Last week my boyfriend (Robin) got a job interview in Melbourne so off we went for a few days to explore the beautiful city, and imagine what it would be like to move there. I've been to Melbourne a few times before so am already very excited by the idea. This time around I got the chance to visit three stupidly-cute stores. First stop, 'The Woodsfolk' in Hawthorn. I was booking in our accommodation days earlier when in my inbox arrived the latest from the Design Files - an article about this amazing new shop. So I took it as a sign that I had to go there during my visit, I simply didn't have a choice!
I made the tram trip out to Church St, Hawthorn and it wasn't long before I spotted the pom-pom donned store, number 39. I was greeted with warm hellos and bright colours, homewares that made me want to squeal and fashion accessories that threatened my limited cash supply.
After commenting to the lovely store keeper that the Woodsfolk shop was much like what the inside of my brain looks like, she suggested that it might look even more like the brain of Amber Clohesy, as she is the talented creator of this wondrous space. I think that Amber is my new hero. Not only did she dream up this beautiful shop, but many of the products inside it as well. From the quirky 'knock knock' and 'hello' metal signs to the adorable 'Heico Animal Lamps'... all cred' goes to Amber for bringing them to Australia through her wholesale business 'Down to the Woods'. Not to mention her very own 'Freckle Rugs' range. Is there anything this lady cannot do??
So once I finally managed to drag myself out of the Woodsfolk shop, just across the road at number 52 Church st, I was magnetically drawn into another delightful store called 'Maiike'.
This time I was surrounded by perfectly crafted creatures made from up-cycled woollen knits and other treasures perfect for the young or young at heart.
Maiike's maker 'Aly Peel' is yet another lady I find myself jealous of. The inside of her store is just perfect, and the outside even cuter (if possible)! All of her hand-crafted creatures sit displayed in the window, next to an eye catching mural. How could anyone resist going into this shop to nose around!?
And last but not least, my friend Sophie insisted I visit Naughts & Crosses in Elwood (also about 20-30 minutes out from the Melbourne CBD) and I'm so glad she did! Tucked down an alley way, the first clue to this shop is a wee suitcase that says 'cute shop' with an arrow. The second clue is bubbles. YES BUBBLES!! How do you attract children or adults who still wish there were children to your hidden store? Install a bubble machine of course! Genius.
Once you have followed the bubble-brick-road, its like stepping inside a story book, Gumby-style. I mean, how much cuteness can one small shop hold!? As I was on my way to catching a plane back to Brisbane I didn't have long to spend in this fairy-tale fantasy, but it didn't take me long to fall in love with the colourful and whimsical selection of both vintage-retro and modern selection of toys and homewares for little people. Despite the pint-sized target market there are so many things in Naughts & Crosses that I would have selfishly kept for myself. It took all my will power not to take home one of the hanging house mobiles! But I wasn't sure it would fit in my already bulging suitcase.
Yes your shop interior is cute as a button and your product selection is perfect Naughts & Crosses, but just shut-up cause you had me at 'bubbles'... You had me at 'bubbles'.
Until next time Melbourne! I have a funny feeling I might be seeing you again soon. x