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Published December 16th 2011
Brisbane's handmade renaissance continues, with the opening of a new and groovy arts and crafts outlet in Annerley in early December.
Handmade Highstreet, at 466 Ipswich Road, is the brainchild of Kath Chown, Benjamin Williams and Ryan DeVeau. As well as being one of the shop's proprietors, Kath herself is a jewellery-maker, the creative force behind BunnyHornet jewellery design.
I met Kath selling her wares at the Valley Market a couple of months ago. While I lingered over her brooches, hair slides and earrings, she filled me in on the plans for Handmade Highstreet.
Her vision was to set up a stand-alone shop selling not just her creations, but those of other Brisbane artists and crafters. I left her stall with a cute frog-footman brooch inspired by Alice in Wonderland (for under $10), and a promise from Kath that she would keep me updated on the progress of the Handmade Highstreet project.
Vision has now become reality, and the store is open for business, selling clothes, jewellery, glassware, baby clothes, homewares and more, from around 50 different producers. Goods on display come from the likes of Aqua Door Designs, Lesalikes, Off the Hook, KT Herbal Teas, Kiss My Patootie, Scylla Designs and Once I Was.
Kath says that the shop aims to offer good-quality, handmade, beautiful products to customers, and to give local independent artisans a financially viable option for selling their work in a permanent location. Those who sell from the store pay a rental fee (calculated on the space that they occupy), which is deducted from their sales. All other proceeds from sales go directly to the creators.
Kath says business has been strong in the first fortnight, and is growing steadily. Why not pay her a visit and check out the shop for yourself? It's a great place to find original gifts, or just to buy something beautiful to take home. It's also lovely to see all the energy, passion and joy that's going into this new venture.