I Get Off On This

'When the world is grey and the feeling is lonely, you can always go ... downtown'

Or so the famous song nearly went. But check this out.

Why isn't the world paying attention (to me, mainly)? Hot shopfronts are where it's at. They make streets tolerable, walkable ... and that means you meet more people and have more friends, which means you will die later.

So suck up all your taxes donated throughout your lifetime by hanging around a longer, have more lovers, and get off on shopfronts in the meantime.

Above: Mariana Hardwick Flagship Store, Hardwick Bulding, 459 Sydney Road, Brunswick, Australia.

Above: Olive Grove Studios, 159 Sydney Road, Brunswick. Noice.

Alas: Sydney Road, Brunswick, Australia.

4 Reasons Why You Should Attract Independent Retail To Your City

When you're new in a city the first people to treat you well, like you're not a stranger, are the merchants.

Repeat a visit to a restaurant and small nods of nourishing acknowledgement go your way. 

This is the building of a relationship which, in-turn, builds your society.

Attract independant retailers to your city for quality contact that:

  1. Builds your community quicker.
  2. Gives it more locally-distinct flavour or character.
  3. Makes your city more diverse, as the difficult-to-replicate, place-based and distinct roots of the independent retailer also attracts a customer- and residential-base which is diverse itself.
  4. Makes your city more resilient as the city is filled with thousands of invisible personal networks which constantly generate collaboratition and innovation.

To the visitor, to the consumer, a smile is better if it's warmer.

We often forget that independent retailers have the warmest smiles.

And an independent retailer's smile builds your society fastest and best.

Below: Her Message Clothing & Shoes, Old Theatre Lane, 50 Bay View Terrace, Claremont, Australia.

Shopfront Success at the Claremont Quarter - Benefits The Community

Above: Zimmerman, 23 St Quentin Avenue, Claremont, Australia

This is a successful streetscape, in my opinion, and all the parties must be acknowledged for making these courageous and advantageous decisions which have benefited the community.

So, 'Thank you' to:

  • The Town of Claremont
  • The Claremont Quarter landlord
  • The Claremont Quarter architects
  • The retailer

Ecology vs Economy #6

Above: Jolie & Deen, 411 Chapel Street, South Yarra, Australia.

Managing our communities and economies should be led by the most immutable force: the ecology of our region.  We can't always design out of it, and customers are instinctively led by its power.

Understanding the power of our ecology drives efficiencies in our community and economic planning.  Ecology has much to offer us in terms of making the local business precinct safe, comfortable and interesting.

An example of how business income is positively tied to uncontrollable ecological factors is here.

Sleepless A Beautiful City Counts People to Go to Sleep

I can't help myself.

When I've had a surplus of sleep and I'm awake at 3am and ready to go, I don't go to the beach or do a workout.

I drive to our business districts, taking people-counter measurements and photos, and admiring our economies whilst they're asleep.

This is what your mainstreets looked like at 4am.

Below: Mimco, 673 Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley

Below: The Daily Planet, 634 Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley

Below: Street cleaning at the The Northbridge Arch, corner of James and Lake Street, Northbridge

Below: Catholic Church, and the Central Institute of Technology Arts Building, with mural, at 12 Aberdeen Street, Northbrdge

Below: Our famous cockatoos, corner of Newcastle and William Streets, Northbridge

Below: The Good Store, 363 Albany Highway, Victoria Park

Below: Saffi Belle, 28 Market Street, Fremantle.  Seen in an A Beautiful City design blog.

Below: Remedy and Clara, 95 High Street, Fremantle

Run, don't walk, to New Edition bookshop now

Imagine the best bookshop in the southern hemisphere, according to Tim Rogers.

Then imagine incorporating a brilliantly designed espresso bar on a sub-lease - The Grumpy Sailor.  This is a difficult feat including many headaches with all the landlord negotiations and council approvals.  Thank goodness the City of Fremantle gives permissions to high quality retail design and street activation.

Lastly, place a fashion shop in the rear of the huge bookshop.  The result is Velvet Sushi who now occupies the former bank safe and sells high quality fashion and accessories whilst the hubbub of the espresso and bookworming goes on all around.

Other cities and shopping centre managers - run, don't walk, to Velvet Sushi now and suck it up.

Deborah McKendrick in Velvet Sushi, 82 High Street, Fremantle, Australia


Rude Architecture Shown Some Manners

A point of shopfront design rudely ignored in modern architecture are transom lights.

These are the small stained glass squares as shown in this photo.

Many new shopfronts are not tall enough to have them.

The height to the top of the door of this shop is 2.64m (8'8").  The height of the entire shopfront is 3.59m (12'1")

Photo: Leona Edmiston Vintage Outlet Store, 123 Greville Street, Prahran, Australia

A Beautiful Piece Of Design

Thank you Saffi Belle.

It's important to recognise that not only is this a beautiful piece of design but it also:

  • Functions as a piece of ecological sustainability (paper versus plastic).
  • Promotes the business as shoppers walk away with it.
  • Makes the place look good (so many retailers still give supermarket bags to customers!)

Saffi Belle, 28 Market Street, Fremantle, Australia

The real stories of our clothes

This is a new segment which gives us a real insight into where people go to get their clothes.

So if you look magnificent you will be targeted.  And thank you for those people participating who filled in the details.  :)

Top:  $8 Salvos, Fremantle

Skirt: $200, Alannah Hill, Claremont

Shoes: $150, Doc Martens, online

Socks: $3, Target, Fremantle

Belt: free, hand-me-down from Mum

Earrings: $80, Martumili Artists, Newman

Watch: Gift from Smales, Subiaco

Emilia in Merenda Gallery, Fremantle, Australia, at the launch of the Fremantle Central Business District marketing prospectus.

Want to see more real stories of our clothes?