Lovely Shops! An interview with Nici from Blackbird Corner in Newcastle
Blackbird Corner is an adorable shop based in Newcastle, Australia. They have been stocking Jubly-Umph goodies since 2012 and are our exclusive stockist in Newcastle. This June they celebrate their 10 year shop anniversary. We had a quick chat about their super cute store...
1. Tell us a little bit about who you are and where we can find your store?
My name is Nici (hi!) and I started Blackbird Corner almost 10 years ago with my sister Jen. She’s since relocated to the country, for her health, (she’s still very involved!) and my husband Sean is now my partner in crime. We are located on one of Newcastle’s most wonderful streets – Darby Street - in one of its prettiest suburbs – Cooks Hill.
We absolutely love being on Darby Street, which is a tight knit community of indy shops & cafes. We would never want to be anywhere else. In fact we live next door to our shop!
2. Does your store have a theme or focus?
Blackbird Corner is definitely a labour of love (we are not very good at capitalism) and we predominately stock the creations of Australian Designers and Makers as well as our own labels – My Fascist Mother (designed and made by Jen and I) and Anorak (designed and handprinted by Sean) plus some magazines & books that we are in to. We are very focused on not losing sight of our integrity and staying true to our initial business model rather than jumping on board trends and gimmicks that will fade over time. We also try to not pay too much attention to what “The Joneses” are up to. Our friends say that we live in a “bubble”. (Probably true! Hey! We like it here!)
3. What kind of products and brands do you stock?
Basically we only stock wares and wears that we feel a personal connection with from people we “click” with. (Most are friends and family.) We do have fairly eclectic tastes so that allows us to offer a diverse variety of items in our tiny shop front. It’s also led to our demographic being difficult to narrow down, but basically humans between 0 – 98 sums us up! The list of independent brands we are Newcastle’s exclusive stockists of is rather lengthy but examples of them would be: Jubly Umph (of course!), Blossom and Cat, Core, Mae Laine, Studio Cockatoo, Red Parka, Anvil Creek, RhiCreative……. Ada and Cedar…. Two Little Ducklings…… Yardage Design….I must stop! Too many to list here! (There’s a full list on our facebook page!) Without the extraordinary talents of our many Makers we would not be here to be answering these questions. They are the integral ingredient in our recipe!
4. What things are inspiring you lately?
Our 10th Birthday is coming up on July 1st so I’ve been daydreaming about a suitable way to celebrate that without going overboard. Ha! It’s a delicate balance! We are thinking that this year will be about returning to our roots so we’ve resurrected a label that we had set aside – Wayward Girl. This means even more work for Jen & Sean as WG is all about simple, cotton drill ALine skirts with our designs handprinted on. I’m finding looking backwards to move forwards very inspiring. There will be more nostalgic pieces coming soon. Because we don’t outsource our production these things do take time. But that’s part of what we find so satisfying.
5. How long have you been in Business?
This time around, as I’ve mentioned, almost ten years! It’s not our first business however. A lifetime ago I owned a little shop a little further along Darby Street called Spinster Wares – that’s another (long) story.
You can find Blackbird Corner in person at:
70 Darby Street, Cooks Hill
Newcastle, NSW Australia
or on Facebook facebook.com/BlackbirdCorner
and Instagram @blackbirdcorner