We’re pretty lucky in that our work means we speak to a lot of retailers around Australia. We tap into the minds of some of the most creative, talented small to medium business owners in the country, and it’s a delight to find out more about their stores.
So (with a level of faux gravitas) we can now adamantly say Fremantle’s Corner Store wins our vote for the most fun, personality-plus people we’ve encountered for quite a while.
It is without question also a charming, delightful store; a veritable riot of colour brimming with gifts, furniture and gorgeous third-drawer down finds stocked by the owners because they simply buy what they love, and hope others will love it, too.
But it’s also just so much fun – a beautiful store that visually beckons, but balances its terrific looks with plenty of personality.
One of the four owners, Kevin, is perhaps the resident Peter Pan of the business. He and his wife Caroline left their careers in fashion to establish Corner Store with Caroline’s brother Adam and his wife, Annie. Kevin lamented that he was ‘getting too old to sell skinny jeans to young kids’. Annie came from a legal background (‘it’s good to have someone sensible around,’ says Kevin) and Adam from manufacturing/engineering (‘he calls himself logistics but I prefer Cardboard Controller’ – Kevin again!).
Annie and Caroline are the main creative drivers behind buying the beautiful stock, which features all manner of gift ideas including Uashmama washable paper bags from Tuscany, Corner Store Liberty cushions, lampshades and leather purses and Danish super brand, Rice Homewares. Dutch lover of all things Mexican, Kitsch Kitchen, is also a really popular line in the store and Corner Store carries a huge range of oilcloth by the roll together with their favourite and fabulous Parisian artist, Nathalie Lété’s ceramics and silk scarves.
Impressively, Corner Store is the exclusive West Australian stockist for furniture brand La Maison, along with a lovely range of French provincial and American Hamptons styled furniture – perfect additions for a relaxed, stylish home.
There’s a whimsical, laissez-faire flair to Corner Store. You can tell everything has all just come together out of a love for the beautiful, the original, and the charismatic, versus a strategic notion of being homogenously ‘on-brand’ (yawn).
But it’s still a mystery as to what Kevin does.
He tells us he wraps square gifts with incredible skill, before pointing out that although Corner Store delights in free gift wrapping, Kevin’s happy to take tips.
Visit Corner Store for the kind of lovely finds that make for perfect gifts, as well as wonderful pieces for your own home. And if it’s Kevin’s shift, put him under pressure and get him to wrap something without right angles – we’d like to hear how he performs under pressure!