I thought it would be a couple more years before I was writing this post, but fate arrived on my doorstop (or Facebook newsfeed) and here we are.
I HAVE A STUDIO SPACE :)
I had began to look for a space to move my studio into as I had very much outgrown the space I was using at home. I had soon realised that although there were vacant shops everywhere, some that had been sitting almost derelict for years and years, nobody was renting within my budget, so I had shelved the idea for a couple more years. Then I saw a post on Facebook from Regional Development Australia advertising the Renew Project which calls for people to occupy empty spaces. I contacted them and the terms suited me and my circumstances so I applied and was given the keys to 33 Oxide Street. This was a great opportunity to have a go and see if a commercial space would suit me and if I could financially support it without the obligation of signing into a long term lease.
Then began a whole shipload of hard work. Juggling between work that I already had booked, general life, a heap of winter sickness and a few other hiccups, every night after kids bedtime (8pm) off I would go. It took 4 coats of white paint, hours of cleaning, some floor sealer, some laminate flooring to cover damaged areas, a false wall and I had my blank canvas. My Mum was my biggest supporter through this time. She helped me nearly every night, painting, scrubbing, moving things. I really could not have done this without her! Also thanks to my Dad for laying the flooring, Renew for organising the false wall, my partner Mitch for installing some brackets for my backdrops, Jade Signs Broken Hill for my window signage
This old shop was a bit of a fixer upper which just needed a little bit of love. I have said all along I love this little shop, and if properties could love, I think it would love me right back. I'm still not sure if this will be a permanent situation for me, only time will tell, but for now it's pretty awesome and I feel very thankful.
Our little corner of Oxide Street is being brought back to life. One shop over from me is The Tiny Cactus. The owner Claire also saw the potential in the Renew Project and opened her store showcasing her handmade sterling and fine silver jewellery, clothing and homewares. Her shop is so bright and funky and sure to put a smile on your face. Pay her a visit, you will be glad you did.
If you own a commercial space in Broken Hill that is sitting empty, please consider the Renew project. It really is a great mutually beneficial initiative. For more information about Renew Far West contact Leesa at Regional Development Australia on (08) 8087 8383 or visit the pages linked below:
Before Photos - 33 Oxide Street, Broken Hill: