Let us introduce ourselves, we're Piper & Ross.
We're a Father, Mother, & Daughter trio.
We're Mark, Fiona, & Olivia.
If you ask us why we opened a shop, we won't really be able to tell you why, but we'll say it started with a couple of bottles of wine, a garage full of furniture, a CNC machine & no business plan - Isn't that how all good things start?
We moved here from England some years back in search of sunnier climes & a slower pace of life. We've loved every second here in Australia, but there's definitely a few things we've missed, & there is definitely a few things the Aussies need help shaking up!
Between the three of us, we bring a lot of fun & creativity to Piper & Ross & we treat our shop as an extension of our family. Each of our shoppers gets our full attention, care & if you stay long enough you'll end up getting a cup of tea. We only stock or make goods in our store that we too have in our home - if it's been tried & tested by 5 of us Tilley's it must be good.
Fiona & Mark have been homemakers since way back. They bought a big 5 bedroom house as their second home (after a teeny apartment) that needed an even bigger renovation. Fiona can tell you about first moving in & painting multicolour tiles in the bathroom with her best friend out of tester pots, & Mark can tell you about the day we sold the house 16 or so years later fixing the last slate window sill in. Our home was ever-changing & evolving but a common theme stuck, it was personal. We have never followed trends, The simple decorating rule for us was, if we like it & its made well, we have it.
We're extremely lucky that Mark is an 8th generation stonemason. Mark's answer to anything DIY-fix-it may be the choice of :
a) expanding foam b) duck tape or c) mastic sealer
but, over the years our house & many other homes have been graced with the most beautiful natural stonework all hand worked in his factory in an old sawmill. Mark now offers Piper & Ross bespoke, hand-worked stonework from anything from fireplaces (that we do very well if we say so ourselves) to kitchen bench tops, wet rooms, plaques, oh anything.
Fiona brings her warm, homely, creative self to Piper & Ross. Fiona just has a knack for putting things together & making them look ever so inviting! Definitely not afraid of colour & prints Fiona creates fantastic spaces filled with balance with a distinct English taste. Most certainly the crafty, creative one of the three, Fiona makes an assortment of soft furnishings for the store, artworks, & paints a lot of the furniture available in store. Fiona keeps Mark & Olivia grounded when they start running away with ideas, but that's the level-headed accountant in her - Alas, she still hasn't escaped that pesky day job.
Olivia comes from a background oriented around fashion, public relations & years of mocking her Mum for an Emma Bridgewater addiction & her cosy-home ways. Only to now adopt it. #humblepie. On a daily basis, Piper & Ross is Olivia's baby. You'll meet Olivia in the store, by e-mail, or if you're having an install in your home. She's our control freak across all platforms & if you see the store lit up at 11 pm, it's her working. Olivia is constantly developing our little store, our product range & babysitting a daft two-year-old spoodle behind the counter in the store.
Who is Piper? Who is Ross?
Our history begins in England with our Grandparents & has evolved through our parents to us. All with unique technical & creative skills it gives us an immense appreciation and understanding of artisan skills, creativity, & craftsmanship. From working with metal, to needlework, engineering, & stonemasonry we learnt from them and continue to develop our artistry and expertise.
William “Jock” Ross our Grandfather was trained as a mechanic in the age where the skill was sought-after & rare, especially in the small village Cowfold, West Sussex that Jock resided in. When Jock couldn’t be found at home or in the garage he would be tucked away in the villages Blacksmith shop offering a helping hand & some knowledge. Jock met his wife Mary Catherine Ross through his work; Mary was incredibly creative and a designer of great ingenuity. Famous for her culinary delights, upholstery, artistic sewing, poetry and interior design there is no doubt that Mary was not only a homemaker but also a trendsetter of the time. Known for constantly creating a “new look” in her own home and advising others, to trialling new recipes testing flavour palettes there was not a moment that Mary didn’t have her finger on a creative outlet.
Their son John, our Father was a trained draughtsman and toolmaker by trade. He was always at the forefront of innovation in his industry, & famous for sayings that became synonymous with those that knew him. ‘Measure twice, cut once’. John held patents in his name & was an integral engineer in designing the cash register drawers that we all know & use daily. In his later life, John couldn’t just have a quiet retirement. Constantly itching for a project to be part of or an outlet for his vast knowledge he would be consulting & advising on tasks as large as creating a self-expanding fully mechanised marble table to go on a superyacht in Monaco, but also as small as creating a school project Parthenon model which he made to scale from wood for one of his grandchildren.
Charles Piper a painter by trade & a true businessman at heart took Sussex by storm from the 1950’s to the 1980’s when he took his skills as a painter & a builder & ventured into Property Development. Charles, never shy of picking up a pen could be found in the evenings putting his extensive knowledge to use with his wife Nellie drawing up the plans and prints for upcoming builds in Sussex. Nellie played an integral part in Charles’ business by keeping the operations organised with the paperwork. With the attitude of ‘why pay someone when I can do it better myself,’ Charles “Charlie” Piper was proudly a self-made man who used his expertise in all areas of his field leaving his name attributed to hundreds of houses across the South Coast of England today. He proudly owned a map of Sussex with a succession of red dots marking his accomplishments. His love of stained glass was often the giveaway as to the original builder of some of the nicest residential estates in Sussex.
His son-in-law, Richard Tilley was also a successful businessman and 7th Generation Stonemason. He worked in the family stonemasonry business as a young boy & went on to co-run it along with his nephew another Tilley. From restoring some of the most famous heritage buildings in England to training new stonemasons & teaching at Westdean College in the South Coast of England, his passion for the stone was unlimited. It was therefore only natural that his own son, Mark Tilley should follow in his footsteps and become an 8th generation stonemason in his own right before moving to Australia in his later life.