First things first: let me drop an obscure bit of nostalgia on you. Most 80s and 90s Radelaide kids will remember a movie about a brother and sister who get themselves locked in a department store overnight. The store was rumoured to be John Martins or the old DJs here in Adelaide. No one really seems to know. The brother got covered in honey at one point, maybe. You probably watched it in primary school. You probably don’t remember what it’s called.
I saw it at school. I don’t have the faintest clue what it’s called either. But ever since I saw it there’s been something magical, a little special, about the idea of being in store after dark.
Renew Adelaide went one better at the first birthday celebrations for their Regent Arcade pop-up stores. Yeah, you know what I’m about to say. Regent Arcade, with all its 1920s glam, after dark. Invitation only (sorry, not sorry folks) boutique shopping with free drinks and Adelaide’s young “ones to watch out for” creative crowd. It was a bit spesh.
Trust Renew Adelaide to bring together the perfect people and the perfect space at the perfect time. Playing matchmaker to “emerging creative based initiatives” (rad peeps with rad ideas) and diamond-in-the-rough type spaces is what they do best.
Celebrating their big first milestone – excuse the big list, and my gut’s telling me this isn’t even everyone – are Closet Mod, Average Cat Clothing, Created Range, Larry & Ladd, Boo & Who? (I’m not asking – that’s what they’re called, and they’re just too cute), Have You Met Charlie? (again, not a question), and Sarah Rothe Jewellery who brought their A-game along with coloured meringue “kisses” from Food by Kate. These guys are quite a bunch!
That some quote-unquote pop-up stores on 30 day rolling leases (rent free - kudos to Renew Adelaide) have stuck around and actually thrived over a whole year shows the strength of both their concept and the Renew Adelaide model.
As we raise a glass to those stores who have had an amazing year one – careful not to spill any as we riffle their racks with our other hand – Regent Arcade’s two newest stores must be feeling pretty good too.
This isn’t just a birthday party, it’s a grand opening celebration too. The first new kid on the block is Oh Deer Sugar: a bakery where everything is vegan and non-edible. Don’t get me wrong – I love vegan food, but this isn’t food. Oh Deer Sugar do handcrafted body products like body scrubs and bath bombs that are so delicious you may forget they’re not for eating.
One Hectare have also joined the party, and are upping the cute factor in a big way. A stationery and decoration brand, their philosophy combines environmentally responsible practices, high quality materials and bold, vibrant design. The result is a broad range of adorable prints, wood blocks and stationary.
Even despite all the amazing locally designed and made goodies up for grabs, the most important thing is all guests left with what was a real sense of excitement about the way emerging creatives and organisations like Renew Adelaide are shaking things up in our rad city.
Check out more exciting projects at Renew Adelaide.
All photos Nathan Seppelt.