One of the reasons I started The Man Has Style was because of my love of men’s styling where quality is key and design was a focus. It always took me back to a time when something was made to last. Every detail was thought through, items were often made by hand and artisans were known to all. It wasn’t a time of excess in quantity, with quality taking a back step. It was about having confidence in the pieces you bought lasting not just in quality but also design.
Two people I met that take me to this time are the wonderful Sarah and Troy Archer. They have assisted me in being able to look back at this design on a regular basis through their business Archer & Archer. Sarah and Troy are the finders of some amazing vintage homewares and accessories from times past, some of which I have been lucky enough to add to my home and others I have wanted so badly, but missed out on with another enthusiast beating me to the buy! I caught up with Troy to find out more about their wonderful concept that has turned into a flourishing business.
TMHS: What inspired you to start Archer & Archer? I remember chatting to you both a while back and the excitement of finding new things on a weekend. In fact I remember buying an old book from you in the very beginning that still holds a prime spot in my home! Since then I have bought some amazing pieces from you. How did it evolve over time to become your full-time business?
A&A: We’ve been soul-searching about this a lot lately, especially that it has now become more significant, and we think that it was born from a couple of key things. Firstly, we REALLY love the feeling you get when you put something into your home that ignites a feeling of excitement or satisfaction, like you’ve achieved something by getting a new chair, or a vase you love, or a book. It forms you and it makes you happy, and that’s special. That takes us to our other significant inspiration for A&A, we actually truly want to do something that makes people happy. The actual business has evolved over time organically, we slowly stepped up the number of pieces we were offering which in turn generated new customers and it really just grew like that. We’ve focused very strongly on being consistent and trustworthy, customers give us their money, they need to be able to trust us. It has a mind of its own, the customers control it by showing us how much they love it. It’s really special like that.
TMHS: For those who don’t know you, what does Archer & Archer do?
A&A: Archer & Archer offers homewares and lifestyle accessories to the young and young at heart lifemaker. It’s fresh and fun, design inspired and ever-changing. It moves fast, like our lives do themselves, and it aims to be a community of like-minded people, all gracefully racing towards the weekend to enjoy what they’re creating. When it comes to product, we have a filter system within the business that goes something like this: “Is this a unique and beautiful thing, can this enrich someones space, do we personally LOVE it, is it well made, has it aged with charm, does it go well with chocolate.” Right now we offer no less than 50 individual pieces each week, on a scheduled release, on Facebook, Tuesday and Thursday at 8pm. We love Facebook, it has connected us with so many beautiful people and it will help us keep people connected to what we do outside of Facebook in the future.
TMHS: Where do you look for design inspiration?
TMHS: You have received some great media coverage across the world, what have been some standouts for you?
A&A: I think the little piece in Vogue Netherlands was amazing. They contacted us and said that they were doing a shopping around the world thing and they wanted us to be the place to look up when in Australia. We thought that was lovely. We really treasure the feature we had in the first issue of Smith Journal too. That was something that drove us forward pretty quickly in terms of reach. They had made a lot of fuss about the magazine launching and we were the first story in the first issue which was pretty cool. We are on the cover of a local design magazine right now actually, called Collective, it’s a graphics and design magazine put out by the Designworks and Impressworks business, it’s really nicely made and we’re so excited about having something like that to look back on. Amazing.
TMHS: You have a recent edition to the Archer clan, your daughter Minnie who was born earlier this year. How has this changed what you do at Archer & Archer?
A&A: We’ve had to change everything. Sarah is only really involved for meetings that are scheduled, rather than working in the business all the time like she was. Which has forced me to work more systematically and with more focus. I’m horribly distracted by anything that doesn’t bite, and with two deadlines each week, ouch, I had to pull myself into line. It’s really just meant that the business has to perform better, to pay the bills and grow. We’ve scheduled ‘off-time’ too, which has been amazing.
TMHS: I know it is called The Man Has Style however I have to mention Olly – the Dog with Style! I Love Olly!! Does he read TMHS? Does he have any style tips for our readers?
A&A: Haha. Olly’s full name is Oliver Archer, he’s a Cocker Spaniel x Poodle, a hybrid smart dog that loses no hair, loves to sleep and spends a lot of time pushing the boundaries between which toys are his, and which toys are Minnie’s. He’s a beautiful dog, our first-born child really.
TMHS: Three things A&A can’t do without each day?
A&A: Customer interest / Good content / Shipping labels.
TMHS: Favourite quote?
A&A: We don’t really have any favourite quotes, there are too many good ones. We have some of our own that we live by though. My favourite is “Today is the Day”.
TMHS: Favourite find? Did you keep it or sell it?
A&A: I think the favourite find is this Charles Billich oil painting we found at the tip. Paid $60, valued at $15,000. We tried to sell it, but the art market is terrible at the moment, so it sits well wrapped in our securely locked vault. To be honest though, we have new favourites every week, and they’re starting to not always be vintage pieces too!
TMHS: What are two items you have sold that you think fits in with The Man Has Style?
A&A: Definitely the Leather Doctors Squaremouth bag. It’s beautiful and came from a doctor. Not sure if it’s old or not so old, but it’s just so beautiful. Also the 1950’s Office Chair. This had the most amazing hardwood base and studded leather seat. A very nice thing indeed!
A note from TMHS: Make sure you go and ‘like’ Archer & Archer on Facebook so you can keep up to date with their latest finds. I’m constantly impressed by what I see. Enjoy browsing, it can keep you busy for a long time!