Deer Sir's Michael Cotton
Holly Taylor | On 07, Feb 2015
As of late destinations have been combining food, interior and fashion to create a different atmosphere to most typical ‘coffee shops’. We investigated one of the best, Deer Sir.
Portside isÂ beginning to becomeÂ known not only for its suave residential precinct, but also for its booming fashion community that has been recently coming to life. The area has so much to offer, from food, fashion, movies and even a gym. But a favourite to hangout would definitely be Deer Sir. We caught up with Deer Sir and Cotton and CoÂ creator Michael Cotton to find about how his coffee sanctuary, beautifully crafted jewellery and one off interiors came to form in the bubbling Portside community.
Creative Drinks: What inspired you to take this approach of homewares, jewellery and coffee combined?
Michael: It was something I had always talked about doing with the idea that they all complemented each other. Not just selling product but an overall enjoyable experience, somethingÂ so importantÂ with customers having more options than ever before.
CD: What made you choose Portside Wharf for your shopfront?
M: Portside wharf was selected for a combination of economic reasons and due to the locations potential. The business has always had a strong customer base in the area so relocating to portside would mean we (my business partner in Co Design and Deer Sir, Alison Casey and I) would retain most of our current customer base and be exposed to gaining an entirely new audience. As well as having a beautiful setting and with the Portside audience only growing as more development takes place.
CD: How did the jewellery aspect of your company begin? And how has it expanded?
M: I started the Jewellery business when I finished high school. A family friend came back from holidays in China with a beautiful strand of pearls that were extremely well priced. I thought to myself if I find where the pearls originate I could bring them into Australia. I was 18 and used all the money I had saved to buy 1,000 strands of pearls and import them into Australia which I started selling loose to Jewellery makers and designers. Then one day a customer asked if I could make a necklace. I then taught myself how to make Jewellery and undertook some basic training and fell in love with jewellery design. Three years later I was 21 and opened my first store, two years after that I launched the Cotton & Co brand on a small scale but it is now available Australia wide. In recent years I have added two more brands “Bowerbird Australia” and “Marisa Kate Designs”. Both are also Jewellery brands and the Marisa Kate business also offers graphic design and a range of other products such as gift cards.
CD: What are you future plans?
M: This year I have decided to put more on my plate than I probably should, just to push my chances of a heart-attack. I have two new brands in the works which will be offered through the same wholesale network offering different but complimentary products to the current existing brands. As well as expanding on the engagement rings side of the Cotton & Co business and increasing the Ancient Coin Jewellery range Cotton & Co also produces – luckily enough to have Vogue Paris name the brand as one to watch for its Ancient Coin Jewellery which was really cool.
CD: What advice do you give to young creatives and entrepreneurs looking to start a business?
M: One of the keys I have found is to have one or several people you respect in business that you can discuss your ideas, issues and anything else business related with. Always be careful of what advice you take but having someone you can talk it through can be incredibly helpful even if it is for the purpose of you collating your own ideas. The one other piece of advice is to ensure you maintain a good work life balance, it is my biggest struggle and I still struggle with it today but it is very important to take time out.
Deer Sir is a must-visit, with something different in every corner of the store that will keep you searching for hours on end for the greatest gifts and trinkets. After your mind has run wild in the fantasies of fashion and furniture delve into the next greatest thing, food.Â Relax with your soy latte in one hand, and your new purchases in the other, and you have yourself the perfect morning.