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Imagine if you could browse and shop for bespoke, artistic and sustainable, household and personal items, which have been lovingly made by some of Brisbane's best local creators and artisans all under the one roof.
Well, I discovered that you can at the innovative Creative Collective space at Stafford.
Bringing New Life to an Old Shed Located in a largely industrial area off busy Webster Road), the Creative Collective is the much-loved brainchild of Cathy Wilkinson and Colleen Roper, who re-imaged the shed and flung open their doors in 2018 where it was"born from a love and respect for the creative and unique"
The exterior of the corrugated tin on this warehouse-style shed at 31 Hayward Street blends in comfortably with its industrial neighbours. (Dave's Motor Clinic, for example, is just across the street).
But step off the footpath and inside The Creative Collective and that's where things change.
Today there is no heavy industrial machinery, breathtaking fumes or grease spilt overalls in sight at this former spray painting shop. It has been replaced by an eclectic range of original products from paintings to planter pots and intricate ceramics to love me again vintage clothes.
Cathy and Colleen have inspiringly used the bones of the shed's original structure to provide the edgy backdrop to visual and hand made art. Even the exposed, original wooden rafters on the ceiling are used to display pendants lights and a sprinkling of fairy lights. The rawness of the shed also has its original hopper windows,
The Creative Collective strives to provide a beautiful place where local makers, artists and creators can collectively showcase and retail their work all with an environmentally conscious underpinning.
From its blue-collar beginnings, it is now a hub for artists including:
Circular Fashion (preloved designer clothing)
Indigo Earth Designs (artisan-designed pots)
Inside the Armoire (clothing and vintage wares)
The Creative Collective Shop of gifts, homewares and art
Original paintings by Claire Rackley and David Clare and Mandy Lou's ceramics all caught my eye as did sliding through the classic pre-loved designer fashions Inside the Armoire. It had a French chic flair bringing everything old to be new again.
Colleen and Cathy want visitors to have a warm experience and have found that for some older visitors stepping back into the shed is like going back in time where they recall memories of the past, sometimes shedding a happy tear.
As well as selling products, The Creative Collective also holds public workshops. While I was there, a group of visitors under the guidance of Anna Mitchell were taking a painting with watercolours class. Last year they even hosted the Dogs Day Out Market for pups to join in the fun.
Also coming up on the calendar is a workshop in creating a personal vision board.
Cathy and Colleen have set up a cute, enclosed play area for the little ones just near the entrance with the backdrop of a mural of a sweet deer and a bunny. So the grown-ups can browse and the kids can play. Everyone is happy, right?
For those with a sweet tooth, keep one eye open for the bowl of chocolates in the Armoire section of the Shed. Simply check in on your phone and receive a free chocolate. It's that easy and that tempting.
The Creative Collective is a rare find. I left feeling like I had had a glimpse and experience in a french vintage market of stylish pieces, with the streetwise edginess of a New York loft. Not something at all that I expected to find in the industrial zone of Stafford.
The Creative Collective is just what its name says - part gallery, part shopping experience, with a huge dose of community and collaboration.
So if you want to decorate your home with something unique, add to your own personal style or just get amongst the art, a visit to the Creative Collective might be for you.
The Creative Collective is open 5 days (closed Mondays and Tuesdays) and is located at 31 Hayward St, Stafford QLD 4053. Stafford is located 8 kms from Brisbane's Central Business District.