FK chats to Rebekah Cichero from her Adelaide store, One Small Room
Tell us a bit about One Small Room and the concept behind it.
One Small Room is an ever evolving installation of new and old furniture, homewares, clothing, jewellery and more. A room setup as it might be in your home. It helps customers see how pieces might work in their home with their existing bits and bobs. The idea was and still is to sell ‘upcycled’ furniture and homewares along with desginer maker pieces. Pieces that have a good design element to them and some heart and soul. A bit of old and a bit of new. We wanted to support designer makers by showing how their pieces could happily sit with selected furniture that had already lived a life but still has so much to give! We wanted to be responsible in our purchasing, and recycling instead of always buying brand new is a great way to do this. We like to think One Small Room helps create unique and stylish homes that don’t date but evolve as the people living in them do.
When did you open the doors and what was the motivation?
One Small Room opened in 2003, literally in ‘one small room’. It wasn’t long before we spread into another two small rooms, but we always keep the installation room and the other two house clothing, shoes, homewares, books, fabrics and more. The motivation behind setting up OSR was wanting to have a creative outlet that would also work as a business. We’d come to Adelaide sight unseen after living in London for 8 years and I had to find work but didn’t want to work 9-5 for someone else. I’d always thought I’d run a shop at some point in my career and the timing seemed right. There wasn’t anything like OSR already in Adelaide and I saw an opportunity in Croydon to set up without huge overheads. One Small Room became my creative experiment that worked well as a business too.
What labels & products do you stock and what are you always searching for?
I’m always searching for something different, something quirky, something not mainstream. We seek out Australian designed as much as possible, but choose well designed and made otherwise. We have a lot of smaller designer maker labels, like Tamara Hahn, Beth Emily, Essaye, Linogirl, Hatch, and mid century labels like Noblett, TH Brown, Fler. Our products include retro, vintage and mid century furniture, clothing, shoes, lighting, stationery, books, cleaning products, homewares, rugs, maps etc.
What is your favourite part about running your shop?
Quite a few things, but I guess being able to justify shopping all the time! Flexibility to work around family is very important to me as is being able to work with my husband. Having an outlet for creativity, always discovering something new and meeting amazing people that love what we do at OSR.
What has been the most successful aspect of your shop?
Our approach to design with the mix of styles, eras and products we offer. We’re not about big label brands, we’re about pieces with good design.
What is the design & art scene like in Adelaide, and specifically Croydon?
It’s bubbling here and often not acknowledged enough. As an outsider coming to live in Adelaide I was amazed at how much happens here, you just have to be willing to seek it all out. It is the city of festivals and there is always something on. A lot of creative designer makers have begun here or come here to further their studies. There’s designer maker studios all over the place. There’s everything from the Film Festival to SALA (www.salafestival.com.au), The Fringe Festival, The Jam, and Bowerbird Bazaar – Adelaide’s Design Market,(www.bowerbirdbazaar.com.au). Croydon is melting pot of creative types. We have film directors, politicians, architects, designer makers, painters, weavers, all living in and close to Croydon – Queen St seems to attract like minded souls. SALA on Queen St is great fun, the street gets closed off and a street party happens for opening night. The street has exhibitions, food and music and the community looks forward to it every year.
What do you love most about Adelaide?
The high standard of living! Beautiful houses, the ease of travel, the seasons, the proximity to beach, hills, vineyards and great restaurants and it’s only 55 min flight to Melbourne!
What advice would you give to others on owning and running a shop?
Make sure you know why you want to open a shop and exactly what you want to do with a shop. Don’t be afraid of taking the plunge into small business, but be aware of the pitfalls before you begin. It’s hard work and it’s constant, be prepared to work long hours, but if you love what you’ve chosen to do it becomes part of your life and not a burden. Follow your instincts, if you believe you have a great product or idea to sell that’s a good start. Don’t over capitalise on the shop or the fit out or too much stock. Really watch what works and what sells, be flexible and willing to experiment, rule out things that you personally wouldn’t buy or have in your home and build it from there. Keep costs to a minimum until you build your business. Keep enjoying what you do and if you don’t, it’s time for a change!
All the specific details
One Small Room
6- 10 Elizabeth St,
Croydon, SA, 5008
Ph: 08 7120 2368
Open; Tues – Fri 11am – 4pm
Sat – Sun 10am – 4pm