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Ishka Clearance Warehouse Fitzroy

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by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Published September 19th 2013
Immerse yourself in cheap prices

I can always remember when my brother and his girlfriend came back from an extended holiday to India and stayed with me.

They cocooned themselves in their room -- covered the windows with silk saris which let in only subdued filtered light in a myriad of colours, played Indian music and lit candles and incense.

It was as if they couldn't cope with the culture shock of being back home and wanted to immerse themselves in the colours, the smells and the feel of India.

I got that exact same feeling of cultural immersion when I walked into Ishka's Clearance Centre in Nicholson Street Fitzroy.

There are any number of Ishka stores around (some 22 to be precise,) but most are relatively small and sometimes a little overcrowded with goods festooning down from corners and shelving.

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.

This is also the home to any damaged stock which might have a nick or a scratch (easily fixable) but has significant discounts.

I fell in love with so many beautiful handcrafted, hand painted pieces of furniture I felt like decorating my house all over again. This would be a great place for anyone who was just starting out.

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.

There were also lots of smallish gift items for just a few dollars a piece which would make this a great place for Christmas Kris-kringle shopping.

I stumbled on Ishka as it is just around the corner from the gorgeous Rose Street Markets which sell locally home grown artisan goods. Rose street is also becoming famous for its graffititi art and coffee shops iincluding. Industry Beans .

You may well want to make your Ishka bargain hunting trip part of an afternoon's outing to Fitzroy. It really is great fun.

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Why? For some affordable bargains
When: Monday-Saturday: 9:00am-6pm Sunday: 10:00am-6pm For public holiday hours please call store
Phone: 9416 0777
Where: 300 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy
Cost: From $5
Your Comment
I love Ishka designs.
Smooth cotton kaftans , silk dresses, jewellery etc. etc....
by jasna (score: 1|83) 2817 days ago
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