about us - shelf/life | SHELF/LIFE

About us

Our products speak for themselves

SHELF/LIFE is based on the concept of good design, where aesthetics, function and sustainability are integral to the product. Directed by years of experience in interior design, we curate our range to showcase products that are simple, timeless and functional. We believe in quality, impeccable workmanship and ethical awareness.

It is important to us to share the story behind each product; where it was made, the designer who made it, materials chosen and the process of production. Our mission is to connect the customer with products that are to be both treasured and used every day, products that are built to last and enjoyed for a lifetime.

Additionally, we’ve recently expanded into a multidisciplinary studio, offering an online styling service and an exciting array of new products designed in-house.

The story behind the store

SHELF/LIFE opened its doors in Surry Hills in 2009, established by husband and wife team Jess and Brendan Ibbett. Although they come from different backgrounds professionally, Jess and Brendan share a passion - together they’ve spent countless hours day-dreaming about various projects, big and small, that would allow them the space to be creative.

It was one particular dream that dominated conversation on what was supposed to be a relaxing, ‘switch off’, holiday in 2008. In her online travels Jess had discovered a commonality among her favourite independent designers. They all gave careful consideration to the materials they used, as well as the impact of their production processes. Noticing a gap in Sydney’s homewares market Jess and Brendan began putting together ideas for the SHELF/LIFE concept upon their return home and the dream soon became a reality. After almost 4 years as a brick & mortar store, SHELF/LIFE recently became a 100% online operation.

Drawing upon six years as an interior architect and fortified with inspiration from the design community, Jess runs the day-to-day operations, overseeing many aspects from product selection to customer communication to graphics. Brendan, with his background in project management and business, keeps an eye on the big picture as well as the numbers side of things.

Making our business better

We spend a lot of our time scouring the globe for beautifully designed goods and we enjoy nothing more than sharing our latest finds with our customers. If it’s on our shelves, we’ve selected it because we love it and we know you will too.

It’s important for us that our business be ethical in every sense (not just through the products we offer). In 2014, we embarked on making our business better by entering into a Plant-A-Tree programme with Aussie not-for-profit carbon solutions provider, Carbon Neutral. For every $200 you spend in our shop we’ll plant a tree on your behalf.