A Magnetic Island boutique retailer is helping local artisans showcase their creations while giving visitors and tourists an opportunity to take home a piece of Maggie with them.
MI Design located at Horseshoe Bay was launched in January 2020 after owner Fiona decided to take a new direction in her life and open a shop.
The shop features one-of-a-kind handmade homewares and gifts including ceramics, pure linen clothing, paintings, candles and jewellery.
Fiona says the idea behind MI Design was born while she was road tripping around Australia in a Ford Transit during 2019.
“I was traveling in a motorhome but one of my dogs wasn’t traveling so well so it was when I was on the amazing Nullarbor I decided after Perth I would head back to Maggie and open a shop,” she says.
“When I opened, I started with just one bookcase of stuff and it has grown into a shop.”
Over the last eight months, Fiona says her focus had shifted away from mainstream online products to locally acquired unique items.
“Initially, I naively sourced suppliers by Google search then some of my wholesale leads came from other retailers on holidays coming into the shop and sharing their knowledge,” she says.
“From there the word got out and more artists and entrepreneurs approached me with their works.”
MI Designs features 21 Magnetic Island artists and designers including Dahlia Soul, The Hive, Silver Threads by Julie Bentley, Scented by Harry, Georgie Dunne Art and Emily Lane with local artisans making up 70 per cent of the shop stock.
With the product shift in her focus, Fiona says she is proud to give local designers an outlet to grow their following.
“There are so many talented artists and entrepreneurs on Magnetic Island, and some are able to support their passion with their sales and some have certainly grown to a small business level,” she says.
“I have learned locals love buying and supporting their artists and people on holidays also love to support locals wherever they go.”
Magnetic Island creator Emma Dahl founded her self-care business Dahlia Soul in 2014 and says her local and online sales have increased after partnering with MI Design.
“It is a privilege to have Dahlia Soul products stocked at MI Design because Fiona only carries high quality, local arts and homewares so everything in store complements each other,” she says.
“Collaborating with MI Design has been crucial to Dahlia Soul as it means I no longer have to spend long days at market stalls and I have more time doing what I love, which is making products.”
Despite the uncertainty the world has faced in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak last year, Fiona says she is grateful the shop is flourishing.
“Not long after I opened, we were hit with Covid-19 but when the lockdown lifted the local support was truly amazing,” she says.
“With Queenslanders visiting Queensland, business progressed, with each month being better than the last.”
By Elisabeth Silvester.