What do you do when you really want to rent an awesome place in a great location – but the lease is just way too expensive? You might consider getting a flatmate or two to share the cost of rent. And that’s just what Ambassador Home designer Greg Baker did – but in the form of Angove Street Collective.
On Friday one of the newest shops in Perth opened its doors, and Meghan Plowman and I went to snap some photos and find out what it’s all about. Angove Street Collective is the brainchild of director and designer Greg Baker, who you would know from his work founding Ambassador de Buenos Aires and co-launching Baker & Shuhandler before that.
Greg had a vision for ASC to be a concept store - a collaborative effort with numerous small retailers sharing a space under the same roof. As Greg put it, the place is kind of like a department store, one that showcases small retailers, well-designed goods, furniture, textiles, homewares, lighting and quite a few quirky bits and pieces thrown in. Ooh, and there might even be coffee soon. It’s a very cool idea.
After running Ambassador de Buenos Aires in a sleepier end of Leederville for years, Greg wanted to try his hand at a new location with more bustle. But the costs of renting such a space in Perth were astronomical. He also realised he really wanted to collaborate with others in interior design – partly due to his tendency to procrastinate on his own! “I was looking at places that were really expensive, and it blossomed from there,” he says. “I thought, how can we share the cost of a great space that had a good location and not pay a fortune for it? I also really like working in a communal environment. If I’m on my own, I procrastinate! I thought, wouldn’t it be nice for little retailers to combine forces and work together?”
The idea quickly took off - Greg got together with once-customer, now-friend and Pekho owner Buffy Murray, talked to fellow retailers he liked, and it was only a month or so before before they had a starting stable of five small retailers. And the idea has worked so successfully already they want to add another five or six more by February. The store works on a membership principle, with Greg overseeing and only gently curating the collections on show – although it’s an eclectic mix of wares from Pekho, Ambassador Home, The Rug Studio and work from numerous artists, here it all comes together perfectly.
Finding a great rental space was not too difficult. The old warehouse Greg found on up-and-coming Angove Street was thought to have started off life as a marketplace meeting spot in the early 1910s. It later became a motorbike pit and functioned as such for years until Greg and his team gave it a revamp, painting the red, yellow and blue walls Baker's White.
It was while Greg was peeling off layers of old paint from the shop’s back walls that he made a gorgeous discovery – the store’s original vintage signwriting and the names of the original owners, Lullfitz & Sons. (The Lullfitz family later started Lullfitz Nursery).
Now there’s gorgeous hand-lettering at the storefront, too. Greg’s dad (famous for helping his boundlessly energetic son with his renovation projects!) painted the storefront. “Dad used to be a signwriter,” says Greg. “I dragged him out of retirement and made him paint the sign at the front! I wanted an old-fashioned sign like from a boutique department store and love how it looks.”
Inside, it feels more Melbourne or Sydney than Perth, and with its white walls and beautiful pieces begging you to browse, you can’t help but slow down mentally. “It has a really nice Fremantle thing to it,” says Greg of the shop. “It’s like a gallery and quite sophisticated.”
Greg says he has been chuffed by the response to the shop. “Everyone who has a coffee across the road wants to come in,” he says with a grin. “I feel really overwhelmed by the response. It’s such a friendly street – while we were setting up all these store owners popped in and said, ‘We can’t wait til you open!’ ” Well they’re now open - grab a coffee from across the road and add this place to your to-check-out list. Maya x
Angove Street Collective, a collection of wares, artworks and textiles from small retailers all under the one roof. With future coffee bar!
Ambassador Home, The Rug Studio, Pekho, Debra Hayes Styling, Kylee Hughes, Matthew Hunt
Thought to have st
An eclectic yet carefully curated mix of beautiful and well-crafted furniture, homewares, rugs, crockery, artwork, vintage treasures and even fresh flowers.
THE NERD VERD
Grab a coffee and have a browse. You’ll find something (or five) to add to your Christmas want list!
Angove Street Collective is at 31 Angove Street, North Perth. Like them on Facebook, call 9328 6690.
STYLING AND PHOTOGRAPHY
Meghan Plowman of The Orchard