Matisse and her husband Kane for almost 20 years! Makes me sound old! But really I have known them since they were tiny little teenagers - it's not that we are old lol! Matisse, along with her husband Kane own and operate two stores in our hometown of Bendigo in the iconic View Street. Opening their first store The Meadow over eight years ago when they were still in their 20's was a bold and 'grown up' move that impressed me at the time and I couldn't be more pleased to see their hard work pay off with The Meadow still going strong, requiring them to move to a bigger premises AND them opening their second store Gathered next door! A wander up View Street can often spot husband and wife through the windows of their respective stores! We caught up with Matisse for a wander around View Street with her two children, and in a very 'View Street' fashion Kane popped out to say hi too, along with another store owner we didn't catch in our images!
When you were younger you travelled, lived in Melb for a bit and then settled back into what is a beautiful life in Bendigo. Tell us about what you love so much about Bendigo.
Bendigo is such a beautiful town. Mainly we love being close to our families. We are such family people which ultimately drew us to be back here when we wanted to raise our own family. The schooling here is wonderful, everything is so close and convenient. We literally live 2 minutes from work and school, and that is so handy considering we are always in at the shops. Bendigo has come so far in the last 10 years. There has been a crazy influx of next generation gurus opening an array of new businesses, which is seeing Bendigo have retail space, cafes and restaurants that are on par with others all over the world.
Your stores are situated in View St, which is really like a little community for the traders, you all get along so well, when we visited to take some pictures of you for this article we actually ended up with quite a crowd of store owners on the street rather than in their stores where they belonged! Tell us about the supportive community spirit of retailers in Bendigo - retail can be a tough gig, but you have a loyal following of customers, and genuine friendships with the other boutiques in Bendigo.
Yeah it’s friggin ace to be honest! There is a group of us that all genuinely share the highs and lows of small business in a rural city. We help each other chase robbers up the street, share footage of any thieves, so we can all band together to stop the shitty behaviour that rarely happens (luckily!) But when one of us has an issue, we know the feeling and try to help each other out where possible.
On a high note, in the 40+ degree Summer arvo, it’s not uncommon to see a few of us enjoy a beer on the bench seat out the front of the store having a good laugh.
On View Street we all happily accept parcels to hand on to customers if the store they purchased from won’t be open when they want to collect etc. Same goes for if the delivery guys arrive, we will sign for others parcels. It’s a small village and we are so lucky to be apart of it. (Emma - I can vouch for that, I’ve picked up goods from SB Libris in at The Meadow!)
As far as regular customers go, WOW we are so fucking blessed!! Our regulars are so amazing, they become friends and that really is the best bit about small business. I love that I get to be apart of these peoples lives and I can tell they care what happens in mine. It’s a feeling that I will never take for granted!
The homewares store Gathered and clothing boutique The Meadow that you and your husband Kane own and operate are on what is arguably the most popular street for tourists to visit in Bendigo, can you give us your ultimate Bendigo itinerary for visitors to Bendigo.
Well, where do you start! I think I will just jot down some things I think people must see when they are here. But beware, a lot of that is food related as I love to eat!
- View Street as a whole! Biased or not, I think it’s the best street in Bendigo (haha) Some amazing retail spaces like Gathered, The Meadow (Our babies live next door to each other so that’s 75-79 View Street) View Street Bazaar, Made in Common, SB Libris, Café El Beso, Harvest, Get Naked Espresso and of course Bendigo Art Gallery.
- Wander into Rosalind Park and have a laze on the grass.
- Visit Chancery lane and check out Libertine, Robe and the Dispensary for a cheeky cocktail.
- Make sure you call ahead and book dinner at one of our wonderful restaurants. My personal favs are Masons or Rocks on Rosalind. (this is a top tip from Matisse… it can be quite hard to get a walk up table at some of Bendigo's most popular restaurants… okay… not quite hard… impossible… so do book!)
- If you love to eat and have a car, definitely check out Edwards Provedore & Percy and Percy.
- It’s a must to go and look at the Cathedral. Even if you’re not into God, it’s a stunning building to walk through.
- I love collectibles so I would recommend going out to Bendigo Pottery and looking at their version of The Mill. While you’re there, check out all their handmade goodies.
- If you’re here with kids, head to Lake Weeroona for a play on the playground and indulge in a hot dog from the hot dog van! Get chippies with your hot dog, it’s a game changer!
You have two girls, who do you think they are most like?
Looks wise, Quinn is a mini me and Pixie is a mini Kane. And personality, I see a good mix of the both of us.
Matisse and Kane will welcome their third child very soon... so I asked her the really important baby question (the one I struggled with lol!)
Naming a baby – are you fast or slow? Lists of 50 maybes, or do you have a name from early on?
Kane is right into the name thing early on. Me, not so much. I know what I’m like and if I love a name to early on, I will end up hating it by the end. So he keeps his list in his phone and I don’t think about it. But as it gets close to due date we lock in one boys name and one girls name. I couldn’t go into it with a lot of names.
Although with Pixie, once she was born I had to check she had cute ears before we locked that one in. I was never going to let her get picked on if she had little elf ears!
Your leather jacket is clearly your go to… what are your favourite things to style it with?
Haha is it that obvious? When I’m not preggo I live for Neuw Jeans and my Leather jacket. But jeans are not really my friend at the moment so I’m making the most of all the incredible JAWS dresses I own. About one million layers hidden under a rad dress, teamed up with my Berlin Biker Jacket by Neuw, bang on some Vans or Ivy Lee boots and I’m done.
You own a fashion store and you always look chic, are you a ‘lay an outfit out kinda gal’ or do you pick on the morning? Is your wardrobe jammed full of pieces from years gone by or are you a ruthless culler?
Oh I’m def a pick it out in the morning kind of girl. I am not organised enough for the night before. I have heaps of pieces that are special to me from years ago that come out every now and again. I’m not a huge culler, but surprisingly I don’t get a whole heap of clothes for someone who owns a store. As I mentioned before, I love jeans, so when I’m not pregnant, I just love rocking jeans and a rad tee.
Best product to make pregnancy not as ‘pregnant-ish’
I don’t think I really have one. I feel like I look every bit as pregnant as I am. As challenging as the whole 9 months is, it’s so exciting growing a baby and the desire to worry about my looks at this time is so far gone. You will definitely see me rocking up to school drop off on my days off with a coat over my PJs. I make the most of it!
You are in the process of renovating your home… it’s been a huge process where you have waited such a long time as the approval process was arduous and then you have had issues while the work was being completed (while the roof was off it stormed, the tarp came loose and they had severe water damage to the house!) How have you stayed patient through all of this with two kids and a pregnancy. What is your reno hacks… and has it all be worth it?
Patient from the outside haha. In all seriousness, it’s just a house and it will be finished soon enough. As you mentioned, we have waited a really long time for this to happen so it’s a blessing really, just riding through the long haul of it all and taking all the joys of reno life along the way as “character building”. The last month or so I have to keep reminding myself how “first world issues”our trivial situations are and learning to just get on with it.
My reno hack is trying to relax but mainly making friends with your trades people. It helps to have the conversation always open so you can chat about things together, so they gain a sense of the things you do and don’t like. It makes a big difference when you are on the same page as your tradies, that’s for sure!
Where have you looked to for your reno inspiration?
Much to all my friends disgust, I don’t like or look at Pinterest. Most of the inspiration comes from store fitouts, strangely enough. I mainly see these on Instagram and follow a fair few rad stores with a great sense of style. Kane (The husband) has an amazing eye for style/design, so together we both find ideas and generally we like the same things and just tweak it make it our own style.
Favourite three brands from your homewares store… It’s cruel to make you just choose three!
That really is cruel. I’m really not sure I could. Don’t want to cop out but the brands are so diverse in here that I couldn’t really pin point it.
Favourite three brands from your clothing and accessories boutique.
I can here, as far a fashion goes.
Seeing as Christmas as upon us I thought it best I take advantage of Matisse's expertise in gifts and style and get a bit of help with present selection!
- Go to gift for a man
If they don’t already have one, definitely a SWELL drink bottle. Not many men would spend money on a drink bottle, but all the guys I have got them for absolutely love them!
- Go to gift for a woman
I love giving jewelry to women who wear it. I feel like when different pieces arrive from different brands, I automatically think of which friends/family would love each piece. If not a jewelry wearer, then I love a little keep sake from the likes of Ruby Pilven or Togetherness.
- Go to gift for a mum
As a Mum I love to be pampered, so I love good products for a mum. SALUS, LEIF or SKANDINAVISK are real winners. If your mum doesn’t have one, you need to get her a BLUNT umbrella! Believe me they are a game changer.
Fav drink (when not up the duff)
Red Wine in winter (With out sounding like a wanker, Pinot is my fav) or a beer in the Summer, nothing crafty or fancy, just a bogan bee, as I call it.
Favourite thing to do with your girls.
Easy one. Craft or Cubby fun.
Australian Birth Stories
The last thing you read
You by Caroline Kepnes. A wonderful read that I could not put down.
Fav Album/artist/Spotify list
My music taste is very varied. My go to pick me ups are Tupac, Roxette and Crazy Town. So random.
Fav magazine (that’s stocked at gathered lol!)
Oak Mag of course!
Photography: - Justin Castles www.justinandjim.com.au
Matisse wears: Rad threads from their store www.inthemeadow.com.au