Gabriella Simonian, proprietress of hey harlow on Instagram inspiration and reading on a beach in Cyprus

Gabriella Simonian

First up, should we call you Gabriella, Gabi, Ella or Gab?

There are so many ways to spell my nickname! I prefer Gabby, but it's one of those names where regardless of how you sign off an email/text, people will often just spell it the way in which they're used to (Gaby, Gabi, Gabbi, Gabie, Gabbie, etc). Going by Gabriella makes it a bit easier. 

Tell us the idea behind your online boutique hey harlow?

The idea for hey harlow came about not long after I moved to Brisbane from London in June 2018. I was blown away by the immense amount of talent in Australia, but I struggled to find what I needed online. The online space is incredibly accessible in the UK, so I was used to being able to go to one place and order a number of bits and bobs and have it all shipped to me direct. Here, I was having to go to multiple websites and pay shipping costs for each order, which really adds up. I thought if I could create a space online with a carefully curated selection of beautifully made products - and one that wasn't just your average Aussie coastal homewares shop - then I could bring something a bit different to the market.

Are you ever called Harlow in emails?

Not yet, but I do love the name Harlow so maybe I'd go along with it just for fun.

Who are your fave Australian designers and craftspeople you’re always excited to follow?

There are so many it's hard to choose, but at the moment I would say Anna Spiro for design (I mean, have you seen Arc Dining?!), Kerrie-Ann Jones for interior styling, en gold for sourced furniture and wares and Jardan for product design. And of course I love the incredible makers and designers I work with - Capra Designs, limone art, Behr & Co, Rebellious Grace and Paper Jean to name a few. 
What do you want hey harlow to be?
I would love hey harlow to be a place where people come to feel inspired, find unique products that you might not find anywhere else, and be the type of place where if you know you need to buy someone a gift, you'll be sure to find something special.

One section of your website is divided by rooms in the home - bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living - what’s your fave part of the house? 

By default the kitchen would have the be my absolute favourite because I love cooking (I've had a food blog on and off for the past 10 years! www.gabriellasimonian.com), but in my current home, it has to be the main bedroom. I moved into a sweet little Queenslander house with my partner earlier this year, and the bedroom has French doors that open onto our front porch, which blesses it with the most beautiful light during the day. 

 

You’re a fantastic curator on Instagram. Tell us some of your favourite visual inspiration sources. 

Pinterest is a big one for me, I was a fairly early adopter and love being able to file beautiful images and inspiration in its own designated space. Instagram is where I do a lot of my research, whether it's scoping out new brands and products, or finding the best new restaurants or places to add to my travel hit list. Print has a special place in my heart; there's nothing more enjoyable than flicking through a magazine, and it's often a huge source of inspiration for me.  

Because we’re called Summer Stories we always ask people for their favourite summer read. What’s yours? Where were you when you read it? Is there a story behind the story?

Marlena by Julie Buntin. I read it in the summer of 2017 while on holiday in Cyprus, where my dad's from. It was the first summer after my mum passed away from lung cancer, so I had been on the lookout for a good book to keep my mind from wandering during those quiet moments on the beach where you're left to nothing more than your own thoughts. It's a coming of age story about love, friendship and loss.