Local art store to open

NEW SHOP: Artisan Ulla Macrae and South East Art Society vice president Julianne Woodruff celebrate the shop opening in Port MacDonnell.

Charlotte Varcoe

HANDMADE local gifts will be available for purchase with the opening of the South East Arts Society (SEAS) store opening in Port MacDonnell tomorrow.

SEAS artisan’s products will be on display and available for purchase, including textiles, decorations, pottery and more.

Society’s vice president Julianne Woodruff said the idea for the store was sparked after she walked past the vacant shop front in Port MacDonnell.

“Often SEAS has an exhibition at the Port MacDonnell Community Complex over the summer but we couldn’t this year because they are upgrading the gallery,” Ms Woodruff said.

“I happened to walk past here and saw this space was free so I contacted the real estate agent.”

Ms Woodruff said they were approved for the space last month with the committee approving the initiative.

“I rounded up a group of people who were interested in selling their products and suggested we open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays,” she said.

“Most people in the store will have to travel and we can start off with but if we get really busy we can do an extra day.”

Ms Woodruff said the idea was the products had to be handmade and local with the shop now stocking items such as pottery, wall hangings, textiles and more.

“It is all handmade and unique so we are hoping to appeal to the market before Christmas so gifts and things but it can also be for tourists,” she said.

“To get something local and to have another shop in Port MacDonnell is another reason for tourists to stay longer.”

Artisan Ulla Macrae – who has a range of products on sale in the store – said she often saw an excess of items which would otherwise be “dumped” and would work out what she could make with it.

“It is about turning something which is wasteful into something which might be a desirable product and for me I did that with palm fronds which were out the front of my mothers house,” Ms Macrae said.

“There is also a lady here who makes beautiful baskets out of pine needles so there is a lot of stuff which is being upcycled and reused.”

Ms Woodruff and Ms Macrae agreed a major drawcard for the store was also that no two items would be the same and encouraged the community to come along and support local artisans.

“Everything in here is unique and often if people come in they may see us working on a project or have a question about what we do and we will be able to help,” Ms Macrae said.

The store will be located at 51 Meylin Street, Port MacDonnell and is open Friday to Sunday from 10am until 3pm.