Introducing our new stockist: Indigo & Salt, a rad women's surf shop on the south coast of NSW. Indigo & Salt is owned & operated by a local legend, Sarah, who shares our passion for sustainability in fashion and empowering women in the line-up. If you're in the area make sure you stop by and say hi or check them out online. We talk story with Sarah to get the gas behind her vision for Indigo & Salt....
Where are you from and what's the female surf community like there?
Indigo and Salt is an online store based on the Coal Coast of NSW, south of Sydney. We are in the stunning Illawarra, between Wollongong and the Royal National Park. We ship worldwide from this beautiful place, offer local pickup, try-ons on request, and do the occasional pop up for our beloved locals!
The female surf community is thriving here and it’s fabulous! There are women of all ages out amongst the boys in pretty much every lineup along our coast. With thirty something beaches on our doorstep here in the Illawarra there is something for everyone, and we have some truly talented female surfers here who rip! It’s very inspiring to be amongst it.
Tell us about Indigo & Salt - how did the store come about?
Indigo and Salt was founded less than a year ago by myself and my girlfriend Lauren. We both have very similar taste and love design and style. After meeting through a fabulous group of girls involved in Surfing Mums Australia, we hit it off straight away and spoke about going into business together. After tossing around a few ideas, an all womens sustainable surf store seemed the perfect fit. Indigo and Salt was born and it was a real mix of both of us!
Since then, Loz has moved on to greater things but we are forever in regular contact and as she is hardly ever on land, she loves riding for Indigo and Salt on our local breaks! I hope that Loz remains proud of her part in making this business what it is. The community we have created is truly amazing!
Lauren was heavily involved in the SUMMER 2018 campaign shoot we did recently with our other dear friend, fellow surfing mum and super talented photographer Mikala Wilbow from She Surfs Photography. Local girls Elise, Lili, Loz and Sammi partywaved it up and we had such a blast!!
What have been some challenges in starting your own business? And how have/are you overcoming these?
Starting your own business is certainly interesting! With my extensive retail experience coming from six months working in a chocolate shop when I was seventeen, it has been a learning experience the whole way through. I have 25 amazing years in the Australian TV industry behind me, which still provides me with the most amazing career! Apart from having been freelance and a sole trader for nearly twenty years, I have gained next to no business skills whatsoever but lots of communication skills and the confidence in my creative ability. I do love to rise to a challenge, so the business side of things I’m learning on the fly and loving every minute of it! I’m big on service so I like to provide a personal relationship with my customers and make sure they love their shopping experience with Indigo and Salt. Sometimes it can take five emails to help them work out what they want. I believe in women standing tall and loving what they wear. To me sustainability doesn't come from buying something that ends up sitting in the cupboard never worn. It comes from wearing and loving something to death. We are proud to also be a plastic free, palm oil free and toxin free store. To me, this is a no brainer for ourselves, our children and our planet.
Style us out for the lineup, what would you have us wearing:
I’m pretty proud of the gear that I have sourced for Indigo and Salt and I love having Salt Gypsy onboard!! If I could choose, I would have you wearing something sustainably made and coming from a limited edition run that you feel utterly fabulous in and want to wear 24 hours a day not just in the lineup!!
Favourite surf spot or destination:
If I gave away my favourite surf spot that would be an utter crime!! Having grown up in SE Queensland, I started surfing when I got my licence at age 17. Along with my epic crew, Angourie to Noosa was my backyard. Since then, I have lived in five states of Australia and have been lucky enough to travel overseas quite extensively. I have had my fair share of injuries and illnesses along the way that have kept me out of the water for periods of time, but I always manage to return in some form. That’s all a part of life’s journey and growing old I guess…
I was lucky enough to do a surf/yoga retreat in Sri Lanka last year with Tallala Wellness which was utterly epic and one of the best experiences of my life. Motherhood is tough and after the first few consuming years, this experience brought “me” back into the picture. It also gave me the strength and courage to start I + S.
I do have to say though that there is no place like home and now that I ride a longboard, anywhere with small clean swell, not too many peeps and a decent sweet spot and I am pretty happy!
Top 10 essential (surf) travel items:
When I was younger, I would’ve only needed three… A surfboard, backpack, and a bikini.
Now life is a little different. I am in my 40s with a family and the most we travel on a regular basis is 1500 meters to the beach. Here are my 10 top essential surf items for my everyday…
- Longboard (check!)
- Smart Leash leggy
- Salt Gypsy Libby leggings (teamed with a rashy they’re perfect for protecting my skin and, as protecting our skin is the greatest way to avoid aging, my youth!)
- Green Foot Mama Organic Sunscreen
- Sun and Earth natural zinc (and my Enjo face cloth for removing it at the end of the day)
- Le MU x Salt Gypsy wet/dry pouch for keeping one said child’s sand out of my phone, keys, sunglasses etc (also doubles as a great cosmetic bag whilst traveling!)
- A camera (that’s what 30 years of photography will do to you!)
- A massive bucket of beach toys, diggers, mask and snorkel and lifejacket for my four year old grom (yes, he shares the odd wave with us and loves it)
- One husband and one child... Because they make life fun.
- And if they can't come, my girl gang!!
Photography: Mikala Wilbow