I met Emily amongst the haze. With the bushfires blazing in the surrounding areas, she brought back the colour to this smoke filled day. She is a vintage styling goddess, with beauty that mesmerises you. I felt at right at home getting to know her sunshine family.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, who you are and what excites you?
I'm a 30 year old mama and wife. I have a little vintage shop I run from home and also work at a health retreat. Simple joys get me going: road trips, a country op shop, good coffee, natural wines, my husbands cooking, a saucy book or podcast, watching food grow in our garden, mental health, physical health, babies, loud music in the car, tiramisu, one born every minute tv show.... I could go on haha.
You are the owner of Luna Ray Vintage. What sparked the idea to create a vintage shop?
While pregnant with my first, I realised creativity was the key to staying home with my babies while they were little and avoiding the 9-5 grind; which has never been my thing. The shop was born from a combination of financial necessity and my desire to contribute positively to the world. The idea to recycle, re-home and repurpose treasures that already exist and try to reduce landfill. The shops motto has always been 'All the clothes we could ever need already exist' and I know that's not always an option but we can work towards it.
Emily wears the Sadie dress in opal
Where did the name Lunar Ray come from?
Luna Ray was the name I had in mind for our first born if it were to be a girl - alas, it was a boy (Leo Ray) so the shop became the other baby.
Have you always been a lover of vintage?
I was practically born in an op shop! We lived in a small country town and I remember kids making fun of me coz' my uniform (purchased from the local op shop) had their names written in texta on the tags. Luckily I never cared and loved to rummage around, always nagging mum to buy the things I'd found. Everything we owned was from an op shop or sewn by mum. She even use to sew undies from t-shirts we grew out of, a very resourceful woman. I realised at a very young age that I I could find everything I desired second hand. In my late teens and 20's I travelled the world and stopped at every thrift/second hand store I could find, sending parcels of goodies home along the way.
Where do your source your vintage pieces from?
Everywhere! I have a picker in the states who helps me source special items. I also do little buying adventures to small town op shops and vintage stores. Additionally, I source online and at vintage markets. Many of the items I find need a lot of TLC before selling - hand mending, washing etc. It's a joy to revive something to its former glory while imagining the lives it's already lived.
Emily wears the Aloha pants in midnight
If you could go back to any moment in time what would your ultimate fashion era be?
Maybe less an era and more transporting to different cultures. My mum is Greek and my dad Bosnian, so I love to look at traditional costumes and ceremonial outfits of those countries. Other favourites are Mexican and Polish but anything with a story will move me. I think the generational stories woven through those fabrics is so special and the absolute antidote to todays fast fashion climate.
Who are some of your favourite vintage muses?
I love badass, fearless women - Stevie Nicks, Joni Mitchell, Talitha Getty, Bianca Jagger, even Elaine Benes from Seinfeld... but probably my all time fave is Lisa Bonet. They all have a bohemian vibe but I think the common thread they share is a carefree confidence.
How would you describe your personal style? And what is your favourite vintage piece of clothing?
My personal style depends on the day really but I also don't place too much attention on any particular pieces - more so how I wear them. You don't need expensive, rare or trendy things to look amazing. Sometimes a beat up white tee, soft faded denim, beach hair from the day before, a fresh face & biker boots is the best outfit. Less of a personal style, more an attitude! In saying that, my favourite pieces are probably my thinnest most threadbare band tees and some rare Indian cotton pieces. I particularly love to mix something girly with something tough for example a super pretty floral print dress with boots.
Where do you draw inspiration from when styling?
Everywhere! Although I use to feel much more inspired living in the city. There's a lot of earthy linens up here in the Northern Rivers which is cool but … I guess, you don't see the variety you do in the cities. Since moving away from the city I've lost touch with what's in fashion/trends etc, which is so great coz' I just do my own thing now. It might be a colour palette or a mood that I'm feeling or proportions and layers. I particularly love accessories and always add a belt, hat or earrings - sometimes all of the above!
Emily wears the Melody dress in ladybird
You are Mama to Leo and Frida. Has your style changed much since motherhood?
Yep! haha. For 3 years I was either pregnant or breastfeeding, so comfy separates and button down shirts were my go to in those days. Now, getting dressed in the morning is a little way for me to rebel against the parts of being a stay at home mum I find a little beige. Even if I'm wiping butts and making snacks all day I've got my favourite 90's sundress on and that in itself is freedom. It's very easy to lose parts of yourself to young children. Clothes help me connect back.
You once travelled around Australia in a kombi. Can you tell us a bit about your life on the road?
I had been travelling the world and realised I hadn't seen much of my own backyard. I bought a 1983 Kombi and learnt to drive in it (at the time I didn't have my licence!). Within a few weeks I got my licence and was off. The idea was to complete a full lap of the Australian perimeter, stopping and working along the way - pure joy. I had left Melbourne with only $1000 and had completely run out of money in Hervey Bay; where my future husband Mitch happened to be based at the time - but that's another story. Life on the road is the life for me. It's hard work though, especially by yourself. But the freedom, adventure and romance of it all wins every time.
You are originally from Melbourne but have now settled in the Northern Rivers town of Alstonville. What inspired the move?
I found this little piece of paradise during my van adventure and decided that when I got home to Melbourne, I wanted to find a way to move back. It's the perfect spot to raise a family and live a slower, more connected life.
Emily wears our Rollergirl overalls in midnight
Do you have any mantras you live by?
"Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows itself". I think we all get so caught up in 'productivity' and 'getting ahead' that we miss the simple, subtle parts of life. Being busy is like a badge of honour these days but I'm passionate about all the quietly beautiful in between moments. A cup of tea in the garden, watching the kids crack eggs for muffins … they are the moments important to me.
What’s next for Emily Griffin?
More of the same, living and loving. I don't make grand plans - just a fly by the seat of your pants kinda' gal!
For global bohemian treasures follow LunaRay Vintage
To shop vintage visit LunaRay Vintage