How Curated Spaces Is Helping Other Small Businesses


Without small business, we’re nothing. TheLatch— and GoDaddy have teamed up to rally behind local businesses and entrepreneurs during this unprecedented time of change.

We’re speaking to small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country to better understand how they’re adapting to stay open, how they’re keeping their community safe, and how we can support them now during this time, and beyond. We’re focused on keeping Australia open for business, even if doors are closed. #OpenWeStand

Curated Spaces, run by Sunshine Coast-based founder Pip Newell, is a second-hand Instagram marketplace for vintage designer furniture and accessories.

To satisfy the home decor cravings of her some 26k followers, she employs 14 additional sellers who comb the marketplace for hidden gems to shoot, collate and re-sell to an audience of design-savvy buyers.

She’s a small business owner, and like many others in Australia right now, was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that seemingly put the nation into an isolation hibernation overnight. While her business and income has been impacted, she’s working to keep her sellers employed, and help even smaller business stay afloat at the same time.

It’s an admirable effort, we caught up with Newell to find out more about how she’s pivoting her business to maintain its presence, and help others at the same time.

Katie Skelly: Pip! So happy to chat with you again. Last time we spoke, you announced you were about to launch your first range of furniture. What’s the latest?

Pip Newell: It was early March and we were ready to launch the collection that we had been working so hard on. With the developing news, we put it off for a few days because it just felt a bit tacky to try and push selling a product when we knew so many members of our community had lost their jobs.

We launched, and the feedback from our community on the products was incredible, but it did feel weird given the timing of everything around us.

KS: Of course. How did your business immediately change after things started escalating?

PN: I was suddenly so aware of so many design-savvy community members who were out of work. I have 14 regular sellers who source product for Curated Spaces right now, but I’m about to increase that number again to try and get more people on board who might want to become an ongoing seller for the platform.

While sales have slowed, yes, people are still buying products and updating their homes. So there’s absolutely a demand for the products we source.

In fact, with so many people spending more time at home, I feel like people are quickly realising which parts of their homes they no longer like that much!

I know for me, I felt like I was searching for a sense of calm and comfort in my home, so I’ve painted everything white. Maybe that’s my way of managing stress, but painting everything white seems to be my answer to everything right now.

“Being generous with support, even verbal support, is all that I can ask for from my community in this time.”

KS: Have you put any immediate plans in place to pivot your business?

PN: Things have slowed down, and our buyers, in general, are no longer in the position to buy things in the ways they once were due to budget concerns (totally understandably), but we can certainly see trends for what people want.

Chairs, desks, tables — those staple items that are helping people work from home are becoming more popular and in demand. Our sellers are still sourcing amazing products, and everything is still running as it was, just a bit slower and with more hesitation perhaps.

One thing I have done to adapt is run a virtual “garage sale”, that allows even smaller furniture sellers or independent listers to use the Curated Spaces platform to help sell those pieces in their collection.

Curated Spaces took no commission from these listings, we just wanted to help connect sellers with buyers out there. It’s something we will do again to help people out.

KS: You’re doing so much to help your community right now, but how can people support your business too?

PN: It’s tricky because I wouldn’t feel comfortable asking people to spend their money on anything that isn’t what they deem necessary right now.

I understand that interiors are not the priority for everyone in this time, so for me, my priority really does lie in helping others, be that our sellers, our buyers, and our friends and peers in this industry.

Being generous with support, even verbal support, is all that I can ask for from my community in this time.

Follow Curated Spaces on Instagram, so you can learn about upcoming garage sales or maybe spot a new piece of furniture for your home.

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