Its amazing what you can visualise when thinking outside of the box. When we started looking for a space to house Island Collective we never really knew what we were looking for but had some key words in our minds.

Unconventional, adaptable, a different retail experience for this area, studio space and definitely no traditional shop fittings.

When we first entered this space, an old leaky boat sat dorment in the middle of the room and the space looked like an abandoned renovation project. Many would run, but under its cosmetic downfalls, lay a beautiful aura or essence of a past.

It felt right to keep some of the original features to keep true to where is it, in an industrial area so wanted to keep that edge and honesty.

We have always loved the old bricks seen in lofts and warehouses in stylish places like NY, could we possibly have a little NY in a small coastal town like Yamba?

The space was going to be used for so many different things, retail, workshops and events. White was the most obvious colour to use but what really was an eye sore was the large red brick wall.

After researching different ways of changing red bricks in interior design, we got a friend to lightly plaster the bright red brick and fill the deep and dust collecting mortar joints with plaster. Then on with the breathing mask, heavy gloves and clothing so no skin was showing and applying Hydrochloric Acid and let it start to eat back through into the plaster. With a heavy steel brush we scrubbed back through to reveal some of the red brick and after 3 applications of acid, the wall looked just how we wanted it.

After year and half the opportunity came up to rent the adjoining retail space, which had a corner position, lots more natural light, not to mention one third extra retail space, so we jumped at the chance and within days the dividing wall came down.

One of the best things we did was run industrial strength stainless steel wires across the entire ceiling at around 1.5 metres apart so we could utilise the ceiling space. Coming from a sculptural background we understand how to get clients or an audience to engage and that is by making them have to move around objects (we know its not very marketing savvy) but this wasn’t going to be a traditional shop to start with.

Looking back at these before and now pictures really make us love the space even more and no doubt in the future (because we can’t help ourselves) there will be more changes to come, watch this space!

From your Island Tribe

THEN…..

NOW….

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