Where: Shop 1a/ 7 Gilbert Street Torquay

When: Wednesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm
Sunday 10am to 3pm


Nat and I spent the day exploring Torquay. The first of our finds we wish to share with you is Echidna. Tucked away in an arcade in Gilbert Street, Echidna is bursting with colour, texture and an eclectic mix of things you just won’t find anywhere else.

Echidna Torquay

The force behind Echidna is Sue Ingpen. Inspired by natural fibres, traditional handwork and contemporary trends Sue designs all of the Echidna products, from hand knitted rugs and crochet cushions to beautiful screen printed papers to hand bound journals.

Echidna started from the concept of getting original designed product made well and made ethically. Just because something is ethical it does not mean that it lacks impact. Every Echidna product is intrinsically unique, handmade by artisans, sourced locally or made by a women’s fair trade co-operative group in Nepal.  Sue heads over to work with the group twice a year to create her Spring Summer and Autumn Winter collections.

Echidna stocks beautiful ceramics, clothing, knitwear, home wears and a great selection of unique gifts, vintage items and children’s toys. Echidna also sells hand dyed yarns, books and materials for the designer/maker. Our favourites are the knee length stripe socks and patterned scarves. Not to mention the amazing throw rugs!

Don’t despair, if you are not local you can visit Echidna’s new store in Kyneton that is opening on the 7th of September at Shop 56 Piper Street, Kyneton, open Wednesday to Saturday 10-4pm  and Sunday 11-4pm.

We will be bringing you more of our Torquay finds soon. Stay tuned.

Quirk Collective

Where: Shop 85 Pakington Street, Geelong West

When: Wed – Fri 10 to 5, Sat 9 to 5 & Sun 11 to 2


Ph: 5229 9930

One of Oh! Hello Geelong’s biggest loves is going adventuring (of the shopping kind of course), especially when it’s to unchartered waters that we’ve never explored before! So as you can imagine we were a little excited when we received a special invitation to visit Geelongs newest design shoppe (complete with gallery space and it’s very own photography whiz) that goes by the sweet moniker Quirk Collective! Okay, so you’re probably thinking retail space, on trend designer pieces and fashion, gallery, art, photography…all under one roof? Impossible! Well not when you have Kate McLaren and Róża Marciniak, two incredibly intelligent, driven and über talented women in the driver’s seat! Together these two amazing ladies have created a unique experience and a space that G-towners will soon be calling one of their favourites!


A melting pot…

Quirk Collective is perfectly located in Geelong West in what was once a chiropractor’s practice; not that you would ever guess given the open plan interiors and beautiful displays! The space itself was born out of Kate and Róża’s desire to take their passion for art and design to a new level; Kate is the creator of beautiful handbags and accessories under the name iz & lotte, while Róża has completed training in photography and fine art printing. The result of this collaboration is a beautiful store that supports independent makers, handmade products and items with a conscience; an intimate gallery space that will host a broad range of art and design exhibitions and a new avenue for locals to develop their photography skills and produce beautiful photographic pieces.

A splash of shopping…

The shopping side of Quirk Collective is certainly a treat for those who love unique pieces and cute and innovate design. Some of Kate’s current favourites include Monolog clothing (they have recently collaborated with polymer clay queen Emily Green, we got to see a few pieces straight from the box!), brikch’s linen range, jewellery from local brand Ernest and Joe and the range of pieces from Rachel Hine and A Piece of Cloth. Oh! Hello Geelong’s favourites include; All About Heidi shoes for tiny tots, the range of fun ottomans by Mookah (who include some Ink and Spindle fabrics – divine), Iz + Lotte range – especially the felted bead necklaces, LOVE the range of wood pieces from Snug Studio, Jessalin Screen printed Tee’s, Status Anxiety wallets, Brun Mugs and plates, Edison Light Bulb vases and the Me + Frankie wooden racks and tree houses. We also love the cute vintage tables created by Round Room Interiors, and the funny selection of cards and tea towels by Anrol Designs. Pretty much everything, really…

A dollop of art and design…

And what about this gallery we mentioned? Once you have walked through and drooled over all the lovely items in the store, take a few more steps and you will find yourself in a gorgeous gallery space with lots of wall and floor space that will be filled throughout the year with a range of exhibitions from local and visiting artists and designers! During Oh! Hello Geelong’s visit Róża’s own exhibition titled “Land of Thunder Dragon: Bhutan and Beyul” was showing, which highlighted the true “art” involved in capturing and producing beautiful photographs.


And a pinch of photography…

Speaking of photography, Quirk Collective has invested in a state of the art digital printer for fine art printing, which is very very exciting for local (and non-local) photographers. Róża is available by appointment to collaborate with both amateur and professionals photographers to produce the finest quality prints.



There are hundreds of reasons to visit Quirk Collective but for Oh! Hello Geelong the best reason to visit is to experience a new way of enjoying art and design. Thanks Kate and Róża for giving us a tour of your wonderful world and sharing a little philosophy along the way!

PS: if you are like most people and have a digital camera that you want to get the most out of, make sure to get in touch with the girls at Quirk Collective, who will be running introductory camera courses in March/April 2013! They will also be running advanced courses and Photoshop classes too!

PPS: If you are an artist or designer and you are looking for a space to exhibit your work, give Róża a call, she’s happy to help!


Love Penny + Laura

It’s Our 1st Birthday + A Super Massive Giveaway!!

Can you believe it’s been one whole year since Oh! Hello Geelong first said…“Oh! Hello” to the big wide world? Crazy huh! The last 12 months has been such an amazing rollercoaster ride of new friends, fabulous places, brilliant talent and design, perky teas and coffee and oh so heavenly food! But the best part is that we’ve been able to share it all with so many of you! We want to say a huge thank you (with loads of hugs and kisses) to all our readers and everyone featured on the blog in 2012, for hopping on the Oh! Hello Geelong train and sharing this wonderful journey with us – it’s your support and energy that motivates us to keep looking for the next great G-town adventure!

Now Oh! Hello Geelong simply could not let such a super special milestone go by without doing something a little awesome to celebrate! We also thought this was THE perfect time to collaborate once more with some of our lovely and talented friends in Geelong and across the region who we’ve featured in the last 12 months.  

And so, it’s with huge excitement that we bring to you the Oh! Hello Geelong first birthday SUPER MASSIVE GIVEAWAY! And we’re not kidding when we use the words SUPER and MASSIVE – these prizes are seriously special and showcase what a great variety of products are available right here in our beautiful region (and while you’re looking through the giveaways be sure to revisit our 2012 features!). 

So to avoid disappointment please read our entry conditions below and make sure you enter…you’ve got to be in it to win it right?!

Thank you to everyone who has participated in this fabulous celebratory giveaway!


VERY IMPORTANT!   Terms, Conditions and things to note:

  • This competition is open only  to Australian residents.
  • To enter you must like our Facebook page and leave your name and postcode in a comment on this blog post. 
  •  Competition closes Friday 8th February at 5pm.
  •  Winners will be drawn at random by Oh! Hello Geelong and announced on the blog by Monday 10th February.
  •  Prizes cannot be returned or exchanged for other products, cash or vouchers.


1st birthday PHOTOS-#2

And HERE  is The SUPER MASSIVE Giveaway Prize Listing : 

A Skulk of Foxes

Studio Shop – Shop 17 Pakington Street, Geelong West

Giveaway – Silver Folk Fox Stud earrings (rep. $69.00 ) AND a Silver Folk Fox Keepsake Locket (rep. $179.00)

How would you describe your work in three words?

Best job ever!

Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?

2012 : Tough question as there were many! A few of them were creating our lockets and having such a great response to them; collaborating with the super-talented Madeleine Stamer; working on artwork for the Falls Festival AND bring asked to sign one of our pieces for Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips to hang in his house!

2013 : Moving house, having all 3 kids at school and creating some special one-off pieces.

What is the best thing about living in our region?

Having the best of both worlds; being so close to Melbourne and the Surf Coast!


Sassica + Salter

224 Pakington Street, Geelong West

Giveaway – Le Creuset gift including Le Creuset 24cm Deep Casserole (rrp $230.00), Le Creuset Cream Apron (rrp $39.95) and Le Creuset Silicone Spoonula (rrp $16.95)

How would you describe your store in three words
Sassica + Salter in 3 words: relaxing, inspiring, uncluttered

Highlight of 2012? 
The highlight was being featured as part of the Oh! Hello Geelong Blog (gush) and consequently The Design Files in August! I am looking forward to seeing lots of new stock additions to my stock range that haven’t been seen in Geelong, let alone Australia!
What is the best thing about living in our region?
The relaxed nature of living, great customers who support small business and being so close to Melbourne without the traffic!

Elroy Ink

Giveaway – “Velvet Stems” Limited Edition Art print (rrp $240.00)

How would you describe your work in three words?
Elroy Ink in 3 words: abstract, colourful, engaging
Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?
2012 : Highlight for 2012? Being featured in The Design Files was exciting and really helped to establish Elroy Ink in 2012.
2013 : This year we’re looking at developing some interesting new products and exploring the potential of some one-off original works.
What is the best thing about living in our region?
The best thing about living in the region (especially this time of year) is the proximity to so many great beaches. I’m happy in the knowledge that my kids will grow up to be little art and music loving grommies!


Boom Gallery

11 Rutland Street, Newtown

Giveaway – A Polly bowl by Lab De Stu designer Dale Hardiman (rrp $48) AND a timber geometric wall sculpture by John Heritage (rrp $260) constructed from Cassinia Aicuata timbers, oil paint.

How would you describe your cafe / gallery etc in three words?
art + design + coffee
Highlight of 2012?
Our 2012 highlight was the feature on your blog! (aw thanks guys) and subsequently The Design Files blog and the great exposure and love that followed!
What is the best thing about living in our region?
Best thing about living in the region would be the proximity to gorgeous beaches and Melbourne and the cruisey pace of Geelong. We also love the burgeoning interest and enthusiasm for the arts



Giveaway – A $100 Patturn Voucher

How would you describe your work in three words?

customised, vintage, chic

Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?
2012 : Our two children who never fail to delight me while simultaneously wearing me out!
2013 : I’m looking forward to new creative challenges. I have so many ideas to get through I’m not sure where to start – and there are only 11 months remaining of 2013!!
What is the best thing about living in our region?
We have SO many lifestyle advantages but my all-time favourite thing to do with my hubby on a sunny day is grab a lunch of steamed mussels from the boat guy (next to Fisherman’s Pier Restaurant), take it to a local bit of park by the bay and tuck in… yum!!!


A Piece of Cloth

Studio Shop – 9/100 Lower Paper Mill Rd. Fyansford

Giveaway – Hand made Queen Size ‘Cross’ Quilt (rrp $350)

How would you describe your work in three words?
vintage + antique + textiles
Highlight of 2012?
My highlight of 2012 was opening up the studio and I look forward to sharing my vintage and antique textile stash with everyone!
What is the best thing about living in our region?
The amazing opportunities it has to offer, like finding my beautiful heritage listed studio in Fyansford only 5 minutes from the city centre!


The Flower Dispensary

333 Pakington Street, Newtown

Giveaway – Edenborough Evans personalised sterling silver necklace valued at $79 and a bracelet as well, valued at $69

How would you describe your shop in three words?
“A Sensory Haven”
Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?
Highlight of 2012? Being asked to be part of the Oh Hello Geelong-The Geelong City Guide it really created a buzz for local retail businesses.
In 2013 we look forward to creating more wedding flowers and also offering a flower workshop
(stay tuned for more details!)
What is the best thing about living in our region?
That we’re lucky enough to have the surf coast on our doorstep and still be less than an hour away to Melbourne. Our region offers a great variety of activities & services for young and old.


Living Etc

High Street + Mount Pleasant Road, Belmont

Giveaway – MRD small Ginger Table Lamp (rrp. $299)

How would you describe your store in three words?
unique, eclectic and inspiring
Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?
2012 : Opening our sister store Lighting etc!
2013 : We’re looking forward, as always, to our trips to Milan and Hong Kong to source new designs for fabulous quality furniture and lighting.
What is the best thing about living in our region?

The best thing about living in our region? Our lovely clients!!!


Laura Blythman  .  Studio

Giveaway – A3+ ‘It’s called love’and A4+ ‘dream catching’ Art Prints  (rrp $55 and $35)


Kiitos – Living By Design

Giveaway – A Marimekko fabric Sumam,  designed to be stretched onto a 120cm x 120cm canvas (rrp. $169.00)

Shop 2 5-7 Bridge Road, Barwon Heads

How would you describe your store in three words?

Bright , contemporary , uplifting

Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Growing as a business, introducing amazing new brands. Having products featured in national design magazines including products on the front of Inside Out magazine

What is the best thing about living in our region? 

The relaxed yet vibrant feel in Barwon Heads. It is equally has pleasant in the dead of Winter and in the middle of  the Summer when the town is full of happy holiday makers


Rock Rose Handmade

Giveaway – A pair of rose shaped “Vintage Button” earrings 

How would you describe your store in three words?
“Curated, beautiful and ethical”.
Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?
2012 : The highlight of 2012 for me was opening my store- and I am looking forward to growing it in 2013.
2013 : This year I hope to exhibit my store at some of Australia’s very lovely design and boutique markets and I’m also reaching out for some lovely new makers.
What is the best thing about living in our region?
I’d have to say that the best thing about our region is a balmy ocean breeze on a hot summer’s day.



148 Pakington Street, Geelong West

Giveaway – $100 gift voucher

How would you describe your store in three words?
eclectic + homely + layered
Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?
Having great staff I can rely on which has given me more creative time to hand make individual items for the shop and recharge my creative batteries! Priceless! In 2013 I am looking forward to the online store finally being up and running!



c/41 Hitchcock Ave, Barwon Heads

Giveaway – Kids Madpax bag (rrp $64.95)

How would you describe your store in three words?
playful, quirky, interesting
Highlight of 2012?
It’s really hard to define one thing as a highlight…what has made me smile a lot in the past year has been the dedication and enthusiasm of our lovely staff who are sharing this journey with us. For bambolotta 2013 will see the introduction of some beautiful new children’s clothing brands and other products which are functional, fun and parent friendly.
What is the best thing about living in our region?
Our region has great accessibility to a diverse range of things to see and do; the beach, the bush and the city are only a hop, skip and a jump from where ever you are. There is something for everyone!

Flower Bowl
8 Ormond Street, East Geelong
Giveaway – One of their famous Tea cup floral arrangements and a Prissy Nail Polish
How would you describe your shop in three words?
Quirky creative florals
Highlight of 2012?
Some amazing weddings that kept us super busy!
Cartel Tea Room
6/21 Leather Street, Breakwater
Giveaway – $50 worth of tea or organic herbal tisanes
How would you describe your tea house in three words?
unique + everything TEA
What are you forward to in 2013?
Letting the people of Geelong know that they have the largest range of teas available in Australia right under their nose!
What is the best thing about living in our region?
The ability to improve and grow and know your customers


91 Garden Street, East Geelong Vic 3219

Giveaway – a Curio + Curio Orange Spot Screen Printed Cushion (rrp. $110)

How would you describe your store in three words?

Dynamic, Evolving + Tempting

Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?

2012 : Highlight : always to see our GOOSE signature wrapped gifts heading out the door.

2013 : On the hunt once again + the thrill of new discoveries.

What is the best thing about living in our region?

Geelong is large enough to get a little lost, yet small enough to know everyone (or at least somebody who knows somebody). It’s also a wonderful gateway to the surrounding areas which we enjoy exploring when we get the chance.


Joco Cup

Giveaway – 1 x Joco Cup (rrp. $24.95)

How would you describe your product in three words?

creative, caring & reusable

Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?

2012: Launching Joco Cups to the world.

2013: The excitement of adding new products and accessories to the Joco Cup range.

What is the best thing about living in our region?

The wonderful surprises in the most unlikely places.

Thanks and Good luck everyone! xx
Penny + Laura

Q&A with Jessica Bubb of Neon Indian – Plus a GIVEAWAY!!!

A local online destination: Neon Indian
We have been so busy lately (like everyone at this time of year) and our visits into the ‘real’ world ie: leaving the house to physically explore Geelong and surrounds have been few and far between (unfortunately) . So, Oh! Hello Geelong has inevitably stumbled across some adorable local online stores in recent months and we think the online homewares and interiors boutique Neon Indian is definitely up there with the best of them. What Oh! Hello Geelong loves about Neon Indian is that its owner, Jessica Bubb, has created and styled a simple online shopping space that is contemporary and visually appealing with a neat collection of thoughtfully selected wares making this little online shop a pleasure to visit. Beyond the shopping component Jess has started a lookbook which brings to life new looks, styles, ideas and products, which we look forward to seeing more of in the future!  Jess has been kind enough to take a few minutes out of her busy action-packed facebook, tumblr, bloglovin, online shop schedule to tell us a little bit about herself and her little piece of neon. Thanks Jess xx
Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and what led you to creating this online shopping destination.
I have always had an interest in fashion and styling and for many years I dreamt of opening a clothing boutique. As the years went by however my vision shifted from clothing to homewares and accessories; and then from a physical space to an online boutique. I was attracted to online shopping because people can visit the store no matter the time or their location. Neon Indian originally started as a blog and tumblr, which I updated regularly, and which I used as my visual online mood and inspiration board. My background is in
the fashion industry; I have been a production assistant and a buyer for ladieswear clothing for
a few of Australia’s biggest retailers, so with the experience that I gained, my passion for homewares, interior styling and my obsession for online shopping, Neon Indian was a natural progression. After many years “thinking but not acting” on opening my own business, I resigned from my fulltime job to a few months ago to launch Neon Indian.
What is the story behind the name?
I have always had an obsession with neon lights and somehow I have always dressed up as an Indian for any fancy dress functions that I have attended. I know it sounds simple but I really liked the sound of the two words put together…Neon Indian. 
What can people expect to find when perusing your lovely online store? What are some of the products Neon Indian?
I wanted the product assortment to be something different from what you would expect to see in an online boutique and aren’t so readily available. Neon Indian is focused on hand made items with a story and something that you wouldn’t see in a department store. I like to mix well-known brands such as Blacklist Studio Prints, Pony Rider and The Market Co, with handmade vintage items such as Turkish cushions and tassel clutches which are made in Thailand. Everything that we sell on Neon Indian is something that I would love to have in my own house or wear myself.
What are your favourite products at Neon Indian?

Pretty much everything but I’ll try and list just a few! I love to have a candle burning at all times at home so naturally I have selected a great range of candles for the Neon Indian collection including Salus Body, Palm Beach Collection Candles and Maison Balzac. Neon Indian is one of the only online stockists of Maison Balzac and we are the only stockist in Geelong.  I also use my French market basket almost everyday, it’s perfect for shopping, work, catching up with friends, the beach…and the list goes on! I also highly recommend using the Rosebud Salve, it’s a classic lip balm and comes in a really cute tin.
What does the future hold for Neon Indian? Will there ever be a physical retail space?
In the short term, my goal is for the online site to continue growing and for people to be inspired when they visit on the site. To open my own shop was always my dream and honestly it still is but at the moment my focus is the online boutique. What I can tell you is that I am hoping to open a pop up store in the new year – watch this space!
In general, what are your biggest inspirations? Favourite artists, people, music, books?
I am not inspired by one particular person or artist, my creative inspiration comes from the many fashion, style and interior blogs that I read everyday. Actually I’m a bit obsessed about these blogs, I could be on the internet for hours. I also love magazines such as Russh and Inside Out. When it comes to my business inspiration I get a lot of energy from one of my good friends Rebeccah Vivian who owns Blondie Hair & Cosmetica in East Geelong (Oh! Hello Geelong loves Blondie too).
How long have you lived in the Geelong region?
I was born in Geelong and have lived here most of my life, this is where all my friends, family and partner live. I have travelled overseas a lot over the years and loved every minute of it but I am happy to call Geelong home.
What is the region’s best kept secret?
I am not sure of any secrets but I do love to walk and run around the Geelong Botanical Gardens, it’s really beautiful out there. I also love visiting the Mill Markets in North Geelong and Newcomb. Oh, and there is a café on Ryrie street in town called Adelphi; they make the most amazing Moroccan chicken salad sandwiches – you have to try one!
Do you have a quote or saying you live by?
 “What’s meant to be; will be”. I really believe in this quote, I think that everything happens for a reason and if it’s right it will happen. I also have a tattoo on my side which reads “breathe” because every once in a while you need to stop what you are doing, compose yourself, reflect and breathE
*All photos courtesy of Neon Indian
Jess has ALSO very generously offered a $60 gift voucher to one lucky Oh! Hello Geelong reader! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling us what you would spend your 60 Neon Indian dollars on! We know we’d probably snap up a “Kiss My Neon” print  – sooo good!  
Good Luck!!


1. Leave a comment on this blog post telling us : what you would spend your 60 Neon Indian dollars on!

3. Competition closes at 5pm  FRIDAY 18th JANUARY – We’ll notify the winners via email and facebook. Winners must make contact within 48 hours or their prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be selected.

4.  To enter you must like our Facebook Page


Thanks Jess!
Love Penny + Laura