If you’ve ever walked down Liverpool St in the Hobart CBD I guarantee you’ve at least lingered in the doorway of Ally + Me, a boutique store beautifully curated by Di Kelly and her daughter Ally. Wander inside and you’ll find a space with an intrinsically Scandinavian aesthetic — natural fibres, colours and textures, all of the highest quality and all ethically made. It’s hands down one of my favourite stores in Hobart!
I was lucky enough to be allowed a little peek into the store with my camera, and learn a little about the store, the style, and the ethos from Di:
How did Ally + Me come to be?
I was in advertising for most of my career and had a store in Queensland, stocking mostly homewares. When we moved to Tasmania I thought it would be a great place to start another store! Ally + Me started about five years ago, in Richmond with my daughter Ally. We moved into the city three years ago, and are looking into a second store into Salamanca within the next year.
What is your ethos?
Natural fibres are our main focus, and our products need to be ethically made. With our clothing we want everyday, luxury staples — not fast fashion.
How would you describe the Ally + Me aesthetic?
Natural. Concrete, wood, natural fibres, Scandinavian. We have had our fit out using local Tassie furniture makers.
My background is Scandinavian and I think I’m naturally drawn to that aesthetic. I love the blend of old and new; my own house is 1877 and I loved blending the history of the house with modern design, and then using natural products to decorate. My house is very much like the shop!
How do you choose / curate your products?
We are very picky with our products! We love to work with all of our designers and try not to product-compete with our own brands. We don’t have a lot of designers’ labels — I prefer to pick the products I love and would have in my house or wear myself. We do have local Tassie designers, but we also have a lot of special curated pieces from all over the world.
What brands / products are you inspired by?
I actually love everything in the shop at the moment! I would have to say our skin care products from Denmark, Nuori, are my favourite new products. It’s the best skin care I’ve ever used! It works on everyone: my daughter is using it and she’s 20 and it’s helping clear her skin, and I’m using it and I’m 44 and it’s helping with ageing and dehydration. It’s actually amazing, and very affordable!
We also have our own clothing label, Beech, which is all made in Tasmania using natural fibres. Myself and my daughter design Beech; we wanted to create a clothing label that was affordable, using beautiful fibres and everyday design. We also launched Beech swim wear this Spring which was a collaboration with textile designer Yolanda Zarins!