The creation of James Talty and Kristina Decker, Brisbane Made has moved from their old digs down the street into Showroom's front room.
Brisbane Made is the retail counterpoint to the Red Hill studio James shares with another furniture maker and blacksmith, as well as exhibiting the works of local designers.
Erin Lightfoot’s geometric print-based porcelain ceramics contrast with painter and potter Joseph Daws’ raw and earthy bowls and cups made from local clay. Nikolas Winter-Simat’s stencil art – which you may have seen at Scout – takes pride of place on the walls, alongside impressive weavings from Rose Jensen Holm, who uses tapestry techniques to create her works, which depict a strong connection to the natural environment. Handmade leather satchels and wallets by Raffael Lohmann take up a playful perspective on classic design elements, Anise mixes up organic skincare, and J Frank's stationery range brings best loved Brisbane scenes to life. Little ones can hop aboard the artisanal train in psychedelic Baby Bambauch leggings, and the instagram addicted will immediately recognise newly iconic Citizen of the World candles.
1. What is your shop / What do you sell?
Our shop is Brisbane Made. Furniture and homewares by local artisans and creatives.
2. What did you do before?
James had his factory at Red Hill where he still makes custom furniture for Brisbane homes. Kristina studied photography.
3. What made you start this business?
We knew all these awesome people making awesome things and thought there should be a store for them. We want to change the way people think about the things they buy, to promote local artists, and we wanted to set a little experiment, to see how these locally made things would be received.
4. Which retailers inspire you?
That's a hard question, because we’re really not big shoppers. We do like to flip through Monacle Magazine to see the little shops and designs featured there. We love minimalist styles in design, and we don’t over think things.
5. What are the key elements that go into creating your shop’s unique vibe?
Wood. Leather. Stoneware. Geometric designs. We like things clean, simple, and feeling easy. We're aiming for a super restrained edit of well-made items – when the shop space looks too empty to other people, it feels right to us.
6. What are your retail pet hates?
Disorganized Clutter. Over styled spaces. Shops that lack a unified concept overwhelming us and to our eyes don’t do justice to the beautiful things people have made to stock there.
7. To what extent does the online world inform your bricks and mortar business?
We don’t have an online shop, but we do gather inspiration on the web that helps us refine our aesthetic. We get more of an idea of how to present things in our bricks and mortar shop from well curated online stores than we do from 'the real world'. Shelter 7 and Have You Met Miss. Jones are particular favourites right now.
8. Do you feel optimistic about the future of real world retail?
Not really, not in the traditional sense. Without a massive, rolling social media presence turning small shops into well-known destinations, it’s almost impossible for little guys to do enough business to keep going. It's hard for artisans to find the time for all that, and coming up with overhead costs is a real challenge too. While it does seem that people like the idea of shopping locally, they aren't keen to spend as much anymore. We’re going to see more collective models, and it'd be fantastic if the price of commercial leases came down to reflect the reality of what’s possible for small shops to make in a town the size of Brisbane.