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But this one is absolutely huge. It is a gigantic warehouse. Michael Sklovsky who started Ishka as a craftsman hippy in the 1970s calls the Fitzroy store the heart and soul of Ishka. He says that while there are other shops this is the head office, the wholesale department and massive furniture superstore.
I am not sure that "superstore" is a word I would use to describe this sensational Ishka outlet as it is a word that reminds me of somewhere colossal and sterile like Cosco.
Instead everything here is ethnic and mostly handcrafted and there is a cultural vibrancy of colours and textures
This is where Sklovsky, who still travels the globe for many months of each year, keeps his stash. Some of it is on huge multi- tiered shelves like the one's you see in the huge Ikea warehouses.
Ishka's collection is a menagerie mainly because there is room here for everything. There are huge canopy covered, carved beds, delicately painted cupboards, chairs, bookshelves, buffets, tables day beds and sideboards. Some of the pieces are quite monstrous in size. I craned my neck to look up at a carved doorway surround that would have fitted the entrance to a palace.
Because it is a warehouse there are also large discounts on items.
I was there during their 50% off sale but the lovely lady behind the counter told me through her dreadlocks that there was always some kind of sale on. She encouraged me to get an Ishka card (quaintly called a karma card) which meant the beautiful hand painted butterflies I was buying came down to only a couple of dollars.
About half the warehouse is furniture but the other half is odds and sodds like clothes (around the $10 mark), ethnic jewellery, lamps, hookahs, cushions in stunning fabrics, crockery, candles and incense.