Welcome to Heffernan Street, Mitchell, Canberra! Synonymous with style, fashion, and glamour.
Well you may not have thought so, but this is all about to change – and just in time for the festive season too.
While we might not be decking halls with boughs of holly, sipping eggnog or listening out for sleigh bells in the snow, the more consumerist traditions of Christmas are still very present. We’ve changed a lot of traditions to suit our Australian lifestyle better, so why not this?
Christmas shopping – it’s familiar, it’s big, it’s globalised. No wonder the pressure to find an original and meaningful gift creates a negative shopping experience for many. So why not turn this around? Let go of the pressure and embrace fun. Get out of the over-crowded, mind-numbing shopping mall and step into one of Canberra’s original and locally owned and operated retail businesses.
The Paris End, Mitchell, is a sparkling example of just such a thing and a wonderful place to put on your Christmas shopping map. Inside, a treasure trove of vintage fashion and style. You’ll also find retro items including books, toys and vinyl and a range of jewellery, candles, teas and condiments from local makers. Upstairs, a small and wonderfully ambient art-gallery supporting local artists.
Fashion is an ever-popular choice when it comes to picking out a Christmas gift. The items at The Paris End are original, diverse and of high-quality – the perfect choice for a friend, family member or that stylish, special someone in your life. Their very well priced fashion range caters to both ladies and gentlemen.
We asked owners Anthony Bean and Rebekah Biggs about how The Paris End came to be and their mutual love of vintage style.
RA: How long has Mitchell had a ‘Paris End’..?
AB & RB: The Paris End was officially launched in May, but it has taken some months to get the business to this point. The Mitchell location was a good option for us and we’re wrapped the business is coming together.
RA: What was the inspiration behind opening the boutique, bazaar, and gallery?
AB & RB: We’re passionate about vintage, and having run ‘Hummingbird Vintage’ at markets around the ACT for several years now, we found that customers were asking “Where can I purchase your stock through the week?” When the opportunity arose to open our own bricks and mortar store, we wanted to include the new friends we had made through the market scene and give them this same opportunity.
RA: How have you come to love vintage so much?
AB & RB: We’ve been collecting and wearing vintage for over 10 years. We’ve both had a great love of mid-century style since we were very young, from movies and architecture to cars, furniture, clothing, and jewellery. Items from the past just seem to have been made with more thought, more love, and more style. The clothing is generally of a higher quality and was made to last.
RA: What’s your advice for men and women who want to dress vintage but don’t know how?
AB & RB: For men, we advise: start small and build your wardrobe piece by piece, don’t rush out to buy an entire wardrobe all in one go. Begin by adding a few essential items to your existing wardrobe, like a few retro shirts and a jacket – then build on that. If you work in an office, picking up a few vintage ties can be a great start. Further, all this stuff is very affordable.
For the ladies, we say: find an inspiration, something you love – be it a decade, style, colour or lifestyle – and start looking for items that make you happy. If you love it and it fits, wear it! Anyone can wear vintage and you don’t have to keep within a specific decade with an outfit. Remember, with vintage nobody at the party will ever be wearing the same dress as you..!
RA: What plans or hopes do you have for the business?
AB & RB: We plan to grow, we’re always looking for new stockists and artists, as well as new workshops to run with interesting crafts and skills to learn. We hope to continue to support local micro businesses and become a “go to” place to shop for something unique and special. Artists interested in the gallery space should make contact ASAP.
The Paris End is open Tuesday – Friday, 10 am – 5 pm, Saturday 10 am – 4 pm. For a versatile Christmas gift: Vouchers are available in-store or call 0417 994 049.
This article is written by Nina Gbor and Nathan Harris.
Do you feel nostalgia for a vintage Christmas? Are you doing your Christmas shopping at Canberra’s old skool boutiques and local businesses? We’d love to hear what your plans are in the comments below!