We are a nice little community along here. Visitors even say we are the nicest part of Gertrude Street. We have magnolia trees and little cafés (Sonido, Radio and Breizoz Creperie). We have been known to hang out on the footpath and chat, we send customers to each other if we don't have what they are looking for and we just compliment each other very nicely.
If you are heading west from Brunswick Street then you will hit Amor y Locura just next to Radio. Mandy started by bringing in stock from South America and now she has a big range of pieces from Mexico. Religious, colourful, traditional, modern, Mandy mixes it all together, she's got decorative homewares alongside more collectable antiques. It's like a technicolour holiday right here in Melbourne (and you know how fashionable Mexico is at the moment, just check out all the restaurants in Melbourne doing tacos!).
Then there is Saint Cloud, all bikes and stuff to go with bikes, Nick is always busy with the passing pedallers. We have fun sitting under our magnolia watching the fashion stylings of St Cloud customers, they are a mixed and amusing lot. We also like to critique peoples chose of rim and frame colour combinations- yes this is where you come to customise a bike. This is bike styling heaven. We've even seen people who have matched their bike to their car! But mainly this place is for those Melburnites who spend their commuting time on human-powered two wheels.
Little Salon is the oldest shop of all along here. Geneine started her shop back in the days when Gertrude Street was a little bit wold and woolly (mind you it still can be!) and calling it an institution is meant as a compliment. It's been lovely watching the shop grow and develop, they still design and make the main core of their stock and this I think is a major part of Gertrude Street's charm- so many maker/owners.
I made Janita pose for a silly photo in her sequined top!
Next to Little Salon is Sonido, all Colombian food and coffee, and then there is us.
You know all about us.
Can you see Anna being silly in the photo below?
Now you have to walk a bit further along Gertrude Street to get to our final shopping port of call. Sadly at the moment there is a bit of an empty gap but there is treasure at the end- Miss Victoria Mason! (I wouldn't let her take off her tuck shop lady apron for the photo.) Vic is known for her jewellery featuring miniature things from everyday life but she is developing whole ranges at the moment- collaborating with Ghost Patrol, adding to the geometric range and the summer 'hot potato', her lovely colour spot earrings.
So this is our community of little shops. We make the stuff we sell, we hunt the world for things to fill our shops with, we give good service! We aren't a faceless money sucking entity on the end of your credit card. We will smile and chat (if we aren't too exhausted) and wrap your booty and give you hints and suggestion on where to go for coffee. When you come into our shops you know that by buying something from us you are helping to pay our bills and put food on our Xmas tables. Supporting small businesses and local traders brings life and vitality to an area.
And we are all open up to Xmas eve- then it will be time for a relaxing break! Please come and visit! Occupy Christmas!