Community projects are fun, because giving back is cool and warm fuzzies are nice!
We’re lucky to be part of a neat little community on Brunswick Street, and so this year we are running the inaugural All Out, an event that will see retailers hosting curated events, workshops and activations on May 1.
This is our way of championing small biz, encouraging the ’shop local’ movement and celebrating the history and culture of this ever-changing street.
“Growing up out east it took me until I was about 15 to get to snoop around the famed Brunswick Street on my own. I’d read about the presence of Polyester Records in street press and when I got there it was the 80s/90s ephemera shrine I had imagined in my head. Musicians behind the counter and more information on the walls and racks than I could deal with; cue teenage brainfreeze and red-faced exit. These days I drive the motherfuckin’ school bus with Nate and enjoy curating a constantly changing, welcoming and engaging space full of goodies.” – Simon Karis, co-owner Polyester Records.
Can you relate? Brunswick Street’s rise to fame in the 90s with artist studios, independent stores and DIY ethos placed it on the map as the place to visit for a cultural hit. Despite rising rents resulting in bigger players taking up space, there’s still a murmur of that independent heartbeat. Speaking to Nina the manager of Brunswick Street Books, the street is still a ‘must visit’ for tourists seeking something different – apparently Dylan Moran is a repeat customer at her store, “Bernard Black himself visited and bought a heap of books. He was startlingly sober.”
Paul Elliot original owner of Polyester Books sums it up pretty well, “running a business with heart and soul, not just for the money is what attracts a community and gives something a cult status. There’s an intangible factor there, by being true to what you love you can create something that is more than a basic transaction, something that’s long-lasting.”
The Victorian government acknowledges that the arts and music are pivotal to our economy, and we see independent business playing a critical role amongst this. The event is supported by Yarra City Council, and ties in nicely with our small biz branding and content workshops we’ve been running at Work-Shop.
On the day there will be workshops, events and opportunities to learn a bit more about the history of one of the streets that has experienced an overhaul in recent years.
The Fitzroy Nursery will be holding a lesson on how to pot and grow vegetables, the Brunswick Street Bookstore will be hosting workshops for kids and adults with artists Elise Hurst and Tull Suwannakit, Perfect Potion will hold chakra alignment classes, Flowers Vasette will host a flower wall for the community to contribute to, and many more!
Thanks retailers for keeping Brunswick Street weird. We love the passionate heads that surround us, and the independent spirit of the street. Here’s to doing your own thing! See you on May 1.
When: 10am – 6pm, May 1
Where: Brunswick Street!