Q&A with Anita Bencic: founder of Aqua Gild
Why did you start up Aqua Gild? And what is the main purpose of the business?
I always wanted to own a homewares/lifestyle store as I love interiors and aesthetics but I also wanted to showcase the amazing talent in our own country. Supporting and showcasing local labels is the driving force behind the store.
The main aesthetic of AG is the feminine form. Shown in our artworks in store and also a constant inspiration for me behind the scenes. I didn't realise how many people are a little uncomfortable by it though! It surprises me that for thousands of years artists have portrayed the naked body in art yet we are still somewhat conservative about it as a nation. I do, however, love seeing it embraced more and more with trends in interiors.
What is the unique value of Aqua Gild?
We source from all different labels and do not want products that are overproduced. Brands with an ethical value behind them are also important to AG.
Can you explain your slogan "Local Is The New Luxury"?
We have always looked to European and American labels when wanting something unique or luxurious.
AG believes that we no longer need to do this because we have a plethora of talent in our own country that we can appreciate and nurture.
What inspires you (in terms of style)?
Magazines! Fashion, interiors, travel, cooking… I read them all!
How would you describe Australia's lifestyle choices/ style of luxury?
We are so laid back and relaxed as a culture, so our homes and fashion tend to reflect this. However that doesn't mean we aren't concerned about craftsmanship and quality. I also believe we are becoming more ethical in our purchasing.
What are some of the brands you represent? Do you have a personal favourite at the moment?
Some of the current Aussie labels in store are Cairo Label, Orchard St, Theseeke, Black Blaze, Tea Social, McMullin & Co, Pelli, An Organised Life, Nice Digs, Rough Idea Designs and The Answer Store.
What are some of the biggest challenges of owning your own business? And how has Covid–19 affected business?
The balance in being true to your ethos and selecting products to sell can sometimes be challenging.Covid has brought the obvious negative impacts: less people out and about and of course they are cautious with spending money as we are in such uncertain times. But there’s also been some really positive feedback and great support from the local community and supporting Australian brands is something we are more willing to do because of the Covid crisis.
What is something you've learned during Aqua Gild (whether that be business-wise, ethics-wise, personal-life-wise)?
How important it is to have the support of those close to you.
If Aqua Gild was a ____ it would be a _____:
A flower: Pink Rock Lily (A luxurious flower native to Australia)
A TV show: The Art of More
An iconic woman: Cate Blanchett
A colour: Tobacco
A dessert: Banana & Dulce de Leche Pavlova
A cocktail: Negroni