It seems there is no stopping bustling Braddon from bursting at the seams. The latest venture to launch at the Ori Building is AGENCY, a new high-end store by Craft ACT: Craft & Design Centre that opens to the public this Friday (3 July). Wendy Johnson checks out the diverse range of arts and crafts on display and for sale.
Agency is no ordinary store. It has a new and innovative approach and it’s not just with the work of the designers and artists it is stocking. “We’re selling a service, experience and lifestyle all in one go,” says Halie Rubenis, Business Development and Retail Manager. But what does that mean?
It means offering a broader product range, introducing more designers and artists, and even making virtually everything in the store, including fixtures, fittings and accessories, available for customers to buy. “The fit-out is beautiful and we know it will draw a lot of attention, so we decided to make what we display for sale,” says Halie. “Some items, like shelving units and display cabinets, can be customised to suit home or office needs. It’s about changing the way customers think and interact with us. That’s the ‘experience’ part of the deal.”
And so customers can by shelving units by Ned Moss, wall hooks by Studio Henry Wilson, display cabinets by Designcraft, and lighting by companies such as Affinity Electrical Technologies. Agency will also stock the work of a large and diverse stable of local and Australian designers and artists—a dynamic line up of furniture, fashion, textiles, jewellery, ceramics, homeware, and even custom bikes.
“We’re aiming for 150 local and Australian creatives with more coming on board over time, each carefully vetted and selected,” says Halie. “For some it’s their first opportunity to sell their work in Canberra, which is amazing.” Customers can expect to see the work of goldsmith Sabine Pagan, ceramics by Gail Nichols, fashion design by Corr Blimey, including their new collection launched at FASHFEST, lighting by Rohan Nicol, textiles by Al Munro, jewellery and objets d’art by Silver Atom, and custom bikes by Luke Laffan of Fikas Bikes, to name but a few creatives.
The new venture represents an historical and significant milestone for Craft ACT’s 40-year history. The previous Craft ACT shop has already closed and the space will be used for DESIGN Canberra HQ. AGENCY will play an important role in supporting designers and artists in their professional practice. It will also, from time to time, showcase individual artists and work with designers and artists on collaborations, including on new product development.
Pulling the store together has been a fabulous experience, says Hailey, partly because many businesses and individuals joined in providing their expertise and supplies. The timber floor was provided by Thor’s Hammer, for example, and some practical services were supplied at a sponsorship rate, including plumbing by Flow Plumbing & Gasfitting and air-conditioning and heating by BEMS Services. Canberra’s Swell Design Group designed the branding and Jeremy Lepisto produced the signage.
Agency at the Ori Building will be open this Friday. Regular store hours are Tuesday to Sunday.
Follow AGENCY on: https://www.facebook.com/AGENCYbyCraftACTref=h
Website coming soon