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Lark Fitzroy


26th September, 2013
Lucy Feagins
Thursday 26th September 2013

Lark - a new addition to Gertrude st, Fitzroy.  Photo - Hilary Walker.

Products at Lark.  Photo - Hilary Walker.

Festive decorations and paper goods at Lark - a new addition to Gertrude st, Fitzroy.  Photo - Hilary Walker.

Lark proprietor Allison Jones in her new Gertrude street shop.  Photo - Hilary Walker.

Gertrude street is still one of my absolute fave streets in Melbourne, mainly for its eclectic mix of all kinds of retail and brilliant restaurants, and it's proximity to the city.  I love Tarlo & Graham, I love Cottage Industry, I love Dagmar Rousset, Spacecraft, Enoteca, Anada and Fatto a Manno bakery, ... and I even get my hair done at Miss Gertrudes.  I think I might be in serious denial that I don't actually live in Fitzroy.

Anyway, the ace thing about Gertrude street is that amongst all these old favourites, there's always something new.  Never a dull moment around here!  If Andrew McConnell isn't opening up some new gastronomic hotspot, then there's some quirky new retail offering opening its doors to keep us all inspired.  The latest of these is gift and homewares store Lark, previously based in Daylesford.

Run by UK ex-pat, designer and Mum Allison Jones, Lark originally launched as a wholesale brand selling Allison's own collection of homewares and accessories in 2007.  After opening their first retail store in Daylesford in 2009, and building an impressive web presence off the back of Allison's popular blog, Lark quickly gained notoriety, and became a 'must visit' spot for Daylesford's steady stream of tourists and daytrippers.

'Lark started as a craft business, making and selling upcycled accessories and crochet toys' explains Allison.  'We sort of accidentally fell into being retailers. We had just returned from a family trip to Tokyo and, inspired by the very creative retail scene there, where tiny boutiques pop up in all sorts of unusual places, we came up with the idea of opening up part of our Daylesford factory space as a store, stocking products from other brands that we admire alongside our own'.  The original Daylesford Lark store combined the cute and colourful look of Allison's favourite stores in Europe, along with a more vintage-inspired Australian aesthetic, and this same look and feel has been translated to their brand new store, opening tomorrow in Fitzroy.

'I have always loved shopping in Melbourne and I think it has one of the best independent retail scenes in the world' explains Allison, when quizzed on the move from Daylesford to Melbourne. 'When the lease on our Daylesford store came to an end earlier this year, we decided that we would take our store out on the road, to connect with our customers in person, and enable us to work more collaboratively with other creative businesses. Melbourne was the obvious place to start!'  The Fitzroy store is set to operate for just six months, until the end of February - which I guess makes it a kind of semi-permanent pop-up.  In any case, it definitely means you have to make an effort to get in soon before summer flies past and the roadshow moves on! 'I love the idea of the Lark store popping up in different spaces and places' says Allison. 'This is hopefully the start of a big adventure!'

Lark's Fitroy store brings a cheerful burst of colour to Gertrude Street, with kitchen, living and garden accessories from Orla Kiely, a super cute children's range featuring many of our favourite Australian brands including Such Great Heights, Love Mae and Down To The Woods, and a DIY party decor collection including tissue paper decorations by Poppies for Grace, giant balloons, paper straws and colourful paper bags.   They also have a Confetti Bar, where customers can make up their own confetti bombs choosing from jars of different confetti and glitter!  (Amazing!).  Much of the extensive range is also available in Lark's gorgeous online store.  Gifts wrapping is available, and gifts purchased in store can be shipped anywhere in the world, too.

Allison partnered with local illustrator Laura Blythman on the crafty, colourful interior of the Fitzroy store. Over the six months that Lark will be hanging out in Fitzroy, the visual environment will evolve alongside their ever rotating product range.  Laura's work will also be on show and for sale at the store.

Lark Fitzroy
94 Gertrude St

Opens tomorrow - Friday 27th September 2013.

Monday to Saturday, 11.00am to 4.00pm. 

Products at Lark, plus paper wall installation by Laura Blythman.  Photo - Hilary Walker.

Lark proprietor Allison Jones in her new Gertrude street shop.  Photo - Hilary Walker.

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