Thirroul’s Nest Emporium will soon celebrate 12 years in the heart of town.
The homewares and beautiful-things store is a local landmark, and a destination for out-of-towners looking for all things lovely.
Housed in the historic building on the main road, Nest was established by sisters Donna Brickich and her sister Angie.
After school Donna became a hairdresser, before throwing away her scissors and embracing a life filled with beauty of a different kind.
“Decoration has always been my ‘thing’,” says Donna. “Even as a child I would constantly decorate my home. My bedroom was my pride and joy. I’d fill it with flowers and was always moving furniture around.
“I wanted to study design from the start, but I didn’t think anything that fabulous could happen to a person like me so I became a hairdresser. Then the universe brought the career to me.
“Retail is tough,” she says. “Surviving is hard so to top up our income I started doing a bit of styling. I started with Real Estate, then some work came in for private clients and it went from there. It’s my passion. I just love it.
Now, she’s stepped away from retail altogether and spends her time sprucing up other people’s homes.
“That arm of the business is so busy now I hardly have time to work in the shop anymore,” Donna says.
She says it took a while to develop what has become Nest Emporium’s signature style. “Going into partnership with my sister Angie Denis was a fantastic idea,” says Donna.”Although in the beginning we had stylistic differences. She’s 12 years younger than me so she thought I was daggy, but as time passed we have come together beautifully and now are an awesome team.
“We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and we try to avoid poking sticks!”
Angie is also now a full-time stylist, occasionally popping her head through the doors of their beautiful Thirroul store.
The pair now spend their days glamming up local’s homes for weekend visits and occasions, creating new looks, and making homes look the best they can be.
Donna says when she first lays eyes on the ‘before’ version of a home she starts planning straight away. “I analyse the space and how to relate existing items to new things that need to come in. It takes quite a lot of time and thought.”
Then Donna says she calls on her extensive knowledge of industry suppliers and the ball rolls from there. “Sometimes I also take things from the shop,” she says. “We do a wide variety of looks, from neutral contemporary to brightly coloured with textures and patterns. There’s no end to it really. Every space is a challenge and they all end up looking fabulous!”
And what does a stylist’s home look like? “Oh no,” laughs Donna. “By the time I’ve worked all day I have no energy left for our home. I just stick with a traditional style with a quirky spin. I don’t do trends. I have agonised over every piece in our home so nothing dates. I suppose you’d say ‘Timeless Classic’. I just keep it fresh with new textiles.
And while the sister’s go great guns, there’s a new generation nipping at their heels. Donna’s daughter Erin is also a talented designer. “She studied interior design straight from school and is already making a name for herself,” says Donna. “She has had work published with Temple and Webster and worked with Megan Moreton. It’s lovely we can share this passion for great design.
“Right now, life is good,” says Donna. “Work is great fun. I’m enjoying lots of variety and lots of challenging venues and best of all, we live in paradise!”