David Court is a busy guy. I mean busy enough to scare even the most fervent workaholics away. With his own ethical clothing label foolsandtrolls (and in-house label Created Range), multiple art projects, Created Range retail store and severe podcast addiction, he was busy enough. But Dave figured that almost exactly a year after opening his first store that it was time for a change - and ultimately more work. So after a long planning stint - and an even longer three days tearing down and rebuilding much of the original store - the new Created Range retail space in Regent Arcade reopened to the public.
As someone who generally sits in the ‘workaphobe’ category, I sat down with Dave to chat all things Created Range – evolution, revolution and what’s next in the life of Adelaide’s only completely locally-sourced clothing store.
Most store owners are just getting into the swing of things one year in to opening a new business – why the refit so soon?
Just to make it look nicer I suppose. To make it look cleaner, more approachable… Less overwhelming than before, when you walked in and saw a million t-shirts. It’ll be a lot nicer to have one of everything so you can take your time and look through everything, rather than feeling like there’s too much stuff and only look at like four shirts and then leave.
The new fit-out gives off more of a boutique-style vibe in comparison to the last store. Should we expect Created Range to be continually evolving or staying the same from now on?
The aim of the new store was to look more refined and curated and select so that’s good.
I think always evolving and changing is the plan, definitely. I think you have to keep moving because if you get set too set on a way and think that’s the way to do it, that’s where things go bad. You get stuck and things change around you and if you don’t, or can’t change, that’s when you die.
What makes a good retail experience?
I don’t even know. I try and make it something that I would like. I want to see interesting things, look at cool stuff in a nice environment and have people be friendly and helpful without being to salesy. But that’s just what I like I hope other people like it too.
Did you take any inspiration from other stores or areas when planning the store re-fit?
I guess the new, one of everything idea is more of a high end style retail format. I looked at what a lot of the brands and stores I admire overseas have done, as well as stores in Sydney and Melbourne where they have to work with a physically smaller space and maximise what can be done. So I definitely considered that sort of thing during the planning process for sure.
Will the local focus of Created Range remain the same? Or does the new store fit-out bring along a change in direction as well?
Definitely sticking with the local focus, and continue to push brands to up the standard to sit alongside some select brand from interstate to make it both a high-end and accessible product.
Where do you like to shop?
I don’t do much shopping …I guess I shop online a bit…
[Laughs] yeah, I guess being so immersed in it all changes the way that you view that sort of thing - the stuff I shop for specifically would be overseas brands and stuff. But yeah, Average Cat, ZERO, RHD, USG, Realstore and twentyfiftytwo are all doing things that I like.
Do you think Adelaide retail is in a good place at the moment?
Yeah between those guys, all areas are pretty well covered and it’s generally a pretty friendly scene. Good brands from all over the world plus local brands are represented strongly in really high quality retail settings. It’s really great to see.
A lot of people have this idea that owning your own store is a bit of a romantic notion – what is the biggest challenge when you’re running your own business?
Just time is the main thing, there’s always something to be done, and things that could be done better. Like it’s the sort of thing that it’s really hard to switch off and not think about for any stretch of time, which can be a good and a bad thing. I think it’s cool if you can choose what you do because then there’s not really a question of work/life balance. Friends and people will come in and hang out [in the shop], I get to see cool things that people are making and design and play with stuff, it’s fun.
If you’re able to decide to do something fun then it’s not really work.
Do you have any regrets one year since you first opened?
There’s a million things I’d do differently but that’s what you learn when you do something for the first time. So many little day-to-day things that you learn as you go.
Now that the new re-fit is complete, should we expect any more changes in Created Range?
Watch out. They’re coming.