Quirk Collective

Where: Shop 85 Pakington Street, Geelong West

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

Web: www.quirkcollective.net

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

Handmade heaven at Artefact Market

When: we visited on a balmy Friday evening (16th March 2012)

Where: All Saints’ Hall, 113 Noble Street, Newtown

A church hall full of handmade things…our idea of heaven!

Oh! Hello Geelong is still coming down from the high of its most recent blogging adventure…a trip to the Artefact Market! With one super exhausted post bad day in the office lady (Penny) and one very tired Mama and bubba (Laura & Alexander), attempting a Friday evening expedition could have been a recipe for Oh! Hello Geelong disaster! However crisis was averted after a delish glass of bubbly, super welcoming and friendly chats and the making of an amazing list of discoveries.


Celebrating local handmade goodness…

The Artefact Market (originally called The Artists’ Market) was established around four years ago by a sister duo who wanted to show off (and rightly so) and sell handmade wonders created by Geelong’s local artists and designers. The market was a fast success and a strong local following developed. The job of running the market was taken over 12 months ago by Delia Boatwood, Melissa Laffy and Di Mead, who together with a small committee host this beautiful market three times a year at the All Saints’ Hall (such a pretty space).

The market itself is the coming together of like-minded people who have a passion for making and creating by hand. The market showcases such a lovely selection of super creative design, craft and handiwork  Most of the artists and designers at the market have regular day jobs and put their creative hats on in their spare time (so inspiring), which adds to the relaxed and joyful feel of the market.


So much to LOVE…

We discovered many things on Friday night. Including that trying to juggle a pram, champagne glasses, a camera and an active little man makes photographing and note taking a little tricky. But despite the obstacles we found some really fab stalls that stood out for us! The 3 lovely market organisers are among those stall holders with fabulous wares. There was IMI Design (stands for I Made It – cute ha?!) by Delia Boatwood and her husband Rick have a unique range of metal art work, including barbed wire balls, as well as bright cotton scarves, cards and wheat bags. We also loved Reddy Inc created by the bright and colourful Melissa Laffy, her range included beautiful woolen up-cycled garments & accessories as well as her New York inspired photography woodblock canvasses (Oh, New York – one day we’ll meet you!) . We are also big big fans of Di Mead’s range of gorgeous illustrative framed screen prints, cards, buntings and textiles. Other creatives include the selection of chunky and bright resin jewellery by Olive Brown Designs (LOVING the colours), Little Golden Treasures and their nostalgic collection of childrens blocks and accessories made out of vintage Golden Story books, Bunny & Birdy’s vintage lady brooches and dolls, the elegant ceramic jewellery by Sylvia Segon and Midas & Nero’s lamps and cushions using our favourite Ink & Spindle prints.  And for it’s pure cute as a crumpet and kook factor, we really loved Wombat’s Picnic felted food range; weetbix and bananas never looked so sweet!

As for food of the edible kind, the market had a selection of the most delicious looking sweet delights fromSteampocket Pizzeria & Cafe  next visit we will bring empty stomachs!

Oh! And flowers! they even had a flower stall by Roberstons Farmgate, a delicious smelling stall right by the entrance. Perfect.

Catching the handmade love bug…

It’s been happening for a while now, but this market again proves that gone are the days when handmade items are associated only with old nannas with a blue rinse and a pair of knitting needles. Handmade has grown into a passion shared by women and men of all ages, shapes and sizes. And whilst the end product is unique and special, it is the passion of making that provides the common thread!!!

We were hugely overwhelmed by the warm welcome we received from the three organisers Mel, Delia and Di and Amanda Jane Hill (our lovely friend from Eclectica who was also there selling her own range of handmade jewellery), who made us feel right at home and gave us the low down and the much needed booze! Thanks girls we had so much fun!

Love Penny + Laura

PS: the next Artefact market dates for 2012 are Friday 31st August (a lovely way to welcome Spring) and Friday 30th November (Christmas gift buying time we think!)

Yay! Our first ever post! A visit to the Design Doctor!

There is something really special about Merita Mannings and her store and you know this the minute you step inside the door of Design Doctor. You know that feeling you get when you visit your granny on a Sunday afternoon or when you think back to summer holidays from your childhood? Those memories leave you feeling warm, cosy and beautiful inside. Well, Design Doctor conjures up the same feelings and it’s all thanks to the creative foresight and passion of owner Merita.  Nestled in the heart of Herne Hill, Design Doctor is a treasure chest of goodness and so much more.

Merita describes her vision as “a vintage reference” and values “getting back to the simple things in life”. She hopes that her store will take people of all ages on a trip down memory lane and wishes to inspire people creatively. With her skills and knowledge of interior design, her knowledge of trends, retail experience and her love for what she does, Merita achieves all this and more!

Design Doctor is about to celebrate its 1st Birthday and indeed there’s lots to celebrate! The shop oozes loveliness, with gorgeous jewellery, interior decorations, homewares, soft furnishings and toys displayed throughout, it’s seriously hard to pick where in the shop to look first! Merita stocks a variety of local and national designs including; bonnie and neil, Seedling, Cheeky Little Soles, Mae Stickers, Me & Frankie, Eighty Days pillows, Radish & Ruth and Have You Met Miss Jones (to name just a few). She also stocks Monster Threads exclusively and has a bright palette of their T-Shirts in store.

Merita’s favourite items in the store include her cute variety of mushroom jewellery and designs, everything with polka dots, her removable decorative stickers and designs with inspirational sayings. Merita also loves products with interesting textures, which we love too! Merita is really looking forward to the arrival of her new season stock, which includes cushions and fabulous knitted products (locally designed here in Geelong) including jewellery, dolls and tea cosies. Merita is also excited about the arrival of her new range of homewares and whimsical jewellery. So much cuteness to come!

Oh, and if you have little cherubs in tow when you visit the Design Doctor store, Merita has created a special play area just for them! This is just another example of the care and thoughtfulness that has gone into this cosy little shop in our new hometown!

And so you don’t think it’s just Oh! Hello Geelong who love Design Doctor, two lovely Herne Hill-ites popped in to say hello and told Merita “it’s lovely to have a shop like this in our local area!” Go Merita!

Design Doctor, 8/5 Minerva Road, Herne Hill, Geelong – Ph: 5272 1113

Love Penny + Laura