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Dirty Jane— on her way from Bowral to a new Canberra emporium

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Hold on to your credit cards, people! Dirty Janes—Bowral’s most beloved of vintage emporiums—is opening in Canberra.

And it is going to be bigger than a shipping crate full of genuine American shaker furniture.

Jane Crowley is going to make a lot of Canberrans extremely happy with her decision to bring her distinctive eye for vintage to our fair city.

For years, many of us have been making the trek to Bowral to browse through her store—a veritable wonderland of carefully curated items of furniture, homewares, art, clothing, jewellery and garden items—all guaranteed to tell a story.

Credit: Elise Hassey @elisehassey.

Given her Canberra clientele are such a huge part of her business, Jane has committed to saving us the drive.

But don’t think it’s just one hall full of pre-loved goods. Not one to do things by halves, Jane is bringing 90 stallholders, and a new café to transform a massive 2000 square metre former Geological Survey building in Fyshwick.

Dirty Janes Canberra will open in March, located at 80 Collie Street, directly behind Domayne Furniture.

Dirty Janes’ 2020 site.

The juxtaposition with Domayne is not lost on Jane, who promises there will be no two items the same in her eclectic collection of goods.

“We are extremely excited to finally put this plan into action,” she said.

Credit: Elise Hassey @elisehassey.

It is a pleasant return to Canberra for the former ANU student, whose father Athol ran the successful Antiques Hall between the 1970s and 80s.

“I feel a real affinity with Canberra. The people have always been very environmentally aware – so the concept of repurposing, restoring and upcycling is not lost on them. They also like quality at a good price.”

Credit: Elise Hassey @elisehassey.

The fact that Dirty Janes Canberra will be solar-powered (just like it is in Bowral) and will run workshops on everything from furniture restoration to composting, will be a bonus.

Jane and her husband Bob will spend the first six months to a year bedding the venture down and spending part of their week in Canberra. She has already hired a team to operate the sprawling business.

Credit: Elise Hassey @elisehassey.

Just like the Bowral set-up, Dirty Janes will be a rambling space, containing the 90 different stalls specialising in their own thing, a café with outdoor area and becoming home to everyone from the blacksmith—who plans to create his own stone forge—to the chickens (and possibly goats) who will relocate from the Highlands. There will be a veggie patch and a playground for kids.

Credit: Elise Hassey @elisehassey.

“We want to make it a perfect place for an outing,” says Jane, promising to also provide an event space.

And for those serious about interiors and decor, there will be no end of choices from Jane’s own established American vintage line—“we bring in containers of faded Hollywood glamour, chairs and sofas in beautiful American fabrics” or her stallholders specialising in European vintage, mid-Century, rustic Australian, Turkish and Indian pieces.

And there will be racks full of clothes and cabinets laden with jewellery.

Credit: Elise Hassey @elisehassey.

“From LPs (that’s vinyl records for you millennial readers) to Hawaiian shirts and everything in between, we will have it all.”

The official opening date is Wednesday 25 March, with Dirty Janes opening seven days between 10 am and 5 pm after that.

the essentials

What: Dirty Janes Canberra
Where: 80 Collie Street Fyshwick
When: 25 March 2020
Opening hours: 10 am–5 pm seven days a week
Website: dirtyjanes.com

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