Q Rachel, tell us a bit about yourself …..
A My name’s Rachel Marsh and I’m the owner of Asser & Co on Magill Road.
Q How long have you lived in Adelaide?
A I grew up and trained in Adelaide and then moved to Melbourne nearly 25 years ago. I’ve been living in Adelaide full-time for the past 2 years (after a year of testing the water!) and set up Asser & Co nearly 18 months ago.
Q What do you enjoy most about living in Adelaide?
A Lifestyle – I love being able to live within such close proximity to both rural and urban communities. Adelaide has a vibrant “grassroots” enterprise energy which makes it a real magnet for designers and other creatives.
Q Why did you start your Adelaide business?
A The owners of the custom design furniture business “House of Orange” in Melbourne asked me whether I would open a store to showcase their brand. They are also the Australian distributor/retailer for the global Dutch brand HK Living, so I set up a business to mirror theirs in Melbourne. I wanted to bring brands to South Australia which weren’t currently being represented. I was amazed at how many people followed these brands already!
Q How would you describe what’s special about your Adelaide business?
A Relationships. And the fact that we deal not just with retail customers but also directly with the industry (architects, interior designers and stylists).
Q What are your favourite Adelaide places to eat?
A The Greek on Halifax for the conviviality, Orso for a special night out and Press for both!
Q What are your favourite Adelaide places to drink and what is your favourite South Australian made drink?
A My other passion is wine, so I go wherever the wines are good including cellar doors. I drink a lot of different wines so Proof Wine Bar and East End Cellars in the city are regulars. Bar Torino is also a favourite. Sew & Sew Fiano tastes particularly good on the winemaker’s front verandah in McLaren Vale.
Q What are your favourite Adelaide shops for furniture and homewares?
A I don’t get to see a lot of other businesses to be honest, but I’m always going into Two Pairs next door for anything that I don’t sell myself.
Q What books are you currently reading?
A A lot of business books. The challenge for a designer in setting up a retail/trade business is learning a whole new skill set – accounting, marketing, IT etc. I suggest books for my husband to read that I haven’t got time to, and then ask him what they’re about – “Sapiens – A Brief History of Mankind” by Yuval Noah Harari sounded fascinating.
Q What’s on your current playlist?
A A lot. I can’t work without music! We have an eclectic mix at Asser & Co but we’re currently listening to Lounge Soft House Playlist on Spotify. At home I’m listening to Spotify’s Scandinavian Stylist Playlist when I’m chilling and cooking dinner.
Q Which travel destinations are ones you’d recommend?
A Paris. Everytime. But there are so many great places I’ve been fortunate enough to experience. Languedoc in the south of France, particularly Uzes – I could live there! Barcelona is a designer’s heaven. Burgundy and its down to earth community is a wine lover’s dream. Amsterdam resonated with me, especially when I discovered the Huis Marseille curated by Saskia Asser. And I’ve had 3 incredibly diverse days in Edinburgh – dropping in on Parliament and drinking a lot of gin in pubs with men in kilts and my Mum!
Q What are your favourite things to do in Adelaide and South Australia?
A Visiting Cellar Doors and supporting our great wine industry. That’s a no brainer. Driving around inner city heritage areas secretly picking out my next design project. Checking into the Fringe for a couple of shows with friends is huge fun. I love heading down to Robe to see my gorgeous step-daughter and her amazing clothing brand Sada Looms and artwork Someplace When.
Q Anything else you’d like to share with the OLIO community of Interior Design lovers?
A Support local! Even though it may seem frustrating at times to source product, delve into what is on offer right here in Adelaide and South Australia. Many dedicated people in the industry work incredibly hard to be able to sustain their businesses, so help us to help you!
Asser & Co is one of the fabulous destinations we visit on some of our OLIO Tours.