Lisa Connolly Owner of Finders Keepers – The Store, talks to Aileen Lee.
My background is in textiles design. I completed my degree in West Wales School of the Arts in 2009.
After graduating, I worked freelance, focusing on illustrating through stitch.
I always had a retail job alongside to provide steady income.
After backpacking, we moved to Perth, Australia, where I landed a dream job as a manager in an independent home and giftware store.
I stayed there for four years and worked alongside the owner, helping her grow her new business. It was the best apprenticeship I could have asked for.
When we moved home to Waterford, we felt there was a need for a beautiful home giftware store that offered something different to what was on the High Street.
We took the chance, signed a lease and began building Finders Keepers!
When I moved home initially, I started offering a bespoke gifting service where I was illustrating for families and friends, but opening the shop was huge, and then we had our first baby six months later, so life is extremely busy right now!
I have an illustration station set up behind our till area.
I am hoping 2020 will be my year to get back to my creative work.
Generally, I wake up to a lot of enquires that come in throughout the night from our various social media channels.
I will respond to all queries and book in any orders to be shipped. The shop opens then at 10am.
Our deliveries arrive soon after and then the fun begins, rearranging the shop so our new finds can shine!
The shop closes at 6pm, but I don’t really switch off until closer to 9pm, as we have lots of activity on our social media and I always do my best to respond to customers promptly.
The Imagine Arts Festival takes place in Waterford for the month of October and we have partnered with an amazing local artist called Stephanie Louise Furlong.
Stephanie is taking over our shop window to showcase a new body of work partially inspired by some of her favourite finds in store.
Stephanie has a beautiful, dreamy style with the most delicate colour palette. I’m so excited to see her bring our window to life.
We have travelled a lot over the past 10 years and have gathered some special pieces along the way.
Our home is quite minimal but as a result of these pieces, there is no one true design style.
For me, colour is key, and not putting too many things in a space.
The quality of design in retail, home, fashion, and music in Australia was so inspiring. Luke and I created two scrapbooks whilst living there.
One of dreamy shops and cafes and another of dream homes.
We will often sit down and look through those books when starting new projects, especially Luke for his carpentry work.
I absolutely love the colour palettes being used — dusky pink, terracotta, and rich forest green.
When we were travelling in Rajasthan, we stumbled upon a puppet maker’s studio in Udaipur. It was magic beyond words.
Full of puppets, all shapes and sizes in all their garish glory!
Whilst exploring we found a very special doll — not a puppet, but more of a model of a woman woven from jute string, about 1ft long. She is wearing a gorgeous dress and is holding her hands together saying “namaste”.
She hangs by our front door now and always takes me back to that very special Indian adventure.
I am a huge fan of Wes Anderson.
I think each one of his films is a design masterpiece. I often look to him for colour inspiration.
One day I hope Luke and I will be able to join forces and work on some creative projects of our own.
Luke is an incredible carpenter and has a wonderful design eye.
Perhaps we will end up creating a product range for the store!
Invest in things you truly love, not just because they’re in style at any given time.
Facebook/Instagram: @finderskeepersthestore, Twitter: @keepers_store