Making it Happen

Retailing is a complex business with multiple channels for vendors to promote and sell their wares. Dubbed 'The Experience Economy', we now want a hell of  a lot more from a store.  We want to do something, make something, talk to those in the know, have a cup of tea or glass of wine whilst we learn something, be entertained ... and maybe buy something before leaving the shop.

I suspect this relates to the potential social isolation that comes with the digital age combined with housing density, that increasingly sees so many of us living in small apartments, a scenario running parallel to fading memories of a house on a quarter acre block with a hills hoist in the back yard; the era when passing on cooking and craft skills was generally Nana's domain. These days she is likely to be too busy at yoga and attending to her personal wellness to be bothered with baking scones (too many carbs) and picking up dropped stitches.

Happily, all is not lost! Master crafter and textile designer, Cath Derksema has relocated the hills hoist to the rear of The Happen Store and is the coolest version of a crafty Aunt you could wish for.  Within the walls of this repurposed old building, makers can hang their hand-made shibori fabric out to dry or display their colourful stitched cushion covers on the clothes line beside those belonging to a new found friend.

Push open the heavy front door and you are greeted by a range of stunning yarns, Cath's joyfully colourful Prints Charming fabrics, on topic books and a carefully selected range of prints and objects for gifting and home. A champion for 'buy local', all product for sale is exclusively handmade by Australian artists and craftspeople.

It seems to me that Cath has created a modern retail version of 'neighbourhood' where common interests is the connector.

Part shop, gallery, workshop and meeting place, you will find The Happen Store at 55 Parramatta Road Annandale in Sydney.

Tue to Fri 10am–4pm

Sat 12pm–5pm  @thehappenstore @printscharmingoriginalfabrics