“I started Sarah Urban because I LOVE making people happy...”
My life mission has centred around making people happy.
This has always been a critical ingredient in the work that I do: catering, event styling, event management, cooking classes, recipe development, fashion styling, jewellery design, jewellery shop, and now gifting. Taking all of this into consideration, the creation of Sarah Urban became a natural progression. Sarah Urban marries all my skills and passion into the one enterprise.
Sarah Urban started when I realised there was
a gap in the market. How many times have you heard women complaining about the gifts or even worse the lack of gifts from the men in their lives on important dates? Many men don’t even remember the important dates let alone source a gift, I knew I could make both these things easier for them. And don’t forget, women love giving other women gifts.
I have vivid memories of some of the appalling gifts my father produced for my mum/mother; A vacuum cleaner, cause hey mum loved being a domestic goddess, a hair/beard trimmer so she could save him going to the barber and clearly really helpful for the 6 women in the house, a new lawn mower……… you get the gist. In his defence he probably made up for it all with the gift of a car one Christmas – although I am not sure a Holden Sunbird is quite what mum was dreaming of.
And then there was mum who has always put a small gift on our beds when we went home to stay and a small vase of flowers in our room. Just that small gesture always makes me feel so special and let face it se all love that feeling.
It was the combination of listening to the women around me, my male friends struggling to find gifts combined with those rich childhood memories that really got Sarah Urban happening.
As my vision grew and became a reality, I realised I could bring together every job I have ever done to give Sarah Urban real meaning, substance and a soul if you like, and to allow people to have beautiful classic stylish pieces that don’t have to be expensive and that all women would love to receive. It is the perfect platform to share my knowledge of food and wellbeing, to help people entertain and connect with their families and friends. I can support sustainability by way of the suppliers I choose and adding some vintage treasures (not to mention they are gloriously unique).
So, I put together a range of classically stylish, timeless gifts that any women would love to receive and create a place where men can come and be confident that they will find a gift she will love. And of course, women need to buy women gifts too.
Importantly, Sarah Urban gives me a way to help men remember important dates and keep the women in their lives happy. It has also proven to be a go-to for women also looking for gifts for other women.
In short, I now get to do all the things I love whilst making people happy…
That is one almighty win for me.
A few of my favourite products...
How my past has shaped what I do today...
Sarah Vintage + Catering and Events
Sarah Vintage: The backstory.
Everything about my time running Sarah Vintage (from 2006 – now)
has helped me to create SARAH URBAN.
My brand statement for Sarah Vintage was: Inspired by vintage style, Sarah is a brand designed to help women rediscover their inner beauty and glamour – whether through the store, girly nights or simple health philosophies. Sarah Urban is purely an extension of this – I want women to feel good about themselves.
In 2006 I opened the store in Paddington. It was a fun girly, supportive community environment, where I met so many wonderful people who are my friends to this day - I have the best memories of this time. It also gave me was the biggest business learning curve of my life - about fashion, design, styling, branding, networking, PR and marketing. I always had a passion for vintage treasures from the 50’s and 60’s. My obsession with glomesh led me to create my signature glomesh earrings that I make with vintage beads, jewellery – all use vintage glomesh. I didn’t realise then how important sustainability was, I just knew these seriously gorgeous vintage pieces needed another lease of life.
I ran the store when my kids were primary age so I had to juggle a bit (actually that is an understatement, I had to juggle a LOT!). Squeezing in time to get to the beach, and get time with friends and family in. I didn’t think I worked that hard, but looking back I realised when Patrick and Charlotte were in bed, I would work until midnight every night sourcing, making jewellery and coming up with new ways to get my message out there. I had the store for 6 years before moving to Melbourne where I opened another store in Albert Park which I ran for 3 years.
Adventures in Catering & Events...
I grew up in Tasmania and it seemed like party central, there was always something going on: a cocktail party, a National Trust Christmas party, a dinner for people visiting, a BBQ up the road, tennis party (AKA an excuse to drink Pimms), lunch for a birthday or a wedding (and as one of 5 girls it seemed like one every year).
It was all about family, friends and the community and boy did they have fun and seem happy. It had a massive impact on me. I saw how parties were created as there were so many at our house, how to do amazing flowers, what drinks to get, what food to serve. I suppose it became natural for me and when I realised that I could not only cook but also loved doing it - I had found my perfect career.
Knowing I had a lot to learn, I started by taking in all I could working for the famous Peter Rowland Catering team… Peter’s best unsolicited advice was given when I had just finished julienning vegetables for 400 people – incorrectly as it happens. His message? “Near enough isn’t good enough” and he proceeded to make me do it ALL again. That remains my biggest life lesson and has stuck with me throughout every job I have done.
I moved into the corporate sector when the FBT hit and worked for the big accounting firm Arthur Andersen running their in-house catering. It was all new and exciting and for me and a fabulous way to learn about the corporate world.
From there, I set up my own business, Sarah Green Catering which I ran for 7 years… boy was that hard work but I loved every minute of it. I was very young but equally determined. Following that business venture, I couldn’t refuse an offer to go and work on Kerry Packer’s Polo property running the catering for International Polo tournaments.
Then came the kids, a move to Sydney and the sideways move to Sarah Vintage.
Food still seemed to follow me, I was often asked to develop the menus and recipes. One really interesting project was for the Karma Yoga detox program. Doing this, combined with having been sick after my kids, led to my interest (read: obsession) in healthy cooking, especially no preservatives or additives and a very macrobiotic focus in my food. It led to running cooking classes, working on Pilates TV doing cooking, writing for various publications, setting up a blog and starting a cooking book, pitching tv ideas… the world seemed at my feet, albeit in a very chaotic way.
It never quite finished the Sydney adventure. I started seeing a man I met on the internet that I found out was a fraud and potentially violent. Left feeling very raw, scared and venerable, I packed the kids and the shop up and moved back to Melbourne. It was a pretty awful time and looking back with all my media contacts should have blown him out of the water, but I was too scared. I can only imagine what women who are subjected to repeated domestic violence go through so hopefully through Sarah Urban we can help raise money and awareness for White Ribbon and Sacred Heart Mission Women’s House.
Now I am planning to finish all that, bringing all of my experiences together in the form of Sarah Urban. My goal is simple - to make women happy through beautiful well thought out gifts.
Sarah Urban - The Party will be the guide to all things entertaining as I follow my foodie dreams. All the while, we will be raising awareness of women in need.