I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
Published July 1st 2013
Update September 2nd 2013
I recently received news from a reader that Fay passed away a couple of weeks ago. Therefore, I'm not sure what the future of the shop will be. Please take note of this if you were planning to visit. Even though I only met her once, Fay was a true inspiration to me. May she rest in peace.
A Tiny Little Shop That's As Cute As A Button
Ever since I was little girl I've always loved craft and sewing: not only the activities themselves, but also the various kinds of shops where supplies can be purchased, from the large fancy superstores with branches everywhere to little old-fashioned shops in the country.
Therefore, when I heard about a tiny little haberdashery shop hidden away in a small arcade in Manly and staffed by a charming and determined woman of well over ninety I knew that this was somewhere I really had to visit. However, since I live in Perth, Western Australia and don't visit Sydney regularly, it wasn't until several years later that I had the opportunity to personally visit Park Lane Haberdashery and meet its charming proprietor.
Fay Morley in her Manly shop.
Hardly bigger than a walk-in wardrobe and jam-packed with all sorts of goodies, Park Lane Haberdashery is a testimony to the energy and dedication of Fay Morley who has been running the business for the last eighteen years. While the range of products certainly can't compete with the vast assortment to be found in large establishments like Spotlight, and to be quite honest is rather limited, it's Fay who I really wanted to meet: to chat with a woman who is still determined to interact with the world at an age when many people are quite happy to take a well-earned rest. In an era when large chain-stores have put many small privately-owned shops out of business, it's also heart-warming to see this small place still plodding along, like its determined owner.
Park Lane Haberdashery
Park Lane Haberdashery is situated in Shop 3 Park Lane Arcade, a small Art Deco arcade at 3 Whistler Street, opposite a large multi-level council carpark and next to Desire Books (also a terrific shop which I strongly recommend). Dwarfed by the larger buildings that surround it, it can be somewhat tricky to find unless you know exactly where you're going. However, if you head for the intersection between The Corso and Whistler Street at the ferry end of town, and progress up Whistler Street, you'll find the arcade on the left-hand side. Desire Books, which is right next to it, is situated on the street and therefore easy to find. If you need some extra directions, ask someone in one of the businesses you pass.
If you're visiting the Manly area and like me, love craft and sewing, I strongly recommend that you pop in to visit Fay at Park Lane Haberdashery. While the range of products sold is quite small, consisting of buttons, ribbons, thread and other miscellaneous sewing supplies, the shop is so tiny and cute, and Fay is so charming, it's more than worth the effort. Whether you need some elastic for a sewing project or a few buttons (sold the old-fashioned way, individually) for a little girl's dress, a visit will undoubtedly warm your heart and lift your spirit.