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Inside The Designer Op Shop Emporium

Molly McLaughlin

After shutting up shop in Braddon in last month, Designer Op Shop has been reborn in a bigger and better space in Fyshwick.

Alongside twelve other vendors, Canberra’s most dynamic mother and daughter duo, Taylor and Sharyn Pitsilos, have created the Designer Op Shop Emporium, which highlights some of Canberra’s most stylish small businesses.

As Taylor explains, they’ve had so much interest in the new venture they have had to create a waiting list for the spaces. Familiar names like homewares creator Luxe and Beau and Hackett florist Saint Valentine will be part of the Emporium, as well as some well-established vintage and antique collectors and local artists.

“We’ve got a lot of vintage and retro collectors who all have their own aesthetic and personality, they’re not necessarily brands you see on Instagram and they’ve been collecting for years and years,” says Taylor. “I think it’s really nice to have that alongside the more modern, contemporary stuff as well. My whole aesthetic for the emporium is to mix vintage and modern, not only in fashion but in homewares as well.”

Taylor and Sharyn were inspired by their own experience running a business to encourage a community of creatives.

“It’s a much bigger space than we had in Braddon, so we really wanted to utilise that space and give some other small businesses a go, because that’s kind of how we started out five and a half years ago when Designer Op Shop first opened.”

Part of the attraction at the Emporium is bringing together people who often work in isolation. Taylor, for one, is excited to work with her mum again.

“Although she’s my business partner we don’t really spend that much time together in the shop, but it’s really nice we’ll actually be able to spend all our time together. We work so much better together too. It’s really exciting to have a team now, with so many other people on board.”

Rachel Wallis of Saint Valentine shares the sentiment.

“Being a part of this community is so great, we’re happy to be involved with local businesses and everyone is really excited and positive and we all really believe in the space.”

She has long been a fan of Designer Op Shop in Braddon, and jumped at the chance to be involved in the Emporium alongside her current shopfront.

“I got to know Taylor by buying wonderful jewellery from her shop and subsequently working on a styled wedding shoot. I admired her style and when I heard about the space I thought that our style would match so perfectly with the vintage-modern aesthetic of the Designer Op Shop Emporium,” she explains.

“I have really enjoyed contributing to the local Hackett community and wanted to grab the opportunity to extend our wonderful community atmosphere to the Southside as well.”

Luxe and Beau’s Georgie Beaumont has had her pillows stocked in the Designer Op Shop for the past two years, so joining the Emporium was a natural next step.

“I think it’s going to be really good for people to be able to come in and see our whole look before they buy, to be able to see and feel and touch all of our products is important when you’re shopping for your home,” she explains. “I’ll also be offering a styling service where I can come out to people’s homes a put together a whole look for them.”

“We have a whole new range, our winter collection, so all the new colours and textures will be available. It’s a whole new look for us and we’ve got quite a big range, so it’ll be really interesting to see how it goes.”

The building itself is of course nothing short of what we have come to expect from the team, featuring exposed beams, high ceilings and no less than eight chandeliers and over 200 indoor and outdoor plants. At the back of the space, customers can relax in the lush garden surrounded by Saint Valentine’s hanging plants or make an appointment in the private lounge where Taylor and Sharyn will buy from the general public.

Rachel is already planning flower workshops, and Taylor promises there will be an Emporium cafe inside in the near future, but she is conscious of taking their time to perfect the concept.

“It has taken a long time to grow designer op shop to the point where it is. We’ve built a client base up over the years, and we think it’s time to take the leap. We think that Canberrans are always ready to take on things that are new and fun and innovative.”

Find more information about DOS Emporium here.

Photography: Simona R Photography


Molly McLaughlin

Molly McLaughlin was less than thrilled to move to Canberra a couple of years ago to study Arts and Economics at ANU, but she can confirm the city has grown on her since then. Along with writing for HerCanberra, she spends her time reading, eating noodles and planning her next adventure. More about the Author

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