Shopping in Moss Vale is one of the Highlands’ most eclectic, marvellous experiences. This certainly rings true of Hunter and Gatherer Collections, located at the upper end of Argyle Street.
Owned and run by uber-stylish Ben Gowing and Daniel Percival, the emporium brims with unique furniture, art and homewares from around the world.
The two men, also partners in life, moved to the Southern Highlands a few years ago when they adopted their dog, Frida.
A Tour of the Moss Vale Store
Ben and Daniel moved to the Southern Highlands because they felt that the shopping scene in Moss Vale had potential to truly flourish. The allure of that prospect was hard to resist, and indeed three years later, it has really come to life!
“We were previously based in Alexandria and it was too congested. We wanted space to expand and show off our beautiful finds. Shopping in Moss Vale allows for that. Secondly, we wanted Frida (named after artist Frida Kahlo, due to our love of art) to have space to run around.
“That was nearly three years ago. Since opening the store, we have loved meeting new people and many of our regular customers are now dear personal friends.”
Moss Vale Gardening Magic
The outside back courtyard boasts beautiful clusters of lavender, roses and other perfectly potted, well-maintained plants. I had to question who has the green thumb?
Ben revealed, “My background is in horticulture, but I’ve always had a passion for both the garden and home. I’ve worked with boutique garden stores and designer brands for many years. It was a natural transition to open our own emporium. “
Plants aside, the store also features furniture, homewares and gifts from various countries across the world, with no distinct theme other than superior style at front of mind.
“Travel has also featured heavily in our lives,” added Ben. “I think our style and collection represent this well. We have pots from Morocco and Cabinets from China, all mixed in with art and accessories from around the world in one lovely Moss Vale location!”
An Flair For Timeless Finds!
At this point Daniel adds, “My background is varied and originated in journalism, but a second degree saw me working as an archaeologist!”
Ben butted in proudly, “the store’s success has a lot to do with Daniel’s ability to marry the differences between each item in beautiful harmony. He has a wonderful knack of layering and telling a story with accessories, building a story while at the same time combining the unusual with the classic. This has always been one of his strengths.”
Shopping in Moss Vale – Upper Argyle Street
When discussing shopping in Moss Vale, the ‘Upper Argyle Strip’ is a term that has rapidly gained momentum. With its eclectic selection of stores, cafes and restaurants. Hunter and Gatherer Collections sits beautifully at its upper end, which locals now affectionately refer to as #UpperArgyle.
“Daniel and I always had a wish list for our dream store,” revealed Ben. “It always had to be a shop with an apartment upstairs and room big enough to have a garden.
“We were walking Frida one evening and we stumbled across an old place that seemed to tick all our boxes and it was onwards and upwards from thereon in. While all of Argyle Street is very special, we just love our little corner at the upper end!“ Indeed, it is the perfect way to punctuate your excursion of shopping in Moss Vale!”
Investment Over Trends
With such keen eyes for timeless pieces, I couldn’t help but ask the pair what they see as the next big thing in homewares.
Ben revealed, wisely: “Our design ethos has always been to source goods that outlast trends. Furniture with patina, history and classic shapes are what we look for. We buy what we feel will be a classic. Natural earthy products speak to our inner gatherer. We love to combine plants throughout our store also.”
I do love the sound of that. I also adore that they have a strong passion for art, being an artist myself.
“Art has always featured strongly in both of our lives,” admits Ben. “Since opening our showroom last September, we have had a number of local and international artists hang on our walls! Many of the works we carry in the store are produced by artists with similar styles that tie back to the classics such as Picasso or Cy Twombly. However, our styles change and evolve with our collections and new discoveries.”
Christmas Wish List
With the festive season fast approaching, the boys revealed that travel is on the top of their wish list!
“Travel always features on the top go my wish list,” laughs Ben. “Last April, Daniel and I were lucky enough to visit India. We fell in love with the vibrancy of the country and the generosity of the people. We bought a full container of utterly amazing pieces.”
Daniel and Ben were also instrumental in starting the Moss Vale Festive Foraging initiative, now celebrating its second year. As with all great ideas, it came to fruition at the pub!
“It was initially a brain storming session with Rose from Doggie Barber and Saskia from Vintage Toybox on how to get more business to the northern side of Moss Vale. It really just grew from there. The first event was launched in under three weeks and it was a great success with locals discovering stores that they didn’t realise existed.”
Now in its second year, around 30 stores will be joining in the fun, which is happening on Thursday December 12, 2019, from 4p.m.
“We have a beautiful event to be proud of that highlights the strength of the stores in our local community,” says Ben. “This year we have also joined forces and will be hanging Christmas wreaths in each store to make it a more festive experience.”
As we wind up our chat, I couldn’t help but ask them for their top home styling advice and was of course so touched by Ben’s simple advice – follow your heart!
Ben reveals: “Always follow your heart when buying furniture. Collecting pieces that you connect with is the key to having a home that you love. From there, layer and use different textures to create drama and interest. If you fall in love with an item, buy it. “
Hunter and Gatherer Collections is at 542 Argyle Street, Moss Vale.
For more information about life in the beautiful Southern Highlands, contact me via Belle Property Bowral!