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Craft ACT: AGENCY opens in Braddon

Wendy Johnson

It sells a service, experience and a lifestyle all wrapped up in one big parcel, complete with a massive bow. AGENCY, a new high-end store by Craft ACT: Craft & Design Centre, is opening tomorrow in the ORI Building in bustling Braddon.

With an exciting business model, AGENCY is a significant step forward for Craft ACT — “a new venture that will change the way you think as a customer”, says Halie Rubenis, Business Development and Retail Manager who has a Bachelor of Visual Arts in Gold and Silversmithing.

“We’ll have a broader product offering and introduce more designers and artists,” says Halie. “We’re aiming for 150 local and Australian creatives with more coming on board over time, each carefully selected. Some names will be familiar but some will showcase in Canberra for the first time.

“Each item has a rich story to tell.”

Christopher Plumridge

Works by Christopher Plumridge

AGENCY plays an important role in supporting designers and artists in their professional practice. It also gives you an opportunity to buy unique, high-end products, some of which will be exclusive to the store (early Christmas shopping anyone?).

AGENCY features an exciting line up of furniture, fashion, textiles, jewellery, ceramics, homeware, and even custom bikes.

Customers can expect to see the work of goldsmith Sabine Pagan, ceramics by Gail Nichols, fashion design by Corr Blimey, lighting by Rohan Nicol, textiles by Al Munro, jewellery/objets d’art by Silver Atom, and the custom bikes by Luke Laffan of Fikas Bikes, to name but a few creatives.

And, grab this, you can even buy most of the elements featured in the store’s fit-out.

“Everything in the store is for sale,” says Halie.

“The fixtures, fittings, hooks, shelving units, lighting, accessories, glass tiles recessed into the floor boards and more. The only thing you can’t buy are the permanent fixtures like the front counter, the items in back of house and, of course, the staff.”

Works by Luke Laffan.

Works by Luke Laffan.

AGENCY will also, from time to time, showcase artists and will work with designers and artists on collaborations, including on new product development.

“We want to promote our designers and artists to architects and interior designers,” says Halie. “The possibilities are endless.”

AGENCY is an unusual story in another way too.

It was pulled together with the combined support and sponsorship of many businesses and individuals, all creative in their own right, including amazing timber flooring by Thor’s Hammer, stunning showcases by Designcraft, beautiful bronze wall hooks by Studio Henry Wilson, sensational LED track head lighting by Affinity Electrical Technologies, and stylish shelving units that can be customised for customers by Ned Moss.

Practical services also supplied at a sponsorship rate included the plumbing installed by Flow Plumbing & Gasfitting and air-conditioning and heating by BEMS Services.

Canberra’s Swell Design Group handled all branding and packaging and Jeremy Lepisto the signage.

The new venture represents an historical and significant milestone for Craft ACT’s 40 year history.

The previous Craft ACT shop has already closed. The space will be used for DESIGN Canberra HQ.

The essentials

When: Opening Friday 3 July. Regular opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday
Where: ORI Building – Lonsdale Street, Braddon
Web: Check out AGENCY on Facebook or Instagram. Website coming soon.

Feature image Gail Nichols. 

Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson graduated with a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, a few decades ago. She’s been living in Australia since 1995, having fallen in love with eucalypt trees and kangaroos. Wendy is passionate about Canberra and all the nation’s capital has to offer. She loves to write (about everything and anything) and owns her own pr and advertising business. More about the Author

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