Susie McIntosh, Brunswick Heads
Words by Elisha Kennedy
Images by Samuel Nolan
We've admired the work of Susie McIntosh since Comma opened its doors in Byron Bay last year. They offer a neat menu of massage experiences that are as indulgent as they are effective. The space is clean and considered, simple but comforting and furnished entirely in pieces that have been sourced locally and are Australian made. The same goes for her home in Brunswick Heads, where we spent an easy morning before work chatting with Susie. What can you tell us about your home? It feels like the quintessential modern Australian beach shack.
I live here with my partner in Brunswick Heads, about 15 minutes north of Byron Bay. It's a beautiful little beach shack with an enormous backyard and loads of morning sun. I'll just sit in the little sun room for hours on end doing absolutely nothing.
I'll just sit in the little sun room for hours on end doing absolutely nothing.
What are some of the things in your home that bring you joy?
I love my dining table. I got it custom made after moving from Sydney, where I was so excited to live in a house where we could actually entertain! My favourite thing in the world is having people over for a few wines and a laugh. And my bed of course! Susie's freshly made bed, featuring IN BED linen bedding
What made you decide to make a life in Byron? When did you move here?
We moved here in March last year, so relatively new, but I grew up in Yamba an hour and a half south so I've always felt very at home in the area. Byron is the perfect place to transition from city to coastal living. The infrastructure, population density and proximity to airports obviously make it viable for business too. As well as enough like-minded people. And, whether you like patchouli or espresso martinis, the natural beauty of Byron will always be hard to beat.
Whether you like patchouli or espresso martinis, the natural beauty of Byron will always be hard to beat.
Tell us about opening Comma, how was the space conceptualised?
There wasn't anywhere that I would like to spend my down-time that didn't feel dated. I wanted to create a space that felt modern, personable and reflective of a lifestyle, not just a moment. As our name implies, Comma stands for taking a moment to breathe, regenerate, find calm and begin again. Just like a comma in a sentence. We're relatable. We understand lives are busy, we're not here to cure the world, but rather understand the importance of design, smell, touch and all the things that make people feel alive. You've worked with other Australian brands to bring to Comma to life - what can you share with us about this process of sourcing and collaborating?
Instagram, love it or hate it, really is the best place to find emerging, established and unique people and designers. I just hit people up directly and told them my idea and everyone was super keen to get on board. It was all very casual and easy.
Instagram, love it or hate it, really is the best place to find emerging, established and unique people and designers.
Visiting Comma feels synonymous with a trip to Byron now...do you get a lot of travellers in?
That's so nice to hear! Definitely, a lot of our clients are visiting from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and from all over Australia really.
Do you have a morning routine?
The Byron morning holds infinite promise, it really is an other worldly experience to be on the beach or climbing the stairs to the lighthouse. There's also amazing farmers markets, it's so easy to eat fresh, locally grown produce. This is how I usually spend the morning. Oh, and coffee, always coffee. A bedtime routine? Not really, I'm pretty useless at night. Aside from a pretty strict beauty routine - too much sun has taken its toll. I'll try to read, but that usually lasts around 5 minutes and I'm sound asleep.
We really like your ethos about Comma existing to remind us of the sublime in stillness. How do you embrace stillness in your life outside of work?
Well it'd be rude if I didn't sneak in some massages! For me, it's about doing something everyday for yourself. Be it a walk, swim, reading a book. Anything away from technology and work.
What are you prioritising at the moment?
Comma 2.0 and products that inspire stillness.
What is next for you?
A blueberry scone from Allpress, currently addicted.