The Story behind Portal 108

Urban Pavement caught up with the owners of Portal 108 to see how the shop, and the owners got to where they are today.
Five years ago, in 2005, Connie and Kyla made the move from the Sydney rat race to Daylesford, one of Victoria’s top tourist destinations. It is in Daylesford that they have set up Portal 108, an extension of their home.

When the couple moved from Sydney to Daylesford/Hepburn Springs they didn’t fancy working for someone else. They started by selling jewellery in their front yard over the summer, whilst eating ice blocks and packets of twisties. Then “old man winter same, and we quickly ran inside and thought, we’d better make it look like a proper shop.”  They have transformed their home, and reached out their hands to the wave of tourists and residents that flock through the county. The shop has been open for five years now and it always continues to evolve.

For Connie and Kyla, the name Portal 108 was simple. They both love the movie “Being John Malcovich” and the notion of teleporting yourself anywhere, anytime, via portal. The name seemed appropriate because the shop is also their home. When the shop is closed, it just looks like a regular house. When the doors are open for trading, it’s a completely new world. The number 108 came from the address, 108 Main Road, Hepburn Springs.
When people walk into Portal 108  they usually comment on the range of Goorin Brothers hats they have. There’s nothing like them. They searched the world for other brands to complement them, and there’s nothing like them in the market. They’ve been around in the USA since 1895, so, I guess they know their stuff. They have a huge celebrity following also which gains them alot of television & print exposure.
Connie and Kyla want their customers to “feel secretly excited about the possibility of discovering something unique.” They also want their customers to feel as if they are just hanging at their mates house, checking out their new stuff.
Connie and Kyla love meeting new people everyday, and a heap of their extended circle of friends they actually met when they walked through the doors of Portal 108.
The Daylesford/Hepburn Springs community is diverse and it lacks “wanky cliques.” The people accept each other on face value, for who they are, not on how much money they earn or how cool they seem. There is a “daily sense of realness”, Connie and Kyla won’t be leaving anytime soon.
The shop stocks:      
Jewellery, Najo and Inori.
Goorin Brothers Hats (San Francisco)
 Belinda Pieris wallets & Status Anxiety Purses
Lily Loves Pearl
St Mel Clothing
Have you met Miss Jones- Bone China Collectables
Lacerisesurlegateau cushions and tea towels (France)
And, local artworks and other funky stuff.
Portal 108 is always on the hunt for new and exciting things to buy for the shop, it’s a never ending, evolving adventure.
Visit http://www.portal108.com.au/ or call (03) 5348 4353 for more information.

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