A champion of local talent and a creative soul herself, Catherine Roberts started up her blog in late 2010 when she made the daring leap from Toronto, Canada to Brisbane (for love, of course!).

The Spring Blog became a platform for her to share her passions, inspirations, and experiences living in a new city and country. Catherine writes about personal style, recipes, craft projects, home decor, health, beauty, gardening and the best things to do, see and eat in Southeast Queensland.

Catherine has since started an online store, The Spring Shop, and opened a bricks and mortar shop front, The Showroom, to house her curated collection and wares from local designers.

Find out what makes Catherine tick and what’s next for her growing business…

What prompted you to start up The Spring Blog?

When I first moved to Australia four years ago I didn’t know anyone but my new husband and in-laws. Blogging was my way of cataloguing all the things about my new life here in Brisbane that I loved, and a platform for connecting with other women with similar tastes and interests. Most of the great friends I’ve made in Australia have been through blogging.

Where do you find inspiration?

I love spending time surrounded by beautiful things and interesting ideas. I admire the combination of intelligence and feeling that gives birth to great design and fantastic businesses, and I’m fascinated by the people who do this kind of work.

What is your favourite topic to blog about?

Great recipes.

Tell us about The Spring Shop….

The Spring Shop grew out of the blog – I couldn’t find the props I wanted for blog photography in Brisbane, so I started collecting bits and pieces from around the world and selling them online. I do design quite a few products on offer, but I don’t hand make much myself. I’m more of a curator than an artist.

How did you come up with the concept for the Showroom?

At the beginning of 2014 I was looking for a pop up space for The Spring Shop and couldn’t find anything suitable in Brisbane. When I found the 100-year-old Queenslander on Latrobe Terrace where we’ve been based for the past year, it was way too big but I fell completely in love. I knew lots of other independent local brands at the same level as The Spring Shop who were also over the weekend market scene but not able to take on the commitment of a flagship shop. Showroom became that middle ground – we host the coolest artisanal brands who otherwise are based largely online, so people can come experience them in the real world.

What’s your favourite creative project you’ve worked on?

Homeroom. It’s a workshop series I run with my great friend and personal marketing guru Claire Deane aimed at helping creative entrepreneurs and makers lift their biz game and turn their passion into a viable enterprise. We run sessions on how to create amazing social media channels, take better photos and create video content, DIY PR, run more effective online stores, and plan for business growth.

How have you built your blog following?

I am a hashtager – I love localising my hashtags so people in our area can find us. I’m also big on social media collaboration – taking photos of products that other brands are keen to re-share really helps build an engaged following quickly.

Name 7 things you can’t live without….

FaceTime; My morning mug of tea (in a Falcon enamel mug); Houseplants. At least 2 in every room; An electric blanket; Mecca’s To Save Face moisturiser with 30+ SPF; A 10-year-old black Akris trench coat with a removable long line vest that I wear EVERY day; Once Was Lost’s cashmere shawls for winter and traveling.

If you could invite any five people in the world to dinner, who would you chose? And what would you cook?

My mum, my brother, and my three best friends from school. I grew up in a tight knit community in Toronto, so now that we’re all scattered and leading interesting lives around the world, there’s nowhere I’d rather be than back together, laughing around the kitchen table. I’d make a traditional Canadian Thanksgiving dinner – roast turkey, squash, green beans, cranberry sauce and stuffing, and apple AND pumpkin pie for dessert. When the weather turns cool here in Brisbane, that’s the kind of food I crave!

What’s your top styling tip for creating the perfect Instagram shot?

Get a really nice background that you can use to place products, art, food, etc. on. I love a marble tile because it doesn’t show any distractingly wonky lines if you don’t hold the camera perfectly straight.

What’s next for you? Anything new in the works?

YES! Big Things! This is our last week for Showroom at 135 Latrobe Terrace! We’re closing down for just two weeks and re-opening on July 27th in an incredible heritage building on Edward St in the CBD. The new space is SO beautiful; I can’t wait to welcome everyone to it!

I can never go past a sale at….

The Lifeline Book Fest

My favourite place for breakfast is….

Jam Pantry, Greenslopes

When I need to clear my mind you’ll find me…

Walking by the river with my husband or, if I’m really stressed, getting a massage at No More Knots.

I always take out-of-towners to….

South Bank, The Woolloongabba Antique’s Centre, for a ride on the City Cat and, if they’re from overseas, it’s hard to avoid a day at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

Hot or Not…

Chevron?

Not. I prefer a stripe or box check.

Mason Jars?

Ever practical, always Hot.

Chalkboard paint?

I love a matte finish. Hot! 

Pastel?

I’m definitely not a fluoro girl, so I’ll say Hot.

Copper?

My favourite trend. Still Hot!