Shonel Everson has her grandmother to thank for the creative flair that makes her West Kempsey homewares store, Mahalo Interiors such a delight to walk into.
“My grandmother, June Kemp, was a well-known artist in Kempsey and she started teaching me to paint and draw when I was five,” Shonel says. “She even took me to art classes with her! That’s where my love of art began.”
After focusing on art during high school, Shonel studied accounting whilst staying in the Macleay Valley with her husband and two children. She soon discovered that accounting wasn’t for her, and began to channel her artistic talents into researching art and homewares. Opening Mahalo Interiors in 2015 was a dream come true.
“It’s always been my passion to search for beautiful things,” she says. “I basically stock the store with everything I love. Because I’ve lived in the community for a long time I know most of my customers and a lot of them trust me and my style.”
“I spend hours and hours following brands on Instagram and going to trade shows. I love that I can indulge my passion for homewares without having to move away from Kempsey. We love it here. Our families are here and it’s got the beaches and rivers – all the things we love.”
Shonel feels at home in the friendly local business community and has developed a positive relationship with the store next door, fashion outlet Harley & Rose. “
We help each other out as much as we can,” she says. “We both have the same vision of supplying Kempsey with beautiful, affordable products.”