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    Category Archives: bricks & mortar

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    Virtual visit: Page 8 Mornington

    Eleesa Howard at Page 8 Mornington contacted me a little while back about stocking Conversations with Creative Women: Volume Two. A little research into this coastal establishment led me to want to find out more about the shop and Eleesa herself!

    page 8 shoot 2

    Tell us about Page 8. It seems like more than a place to buy books, but a hub for the local creative community. How long has it existed in Mornington and what kind of customers does it attract?

    You are right, Page 8 is so much more than a place to buy books. I guess you would call us a lifestyle shop. It was started eight years ago by a local couple. They started the business while having three beautiful boys, they did an amazing job. We aim to be the place that customers can come and find something a little fresh, quirky, interesting, creative and inspiring. Our customers are across a range of age groups and backgrounds. One minute, there will be a grandmother looking for an interesting gift for her grandchild. Next, it will be a business man checking out the selection of Architecture books, then a group of teenagers looking out for latest Frankie mag! Such an enthusiastic and wide variety of customers, which I love. I guess we have something for everyone!

    What labels do you stock?

    We love stocking local designers and crafters along side quality brands from Melbourne and internationally, such as: Polli, pigeonhole, wewood, telegram, make me iconic, pony rider, keep cups, Salus, Elk, Spider & lily, Printspace, Down to the Woods, One Sunday Morning, Gozi & Pop, Once Made, Lascari, to name just a few! We also stock the latest across a range of books, including children’s titles, cookbooks, art, photography, graphic design, interiors, architecture, gardening , craft and design…..so many!

    page 8 shoot 6



    page 8 shoot 4

    What is your background personally? What did you study and how did you find yourself at Page 8?
    This is a bit of a long story as I have ‘fallen’ into many things. I finished high school and found myself in the real world pretty quickly. I started out in retail and then worked in an amazing place called the Organic Market Café in Stirling, SA. I learned so much about food and life there, I loved that job.

    In between, however, I did have two little people come into my life. I had my daughter at 23 and then a few years later had my son. This is where the creative side of me really took hold! Being a stay at home Mum, I felt the need to do ‘something’. So I started to sew clothes for my kids and then quilts, mostly using beautiful vintage fabrics and materials. It was around this time that I was given the oppurtunity to work as part of the visual merchandising team for Country Road. I loved it and realised I had a natural talent for design and display.

    After a few years my husband and I moved interstate and I had a fresh start in hosplitalily. This lead to the oppurtunity to opening my own little cafe, which was great fun but a steep learning curve.

    Due to the ‘surprise’ of our youngest son popping into our lives, the café was too much to continue. So again I was home with a new baby and going a little insane! I was itching to do something. This is when I got back into sewing. I started doing markets, making and selling bags, quilts and cushions under the name ‘dorothybills’.

    We moved to Victoria four years ago and settled on the beautiful Mornington peninsula. I continued on with markets and also stared working at Page 8 in the old cafe. Somehow, I cant even remember, I stated working in the shop helping with the visual merchandising there. Then as time went on I became the Manager. In October 2013 new owners took over the store, and now I am both manager and buyer which I love! I am truly lucky to have an amazing group of wonderful ladies to work with and support me.

    What creative things do you enjoy doing outside of work?
    As my life is so busy, I seem to have a lot of half-finished projects. I’m current making a twine coil basket, painting some plant pots and have managed to sit down with my teenagers and dabble creatively while they are doing their art homework.

    I think that’s why I love to surround myself with creative people and their goodies, even though I may not be creating as much as I used to, it makes me happy knowing I’m helping others get their work out there in some small way.

    page 8 shoot 3

    What’s on your summer holiday reading list?
    I just finished, finally, ‘ Let’s pretend this never happened’ by Jenny Lawson, which made me laugh out loud with tears rolling down my face!

    Also on my bedside table is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Cloudstreet by Tim Winton,which I cant wait to read, and the latest issue of Frankie. I must admit I have a weakness for magazines and interior book such as Beci Orpin’s new book Home and  A Place Called Home by Jason Grant. Lots of constant stimulation and inspiration!

    Thanks Eleesa! You can find Page 8 on Facebook or visit the store at: 188 Main St, Mornington, Victoria.

    {Photos by Danielle Trovato}

    Posted by: Tess McCabe
    Categories: books, bricks & mortar, virtual visit | Comments Off
    Posted on

    Bricks & Mortar: Shelley Panton Studio

    Today we visit the new store location of CWC member and former CWC speaker Shelley Panton in Melbourne’s Prahran. 


    In 2011 you were a CWC guest speaker, but for those who weren’t able to attend, can you tell us a bit about your background and how you came to open your first studio/shop?

    I had been working as an event stylist and producer before the GFC hit in 2008 and work dried up. With a bit of time on my hands I took up a short course in pottery while I worked out what to do next. I was also house hunting at the time, and stumbled across a quaint century-old butchers store in Middle Park. I saw 88 Park Road as an opportunity to have a go at building up my own studio ,where I could handcraft my ceramics alongside stocking other local artisans and craftspeople’s wares.

    I opened the store and studio space (living out the back!) in 2009 and my shop range grew to include artful books, furniture and staples home wares.

    In August 2013 we relocated to 440 Malvern Road, Prahan, as the landlords wanted to develop 88 Park Road and I felt my business had also outgrown the space. The timing was right. I am loving my new location and the business has continued to grow.

    Shelley Panton Store_Store Photograph

    Shelley Panton Store_Shelley Panton Table Ware Range

    Can you tell us about the process of moving your shop and studio to a bigger location? What were some of the challenges and what have been some of the highlights of your new location so far?

    Finding out I had to move both my house and my shop in one hit was overwhelming. Whilst I knew business was ready to take the next step of moving to a larger premises with a busier frontage, actually finding the new site proved to be quite a challenge of top of running the day to day of my business. I had to constantly remind myself that the right place would turn up, and it sure did, at the 11th hour.

    The new location has proved to be a wonderful move, trade has increased dramatically, but then so have the overheads. All in all, I’m glad for the move as I feel I am in the right place for healthy long term growth. If I had my time again I would have taken a bit more of a break plus invested in getting some more help as I took a bit too much on and suffered fatigue in the first few months from trying to keep up with admin, training staff, producing my work and the day to day of shop keeping.

    My work ethic is very strong, probably partly based on the fear of having to ever having to write a CV or apply for another job again! I’ve had my fare share of setbacks in life, but this has taught me resilience and gives me passion and energy to do what I do.

    Shelley Panton Store_Uashamama Paper Bags

    Shelley Panton Store_Rock The Shack

    Shelley Panton Store_Adriana Christianson Pottery

    What are your favourite products instore at the moment, and why?

    I’m loving colour and copper at the moment. Plus I’m a big fan of Adriana Christianson’s stoneware beakers. I picked up a few earlier this year at a pottery fair and loved them so much I decided to stock them alongside my own ceramics.

    I’m also loving our current range of recycled timber frames, beach umbrellas and books. Summer is my favourite season!

    Shelley Panton Store_Murphy and Daughters Bon Bon Soap
    Can you tell us about some of the special in-store events you have planned for 2014?

    In March we are hosting two Dinners in the Studio for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. I’ll be collaborating with chefs Perry Schagen and Josh Powell, and winemaker Paul Scorpoto celebrate all things artisan and water inspired for the table. Tinker by Printink will also be printing our napkins, which each guest will get to take home.

    We’ll also continue our Meet the Maker Q& A series as I thoroughly enjoy interviewing and sharing the stories of makers whom I stock.


    Shelley Panton Store_Pottery Studio

    Thanks for the virtual visit Shelley!

    Shelley Panton Studio
    440 Malvern Road, Prahran, Vic
    Opening hours 

    If you would like to know more about Shelley’s career path you can listen to Shelley’s 2011 CWC speaker event on our Podcasts page – FREE for everyone!

    All images by Caitlin Mills

    Posted by: Tess McCabe
    Categories: bricks & mortar, interview | Comments Off
    Posted on

    Buy handmade this Christmas at our Member’s pop-up shops

    Around this time of year, Melbourne bursts at the seams with markets and pop-up retail spaces, giving us ample opportunity to purchase gifts for others (or for ourselves!) direct from the makers themselves. How lucky are we?

    Here are a couple of upcoming retail events run by our members, that will guarantee a beautiful shopping experience in stark opposition to brightly-lit suburban shopping malls, and of course put a smile on the gift recipient’s dial :)

    Abbotsford Convent Pop Up Shop


    Some of the clever tenants who are working at the Convent have banded together to provide a unique retail experience.
    The large space in the Sacred Heart courtyard (where the nuns used to do the ironing!), is now a funky and enticing shop that is filled with different products; from ceramics to books to clothes and paintings.

    The artists involved will be in the shop at different times so you can talk to them about how they make their work. With any purchase made, the entire amount will go to the artist making the artists’ professions more sustainable.

    Open 11am until 8pm Thursday-Sunday through November and December
    Scared Heart Courtyard
    Abbotsford Convent
    1 St Heliers Street Abbotsford VIC 3067

    For info contact Ilona at info@conventpopupshop.com.au

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    The Shop that went Pop Bang Sparkle



    For one night only, contemporary jewellers Liz Ickiewicz, Anna De Kretser, Susan Ewington, Anastasia Grace and Eli Speaks will sell their wares and preview their new ranges.

    Tuesday 3rd December, 6-9pm
    Upstairs at The Alderman, 134 Lygon St, Brunswick East, Victoria
    {Cash only}

    For more information email hi.liziitt@gmail.com or see sneak peeks on Instagram via the hashtag #popbangsparkle

    Posted by: Tess McCabe
    Categories: bricks & mortar, member news | Comments Off
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    Bricks and Mortar: Saint Gertrude Design & Letterpress

    By Catherine Harvey

    There is something intrinsically beautiful about letterpress that everyone seems to love. Perhaps it’s the tactile nature created from the combination of ink on a soft cotton stock. Or maybe it’s the knowledge that letterpress is a centuries old art form that is mastered by so few. Whatever the reason, there has definitely been a huge increase in the amount of letterpressed paper products being produced over the last few years.

    As a designer, I notice the reactions of clients when they feel something that has been letterpressed and it’s generally always the same – moving their fingers over the print whilst ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’. It is this tactile quality that surpasses many other printing techniques as a favourite of mine. And it seems I am definitely not alone. Amy Constable also shares this love and has taught herself all about this impeccable artistry over a number of years while running her business Saint Gertrude Design & Letterpress.

    Photo - Catherine Harvey

    Amy in action.

    Photo - Catherine Harvey

    At a time when there wasn’t a great deal of information on this centuries-old printing technique, Amy bought herself a 800kg letterpress (affectionately known as Gordon) and began the process of educating herself on the history of letterpress and the knowledge required to actually be able to use the press. Now let me tell you about Gordon… the best word to describe him is impressive. He commands attention and respect from the moment you see him – maybe this is primarily due to his large size or perhaps the fact that he’s a very good looking press! The other thing about Gordon is that he is quite daunting and after watching Amy show me how he works, I have a new found appreciation for the skills required to operate a letterpress machine. It is indeed manual labour that requires a lot of love, time and effort. But the results you can achieve are clearly worth this effort.

    Photo - Catherine Harvey

    Gordon himself.

    Amy started Saint Gertrude Design and Letterpress in 2009 and since that time has primarily been involved in creating beautiful wedding stationery. From save-the-date cards to custom designed invites, Amy knows how to achieve the perfect stationery for your big day. In addition to this, Amy has also recently created her own retail collection that includes cards and prints inspired by children’s stories.

    It all seems to be happening for Amy – including possibly holding some Letterpress Workshops in the future at her new studio.

    Amy's new range of prints. Photo - Catherine Harvey

    Amy’s new range of letterpress prints.

    Photo - Catherine Harvey


    And this isn’t just any studio. Amy and her press now reside in Little Gold Studios (how good is this name!?) in Brunswick. The studio is filled with natural light, lots of plants and is the ideal environment for a creative to thrive. The space is shared by like-minded creatives from a range of other disciplines and I was instantly impressed with how the space had been so beautifully decorated. Let’s just say I wanted to leave my job and move in, it was that good.

    Photo - Catherine Harvey

    Gordon the letterpress at Little Gold studios.

    My afternoon with Amy (and Gordon) was a pleasure and I can only recommend that if you get a chance to attend one of Amy’s letterpress workshops, then do. It will be memorable, inspiring and, like Gordon himself, impressive.

    Saint Gertrude Design & Letterpress
    Little Gold Studios
    13 Little Gold Street, Brunswick, Victoria 3056
    Email: hello@saintgertrude.com.au

    All photos by Catherine Harvey.


    Catherine Harvey lives and breathes design. Working at one of Melbourne’s top studio’s, she is rarely ever away from her computer. She loves to keep up to date with the design industry in a global and local context and follows too many blogs to count! You can follow her findings here.

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    Posted by: Catherine Harvey
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