FK talks to Magali and Jason from their store, Wolf at the Door
Wolf at the Door just celebrated its first birthday! Tell us about your lovely shop.
Wolf At The Door is a regional makers space that supports the contemporary global makers movement – we have a real passion for the hand-made. We stock the work of many contemporary Melbourne and interstate makers, designers and artists, plus the work of many local designers and makers. They include porcelain maker Kris Coad, textile maker Only Midge, graphic designer Tristan Varga-Miller aka The Mojo Box, sculptor/printmaker John Barter, local porcelain maker Bridget Bodenham, jeweller Caravan, artist John Butt and many more.
Wolf At The Door is also a ‘one stop shop’ for unique gifts, interior designers and stylists, and it is becoming popular as a ‘gift registry’ for weddings, birthdays and engagements. wolf is housed in a beautiful old Hepburn building filled with history and character. We also take a lot of care in how we display the work – and we have a gallery in which we have regular art exhibitions – plus a sculpture garden out the back!
What was the inspiration with opening Wolf at the Door?
There is a real gap in regional Victoria for this kind of work to get supported and showcased. We are both artists ourselves (Jason is an award-winning sculptor and Magali an in-demand graphic and web designer), and we have always been a part of this kind of makers culture. So when we moved to the country, we wanted to bring this with us. And also create a place where the local community could also be encouraged and supported.
What kind of treats and treasures can we expect to find at Wolf at the Door?
So many!! From lovely handmade buttons and brooches, to ceramic jewelery.. Giant sculpted foam spark plugs to delicately fashioned porcelain bones, antler dishes and tea cup light fittings… Beautiful hand-made clothes for women and children, cool tee shirts from Mr. Bucket for the men-folk, vintage test tubes and 16mm cameras.. Awesome contemporary prints from Larry Parkinson, David Waters, Carey Potter.. We also have an authentic 1950s operation table from Britain in our front window! We stock the work of over 60 labels, artists and makers so we always have heaps of things in the shop! It usually takes people quite a while to ‘do the circuit’ and check everything out! they love a good poke around and we encourage it – and a chat too!
What has been the most successful aspect of your store?
Supporting the local makers culture and engaging with the local community; bringing unique and quality work to the region, having some great art exhibitions in our gallery space, and making this kind of makers culture accessible to regional Victoria – and to the many city tourists who come here each weekend, who may not get exposed to this kind of work back in Melbourne. and the clothes – we stock independent labels like Dot and Herbey, Queen, Once Upon A time – these aren’t just clothes – they are ‘pieces’! they sell very well…
We’ve also just opened a brand new art complex in nearby Kyneton called Stockroom. It is Wolf on a much bigger scale – we have 7 artists studios, a giant split-level retail store, 2 big exhibition spaces, a makers ‘retail concept space’ and a beautiful ‘clothes forest’.. We renovated a 150 year-old butter factory (870 square meters) and we’re hoping it will become a thriving art epicenter in the region, where artist and makers not only exhibit heir work, but sell it direct to the public. A learning center and cafe are also on the way…
What is the design & art scene like in Hepburn Springs?
It’s healthy! Lots of artists and makers move to Dayelsford and the broader region from Melbourne and other places – and many people born here also return after spending time in the city.. There are heaps of talented people living and working around Hepburn – and you never know who’s just moved here, or is making amazing work, just around the corner..
There is also the Daylesford Makers Market and a number of other stores around us that also support and do well from this kind of design and makers culture. We enjoy feeling part of a community and a ‘movement’ so to speak.
What advice would you give to others wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Do your research! Don’t just go into it for the money! Be organised! Be sincere and support and sustain the community around you – support those who support you! Stay true to your gut feeling – and have fun too!