After a tough retail 12 months in 2020, Chela Edmunds of Takeawei Ceramics was exhausted. ‘I assumed, why am I paying all this hire for a retail house after we are primarily promoting on-line now?’ she recollects. The lease was up on her Brunswick Avenue retailer, and Torquay-based Chela thought it is perhaps simpler to pack it in and transfer the enterprise 100% on-line. However, with so many shuttered shops as a consequence of COVID, Melbourne was feeling like a little bit of a ghost city, and Chela didn’t wish to hand over simply but. ‘I felt a way of accountability to not simply be one other empty store entrance if I might assist it’, she says. ‘I took a stroll on Gertrude Avenue and it actually impressed me to be concerned on the street, and Melbourne’.

Chela secured a brand new lease on a double-story nook constructing, with a slender downstairs retail space and a bit residence upstairs, overlooking Gertrude Avenue. The constructing itself has fairly an essential historical past – it was as soon as the Koori Info Centre, established within the early Eighties to satisfy a rising groundswell of neighborhood curiosity in Indigenous points. Later, Aboriginal artist Lin Onus produced a well-liked sequence of comedian books and t-shirts with distinctive creative designs right here!

For Chela, the slender house with its candy little upstairs residence was the right place for brand spanking new beginnings – each for her ceramics enterprise and for the broader Melbourne neighborhood. ‘The residence upstairs appeared like the right alternative to offer individuals an area to get out for an evening or two, go see a gig, have dinner, and simply take pleasure in themselves whereas supporting the world and companies’, she says.

She’s added the Chela Edmunds inventive stamp to the place, and reworked the modest areas right into a shiny, vibrant inventive haven!

What was the method of becoming out the store and residence areas like? 

Necessity actually is the mom of all invention. I went in with massive concepts for downstairs [shop] shelving, however was shortly introduced again to earth as a consequence of value. I ended up utilizing paint and altering needed issues like lighting, electrical, the ground, and reusing shelving from the earlier store.

We have now an amazing nook spot on Younger and Gertrude Streets. To profit from passing visitors we commissioned artist Rowena Martinich to color a mural on the skin wall. It’s every thing I hoped for – vibrant, joyful, simply what all of us want proper now.

Upstairs, I needed an area that was easy, useful and vibrant, showcasing some designers I really like [including artworks by Rowena Martinich, furniture by Dowel Jones and Jack Edward Fearon for Curated Spaces]. We gutted the bathe however left every thing else as-is, so this was what knowledgeable the furnishings. I needed to lighten the house and, true to my fashion, add a mixture of color pops, texture and a few pure supplies. My sister Kalu Edmunds of Temper Objects was an amazing sounding board for styling and I additionally labored together with her to supply second-hand furnishings, together with the unique lime inexperienced Featherston. It’s an actual point of interest!

Did you’ve got any key references or inspirations for the residence?

I needed a heat welcoming house and imagined this was an artist’s residence. Easy, however stuffed with curiosity and power invested into the items.

I thought of a circulate from the kitchen to the bed room going from stronger colors within the kitchen to vibrant within the lounge space and softer within the bed room.

When it comes to an total look, I simply go together with what I like and attempt to maintain paring again to a smaller palette as I can get carried away with color! There have been additionally useful issues, the small house and luxury for visitors. I feel working with nice designers and objects makes it very easy!

How did all of the upheavals of 2020 have an effect on your work? 

We had been fortunate that for many of it we might work remotely and ship on-line orders. I really feel like our prospects actually rallied round and supported us throughout that point and I’m actually grateful for that.

I discovered it actually aggravating at first having workers and that accountability, however I additionally discovered that it introduced our staff nearer collectively as a result of that’s what powerful occasions do. We talked about what was occurring, and we tailored. I’m actually glad that as a enterprise we had a powerful internet presence.

We are actually focusing extra on lighting which has been actually standard this previous 12 months, and I’m trying ahead to introducing extra homewares to the store. I’m getting again to my textile roots and I just lately designed a blanket with Geelong Textiles that might be launching this winter.

Guide a keep at Chela’s Gertrude st Condominium right here!

Takeawei Ceramics

Monday – Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Sunday 11am – 4pm
Closed public holidays

120 Gertrude Avenue
Fitzroy, Victoria



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