Get to know our stockist, TUSC
Inspired by travelling to where the desert meets the sea, lifestyle store TUSC in North Carolina, is a sun drenched haven brimming with carefully curated labels from near and far. We chat with owner Carissa about how it all began, some of her favourite labels she carries in store (besides us of course!) and what she loves most about her store. If you're travelling to North Carolina, be sure to pop in for a visit and say hey!
Talk to us about Tusc and how it all came about
The vision behind TUSC all started when I moved to Encinitas, CA out of high-school. Immediately I fell in love with the cliffs that fell into the sea and the desert topography. Coming from coastal North Carolina, I wasn’t used to seeing all the cactuses and succulents that lined the streets and beaches. I had always wanted to start up a shop and knew that this was now my inspiration. The TUSC gals aesthetic is “where the desert meets the sea”. She love neutrals, layering textures, luxe fabrics, feminine designs and an easy sun-soaked palette. This stems from everything she wears to how she decorates her home— to the way she dresses her children. An ease and relaxed way to have style that isn’t about trying— just about being.
Where did the inspiration come from when designing the space?
When designing TUSC we wanted to embody elements from the desert as well as adding an ‘old-world’ feel. We are big fans of stucco so we decided to make an indoor ‘outdoor’ look. That's why we chose those big antique doors and lined the side with pots and succulents (to make you feel almost as if you were standing outside someones' home). The arched dressing rooms with white linen pinch-pleat curtains give us a resort clean feeling. We have white racks since that is our favourite ‘colour’ and have that made with portico salvaged wood columns, taken from European estates fixed with brass for that specialty section. Brass is used for all our fixtures because there is a feeling of femininity it exudes, as well as a classic and luxe appeal. We wanted to have the space feel warm and welcoming for all who enter!
What makes Tusc a "go to" in North Carolina and what are some of the brands/products you carry?
At TUSC we are a lifestyle— our whole collection of goods are inspired and work together. For instance— the style you have for your home is probably the same lens that you use when buying special pieces for your wardrobe and for your littlies! We are starting to now carry a boutique bridal capsule for the more boheme, relaxed bride.
We sure love Aussie labels and are sole stockists for some of those brands in our area so that helps us differentiate ourselves. Just a few brands we carry are Faithfull the brand, Jen’s Pirate Booty, Poppy&Co, Peony, Zulu and Zephyr, Auguste the label, Spell Designs, MATE, and AG denim.
What has been your favourite part of opening and running Tusc?
I love being able to ignite the passion in others for beauty. To work alongside so many talented people and see them coming into their God-given talents is so wonderful and to feel customers excitement when picturing the goods we sell in their homes, on their bodies etc. Long story short, I just love people and desire TUSC to be a light-filled space full of joy!
What has been the hardest?
The business side of accounting, finance, and logistical things are not my gifting's, and recently having a baby right before the shop was opened made me a bit crazy because I knew I couldn’t spend all my time on the shop. But that’s when I saw just how talented the girls we have working here are. They helped get it done and it looks better than if it was just me merchandising.
What does an average day look like for you?
Me and my little girl Asher Shea are spending some good quality time together having dance parties, and always being around the water! I work from home everyday buying and getting behind the things to be done, and work 3 half days a week in the shop to stay connected to my team and customer base!
Where do you get your morning coffee from and what’s your order?
Drift Coffee & Kitchen, and I love their vanilla bean latte with almond milk! If you're in Wilmington you HAVE to check them out. Tastiest menu and they have a dreamy pulled pork sandwich (which is one of the things NC is known for is the vinegar based BBQ) haha. Country but yummy ;)
You stock our current range of Beach essentials, what are your favourites from the collection?
I can’t get enough of the new Travel Towels and littles Petite Ponchos! My niece and nephew have those and I can’t wait to get one for Asher! The babies love to twirl around in them on the beach and it’s so fun to see how much they have fun just wearing them.
Best part of living in North Carolina?
North Carolina may not have been what inspired “where the desert meets the sea," but it is the most beautiful and welcoming place to live. We have mountains close by, barrier islands, wild horse beaches, quaint towns, and comfort food that is farm-to-table. It’s a place that feels homey even if its not your home.
Any hidden gems or must see spots that only locals know?
Masonboro Island is a must see. You can only get there by boat but the beach side of the island has the best waves (if you're a surfer) and it's removed from the crowds. You can camp on the island and spend the night under the stars. Night swimming is a must since our water is so warm in the summer.
What’s next for you and Tusc?
Who knows where the Lord will lead us! He's my ultimate inspiration. I’ve always thought about having a shop in Encinitas, CA where I was inspired for TUSC, and having more babies haha that’s all I have so far so we will see whats happens :)
If you're heading to North Carolina anytime soon, be sure to drop in at TUSC and say g'day to Carissa and shop her carefully curated pieces inspired by Californian coastlines and sun drenched palettes.