Hunting for style

GOING by the name of Interior Hunter, a Traralgon woman is paving the way for small business interior design.

Displaying her work through ‘pop-up shops’, market stalls and potentially a vacant Morwell shop through the ReActivate Latrobe Valley’s program, Laura Issell has recognised her niche market and is looking to expand and network with other small businesses in the area. Offering three tiers of services including interior styling, wedding styling and homeware sales, Ms Issell came up with the name of Interior Hunter because she hunts through stores, markets and different countries to find wares for differing themes.

“It’s giving people access to items they wouldn’t always know are there,” Ms Issell said.

“I find people down here prefer to be nifty and do it themselves but they just need assistance to find things.

“It’s not what you’ll find in the shops but it’s a good price and that’s what people want, they want something a bit unique with a bit of character.”

Believing in the power of small business, Ms Issell said there were not many small interior design businesses in the Valley and she would love to help others create small businesses.

“I’ve done my research and looked around the area, as far as the industry goes there’s not many people who go out on their own and start their own business; maybe it’s fear, I’m not sure,” she said.

“It also opens people’s eyes into supporting small businesses around the area because I would be recommending products around town, as well as other products online that they may not be able to find.

“My dream is to open a studio and run workshops to help people in areas of small business that people do not feel confident in, like merchandising and sales; I’ve just had such good feedback that the area needs something unique and a little bit different.”

With a passion for home improvement, Ms Issell said she saw potential in houses for sale and provided suggestions to owners on how to improve sale value.

“I don’t think people know the potential of how much more money they can make and how easy it would be to sell their home if someone could walk in and picture themselves in that house as well, it does make a difference,” Ms Issell said.

“If it’s a blank canvas then somebody can see themselves in that space.”

With a lot of her pieces being made by Fair Trade organisations, including disability movements, Ms Issell said her success in her former residence in Melbourne was due to originality and low prices.

“I’ve been successfully doing it for so many years now because I don’t put a huge mark-up on it and it’s unique,” she said.

To view details of Ms Issell’s pop-up shops in the area visit