FRITH – Barwon Heads

Who: Frith

Where: 58 Hitchcock Avenue Barwon Heads

Ph: 5254 1811

You know those times where you have a friend’s house warming in two hours time and you need a little present to take with you; eek so much pressure! Or what about those times where all you need is THE perfect accessory to finish off an outfit for a party later on? We’ve all been there! It’s so nice to have some stores nearby where you know you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for; no hassle, no fuss. Frith, in beautiful Barwon Heads, is the type of shop we’re talking about. With a lovely range of homewares and stylish clothes and accessories, it’s pretty impossible not to find that perfect something you need .

Sisters are doing it for themselves…

Frith is owned and operated by Anna and Tess Fitzpatrick, two super cute sisters with oodles of style . The girls took over the store around 3 ½ years ago, taking over from the previous owners who had run it for 6 years. Whilst the name hasn’t change (Frith means river mouth in Gaelic, loving the Irish connection) the girls have definitely made it their own. With Anna’s passion for painting and the arts and Tess’ styling and design prowess (and a little help from their architect sister), the girls have created a suitably relaxed and laid back feel for a seaside village store. As well, the girls decided to broaden the store’s range by introducing clothing and new accessories to the well established homewares collection.

So many loves…

The girls’ range is modern and chic, with many well known brands popping up! As always, Oh! Hello Geelong love a huge collection of Elk accessories, clothing and shoes. Other loves include; the bright range of Missoni homewares, Nancybird handbags, mud homewares, Love Mae wall stickers, the amazing range of oh so colourful James Jeans and Jam shoes (new addition to the Oh! Hello Geelong wish list). We also love the impressive range of Glasshouse Candles, which smell so delicious (and they make your house smell lovely for ages too!). As well as sharing all our loves, Anna and Tess are big fans of Melbourne clothing brand Cable, Nicole Fendel jewellery, Misuzi jewellery, Pratten’s eel skin wallets and Ester and Eric’s bright and cheerful range of candles all the way from Denmark.

Broadening horizons…

Whilst providing a beautiful range of products for their customers is really important to the girls, both have a secret passion for home renovations and interior design, which led them to establish an interior design service earlier this year. The girls are able not only to give great advice, direction and ideas on interior styling, but they can source beautiful furniture and other pieces to create a truly special space in your own home.

One big happy family…

Even though Frith is a small run family business, the girls feel like the Barwon Heads community is one big extended family and both spoke fondly of the supportive relationships they share with all the shop owners and locals from the area. Oh! Hello Geelong could really see that the girls love what they do and they love being where they are .

Thanks Anna and Tess for being so welcoming!

Love Penny + Laura

A visit to the studio of ‘A Skulk Of Foxes’

A Skulk Of Foxes

We are pretty confident that most Oh! Hello Geelong readers may have come across the super cool designs of A Skulk of Foxes’ in recent years. What readers may not know is that this much-loved brand is created, designed, made and managed right here in Geelong and has been for nearly 6 ½ years! Yep, that’s right, the brand known for its friendly folk fox face and its range of amazing silver, acrylic and timber jewellery, timber iPhone covers, soft furnishings and clocks is as local as they come! Oh! Hello Geelong was lucky enough to spend Sunday morning learning the tricks of the trade and the story behind the fox face, with the entire A Skulk of Foxes family (three cute and superbly behaved cubs included) at their Geelong West studio.

Dear Diary…

The couple behind A Skulk of Foxes is Natalie and Andrew Cirillo who together turned Natalie’s “hobby” into a booming business. The idea for the brand began life as a journal of ideas, which was compiled by Natalie while she and Andrew were living in Ealing in London. As the journal was growing so was Natalie’s and baby Milla’s fascination with a group of cheeky foxes who would come out every night for a rummage and stroll through the local streets only to disappear magically during the day. It was these foxes (collectively called a skulk of foxes) who inspired the logo and obviously the name of the brand we know today!! Such a beautiful story.

Coming to life…

When the couple arrived back in Australia, with journal and baby (and another one on the way) in tow, they decided to spend “a little” time in G-town with Andrew’s parents while they looked for a house to move into in Melbourne. However the couple fell in love with the homeliness of G-town and decided to set up their nest right here. After settling down and making their home, Natalie decided to open up her journal and make her ideas come to life. To get things started she enrolled into a silver smithing course at The Gordon, which she absolutely loved. It filled her with inspiration and loaded her up with the technical skills she needed to begin making her beautiful jewellery entirely by hand. Shortly after this Natalie began putting her range on the market and the orders began flooding in. It soon became obvious that Handy Andrew needed to come on board!

With Natalie’s background as a production manager in the fashion industry and silver smithing skills and Andrew’s experience in industrial design and computer animation, the couple was able to take A Skulk of Foxes to different levels through introducing new technologies and innovation to jewellery making and design. They are truly the perfect team, together they dream up concepts and bring their trademark folk and nature inspired illustrations to life through their well honed modern production techniques and a whole lot of team effort! Nothing mass produced here, each little element of every design is pieced together by these two super talented and patient people!

A peek behind the scenes…

It was super inspiring for us to see how much effort and love goes into each and every item made by A Skulk of Foxes, whether its their products to sell or the amazing Market and display stands. The studio was littered with little piles of ‘works in progress’, tiny silver and gold silhouette animals, doily’s and skulls, hand painted wooden iPhone covers, amazing moulds + prototypes, layers and layers of delicate laser cut woodland creatures, flowers, geometric shapes, silver pieces and beautiful little half made ‘ideas’ which may never actually make it to production.

We also feel pretty special that Andrew very kindly, charged up the mean laser cutting machine and made us 2 of the sweetest little timber Oh! Hello Geelong brooches! That machine is AMAZING!

It’s obviously no secret that we love all of their designs, but at the moment we have EXTRA love for a couple of their newer silver ranges, ‘Polyhedra’, a range of super cool 3D geometric shapes ”Inspired by the study of perfect geometry and patterns in 3d space”, and the precious keepsake collection of the most beautiful little silver lockets, beautifully embossed with their trademark Fox, Scull and Lovebirds designs …LOVE! Oh and, the timber engraved iPhone cases, yes please!

Working with others…

As well as being totally focused on evolving the brand and producing new fabulous goods, Natalie and Andrew are massive supporters of independent designers and makers. And they have a massive love for collaborating with other creatives. A Skulk of Foxes’ most recent collaboration, which Natalie is super excited about, is with Melbourne illustrator Madeline Stamer (the artist behind Little Circus Design). The result of this joint effort will be a range of striking silver lockets and earrings using some of Madeline’s bold and unique illustrations – including a very cool skull.  And in the pipeline, A Skulk of Foxes is working on another collaboration with Sydney-based illustrator Andrea Smith who we hear is working on a lovely little bird for the brand – can’t wait to see the final product!

Whilst A Skulk of Foxes can be found online, Natalie and Andrew also pop up at some of the big markets including Finders Keepers, the Big Design Market and Bower Bird Market.

Hard work + lots of love…

Oh! Hello Geelong was left feel totally in awe of the Cirillos and all they have achieved with A Skulk of Foxes! Proof that love and passion and a massive dose of talent in what you do goes a long, long way!

Love Penny + Laura

The Mill Markets (North Geelong)

The Mill Markets (North Geelong)

Where: 3 Mackey Street, North Geelong

When: 7 days a week 10am – 6pm

Web: www.millmarkets.com.au

We recently enjoyed yet another visit to The Mill Markets’ North Geelong site. And as always, Oh! Hello Geelong came down with a severe case of feverish excitement & hyperventilation. For many folks in Geelong, The Mill Markets have become somewhat of an institution, an amazing drawcard for this old town & the perfect way to entice our super savvy vintage shopping Melbournite friends to visit us here in our adopted home town. And for those who are yet to venture to this vintage recycled industrial furniture and objects melting pot, be prepared to be completely overwhelmed, the scale of the North Geelong site is nothing short of epic.

A G-Town institution…

Since its birth in 1985, The Mill Markets has grown from one lone site in Geelong West to a business that is located in Newcomb, the Geelong Waterfront, North Geelong, Ballarat, Warnambool and Daylesford. Each site houses a seriously massive and fabulous range of unique collectables, antiques and vintage clothing which is put together by individual stall holders who have an eagle eye for discovering fabulous treasures from the past.

North Side: the best of the best…

For Oh! Hello Geelong, whilst we love all The Mill Markets sites, we have a pretty big soft spot for the North Geelong site. Sadly we didn’t catch The Mill Markets’ man himself Ian Ballis however we were greeted by the friendly vintage enthusiast Nathan who allowed us to explore, snap pictures and adore to our hearts’ content.

What makes the North Geelong site even more special and fun to visit is the recent opening of a second store right next door to the original building! The new space follows the traditional Mill Markets concept; a multiple range of individual stalls offering an eclectic range of vintage clothing, antiques and collectables, including a very awesome juke box! The old space offers an immense range of industrial furniture + machinery and quirky vintage collectables, all from Ian’s own collection.

Here is a short list of the goods we thought were pretty fantastic:

Antique ladders, pigeonholes / cube shelving, massive work benches, trestle tables and display cabinets, old school desks, big wooden and plastic alphabet letters, wooden crates, glass jars, kitschy kitchen goods, suitcases, industrial pendant lights, vintage gig posters and art by David Bromley (which is scattered everywhere throughout both buildings).

Also there are loads of Mantiques (man + antiques): an old traffic light, rope ladders, golf clubs and tennis racquets, tool boxes & printing machines.

Industrial collectables: an endless number of vintage tin signage, industrial washing machine and ironing board, an old weaving contraption and theatre lights.

One-offs: an old church alter (we’re not lying), a pianola and a hot air balloon basket!

The Mill Markets are something really special (the people from The Block definitely think so) and we are proud as punch that we can tell everyone that it all started in our new hometown! And pretty chuffed that we can visit them any time we like too – hooray!

Love Penny + Laura

Kiitos – The dream destination! Plus a Marimekko GIVEAWAY!!

Kiitos  Living by Design

Where: 5 Bridge Road, Barwon Heads

When: Open daily 10 – 5.30

Phone: 5254 1835

Web: www.kiitos.com.au

It’s confession time. Oh! Hello Geelong absolutely loves travel, whether it’s a mini-break to Tokyo or island hopping in Thailand, the world is our oyster! Without doubt, one of our favourite travel activities is burrowing through shops, markets, galleries, and nooks and crannies in the search for extra special designer goods that we can’t find at home. So for Oh! Hello Geelong it was a scene of  joyous celebration when we discovered the wonderful world of Kiitos in Barwon Heads! Not only did we find an abundance of perfectly designed homewares, textiles, ceramics and accessories (many by some of our fav Scandinavian design geniuses) but the little car ride down the Bellerine highway and Kiitos itself almost created the illusion of being abroad on a European holiday!

 

And your pilot today is the lovely Maria…

Kiitos owner and founder Maria Malakellis is a woman who has a wonderful ability to inspire, to make you laugh and to make you feel pretty fantastic! Maria is also a woman with passion and drive that you can’t learn or buy, but just comes naturally. So it’s no surprise, with Maria at the helm, that Kiitos is the success it is today.

Maria’s relationship with Barwon Heads and business began as a little lass growing up in the area and working for her parents after school, where she developed a keen eye for display and an interest in good, well considered design. After having three children and making the decision to move away from the family business, Maria worked for some time in real estate only to find that she needed to do something of her own that was more in line with her passions. So after a gentle nudge in the right direction from a friend, Maria made the decision in 2009 to return to her old stomping ground and convert an old retro-style Shell garage at the end of Barwon Heads’ main street into a shop that would bring together some of the world’s best design houses and emerging Australian designers. And the result of course is Kiitos (which means thank you in Finnish – perfect!!!)

 

 

Flying first class….

Maria has a genuine love for great design and high quality products and is especially drawn to Scandinavian products, especially those from Finland (hence the shop name!). Kiitos houses a stunning hand-picked collection of super stylish and innovative homewares, apparel,  textiles, ceramics, gifts and accessories from Scandinavian designers and other international and local designers who produce the highest quality products. Kiitos’ high ceilings and stark white walls provide the perfect canvas for the store’s uber colourful products to shine. The textiles, ceramics, homewares, clothing and accessories made by iconic Finnish brand Marimekko add splashes of bold colour and pattern to the walls and shelves, while the famous Acapulco Chairs (all the way from Mexico), iittala glassware and the super trendy Baggu bags and Basil Bangs beach umbrellas add pops of vibrant fun to the shop floor. Meanwhile, Kiitos brings it all back down to earth with ranges including Architect Made Vedel birdsAesop skin care, By Joost ceramics and wooden boards by Nel Lusso.

Apart from those already mentioned,  other fab products include F!NK + Co jugs (from Canberra yay!), Chilewich table mats, Design House Stockholm’s fab sculptural lights, ceramics and doily bike baskets which are oh so cool (laura owns one – sooo pretty), Mini block art prints by Me + Amber, Eva Solo and Alessi homewares, Mattias Stahlblom Pendant Lamps, Jurgen Bags. Oh and we also loooove the range of SaltWater sandals and Funkis shoes.

 

 

Kiitos frequent flyers….

Kiitos is a wonderful celebration of the amazing talent, ingenuity and spirit that exists in the design world and it’s such a treat for us that it is so close to home. This really is a one-stop destination to a world of stunning goods and the best part is we don’t need a passport to get there!

PS: While Maria has travelled to Helsinki and the Paris trade fair, she doesn’t have to travel too far to find artistic talent. Maria’s daughter Erini Pantopolis is a talented young artist, who has a collection of divine sketches hanging in the store! Ask proud Mum Maria to point you in their direction, so amazing!

PPS: According to Finnish born Terhi (who now lives in Geelong and happened to be in the store at the same time as Oh! Hello Geelong), Kiitos is the place she goes when in need of a little piece of home and for her marimekko fix! It certainly gets the Fin seal of approval!

PPPS: And most importantly…thank you so much Maria, for everything, you have inspired us both to reach for the stars!

 

 

And last but not least, we have an AMAZING GIVEAWAY for two lucky Oh! Hello Geelong readers….

The incredibly generous Maria has offered us 2 of the most beautiful Marimekko cushions worth $45 each to give away to two VERY lucky Oh! Hello Geelong readers (one to each winner)… kiitos Maria!

All you have to do is comment on this post by midnight this Friday (the 18th) to be in the running!

Just tell us: How do YOU like to add a splash of colour to your home?

The lucky winners also need to ‘Like’ us on Facebook to be in the running.

Winners will be chosen by us and notified by email on Monday 21st May.

Good luck ladies and gents!

Love Penny + Laura