Small Shop Network
When I was running the brick and mortar space something I very much longed for was a Small Shop Network. I had dreams of starting it, a connection point for small shops across the country, a way to support and promote each other. But time was the issue, as always. Now I have the chance I'm going to start by sharing stories of small shops from across the country each week in my newsletter and on this section of the website.
Running a small shop might look like a lovely dream (and in some ways it is), but it is also incredibly draining in lots of ways - financially, time, creatively, I so admire people who run special, beautiful small shops, it really is a labour of love!
Paper Boat Press, Ashgrove, Brisbane
This week I wanted to feature one of my favourite shops in Brisbane, owned by my lovely friend Kylie, creator of Paper Boat Press! It is actually a shop and gallery, and it is divine. Tucked away in leafy Ashgrove it is they idyllic shop, so inviting and cute. It is filled with Kylie's gorgeous Paper Boat Press creations, plus a selection of ceramics and works by other incredible makers and artisans.
Kylie also does divine exhibitions in the space, these have been thwarted a bit this year by covid, but she continues to showcase diverse works and makers as much as possible, and wow they are so special, there are some glass works at the moment that look out of this world!
Here are some of my fave pieces she has in her online shop at the moment, aren't they just the cutest!
Pappa Sven, Newcastle
Another shop I have never been to, but am now ABSOLUTELY dying to visit! Pappa Sven is a Nordic lifestyle store, and it looks glorious. Owner Libby decided to open this amazing store after living in Sweden for a year and wanted to bring the incredible design, culture and lifestyle to Newcastle. They stock wonderful brands such as Marimekko, Fiskars, Maileg, Iittala and many, many more.
Here are some of my fave pieces, but far out even their toilet brushes are divine!
The Happen Store, Annandale, NSW
Another week, another delightful small shop, this week it's the incredible The Happen Store in Sydney.
Another shop I haven't been to, but am dying to visit. It's a mixed, amazing space where people craft and create, but then they sell lovely things too. They don't have everything on their web store, but in their physical shop they have all kinds of local ceramics, and other crafted homewares. And their classes look so amazing - weaving, patching and mending, wreath making. I will try and get down there sometime.
Now, I'm not a good crafter, but if I was, I'd love to do this embroidery panel they have for sale. I think my Mum is going to flip out reading this, she'll love it...
The Panton Store, Prahan, Melbourne
Another Melbourne shop this week, and then I'll give some other locations a showing I promise! But, wow, this shop, I just want everything in it... it's The Panton Store!
Owner Shelley Panton is an amazing potter and this divine store evolved from her making as she was looking for a studio space, and then decided to make a shop of loveliness too, and it is true loveliness. She has wonderful books, lots of plants, amazing pottery, furniture, homewares and more. When we're past this year of yuck and I can get down south to my family again I am running to this shop when I'm there.
The Boroughs, Brunswick East, Melbourne
Another Victorian store this week, a personal favourite that I HAVE visited! My sister lives in Brunswick in Melbourne and each time I go to visit I always make a stop at The Boroughs store in Brunswick East part of my itinerary. It is such a well designed shop with a focus on Melbourne made goodies, and interesting design. They also do lots of fabulous collaborations creating unique pieces just for their store and they are really focused on showing the history of Brunswick East and of Melbourne through everything they do. Plus, they donate a portion of profits to local charities. It's just an awesome, values based shop that rocks really! Here are some of my fave items they have in stock.
Birch and Bear, Northcote, Melbourne
Far out guys, this is one cutie patootie of a shop! Another Victorian shop, this time based in Northcote in Melbourne. Birch and Bear is a treasure trove of gorgeous handmade and vintage pieces for little ones and it is all just delightful. They make their own range of lots of cuties, working with Australian makers to create just stunningly imaginative toys for children. Here are some of my faves:
I have never visited this sweet shop, but I can't wait to, as it's just charming, and their ethos totally aligns with mine - supporting Australian and ethical makers, all working together to make and sell special one off things. I love it!
Pomme, Mt Martha, Victoria
Well, there is any number of amazing Victorian shops I would like to showcase this week. I really, deeply understand how terrifying and uncertain the future must be for all these beautiful small shops down south, and I send my biggest love to you all as you weather this time.
I wanted to showcase a shop I have longed to visit for many many years, and my Mum now lives in the Mornington Peninsula, so when we are on the other side of all of this and we can head south to visit family, I can't wait to make a trip to the glorious Pomme a part of this visit.
Pomme is in Mt Martha in the Mornington Peninsula, and I have admired this shop for so very long (like 15+ years long). They stock incredible Australian makers and artists, plus stunning and ethical international brands that aren't seen elsewhere.
Just looking at their website I am now truly lusting after the 3 pieces above, but honestly everything is just gorgeous! And the shop itself looks so special, tucked in a beautiful looking main street. I also am just in awe of a business that can maintain itself for so long, staying true to the look/feel/vision. Inspiring!
Wattlebird, Evandale, Tasmania
Oh another gorgeous shop I haven't actually visited in person, but am so gosh darn dying to! It is Wattlebird in Evandale in Tasmania. Evandale is quite close to Launceston, and my Mum lived in Tasmania until only about 9 months ago so I'm a bit gutted that I won't get to visit as often now, honestly Tasmania is a treasure trove of handmade goodness - food, craft, design, wine - glorious!
Anyway, back to Wattlebird. I don't know who owns it, or much about it at all really, but their Instagram is gorgeous, and their website has me drooling, plus they have all these lovely workshops I would love to attend!
They focus on stocking Tasmanian makers and have such a gorgeous collection. Here are some of my faves on their website, I'll only show one of their cushions, but really I want ALL of them (like I really do, someone tell Nick towards the end of the year, birthday and Christmas time), they are divine!
Oh gosh I can't tell you how much looking at this gorgeous shop makes me miss our own little haven... but so wonderful that there are other gorgeous places of handmade, ethical goodness to love!
This week's feature store is Field Trip Balhannah in the Adelaide Hills. It is owned by two amazing makers Linda Marek and Mim Clarkson. We stocked Linda's fab earrings at the shop, and Mim makes ethical fashion which looks just divine, so they have quite the skills in creating beautiful things!
They don't seem to have an online shop, but here are some of my fave new things they have in and you can call or message them to nab some cuteness.
She stocks gorgeous Society of Wanderers bedlinen, fab linen fashion, and her own gorgeous artworks, plus much more. Mel is actually an incredible artist and when she's not recovering from a broken ankle (which she is currently) she runs art classes from her gorgeous space too.
It's such a special, pretty shop and it's next to the glorious Lil' Gypsy coffee van, which serves a delish brew, and Rach's homemade sweets of yumminess.
Anyway, here are three of my fave things Mel has at the moment.
Ok, that's my first little shop feature (btw, obviously this is not paid advertising or anything, I just love small shops and I KNOW how hard they are to keep going, so I want to promote them as much as I can!).
Next week I can't wait to share the CUTEST shop in the Adelaide Hills with you all. I actually haven't physically been there, but I follow them obsessively and am a fan of all they do...