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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Upcycling the ‘core’ of Dirty Janes’ success

A hotly anticipated arrival, Dirty Janes antique emporium is on its way to Canberra, set to fling open its doors next week.

Owner Jane Crowley says the decision to expand her popular Bowral business to Canberra has been “on our minds for about three years”, while work is in full swing to transform the ex-geological survey building into a mecca for vintage wares.

“Every time I sort of decorate part of Dirty Janes, I’m looking at it and saying ‘it has to surprise and delight’. People have to walk around the corner and just go ‘oh my gosh, that’s fabulous’,” Jane says.

And fabulous it will be, with 90 individual stallholders to call Dirty Janes home, selling everything from vintage fashion and homewares to art and collectables.

“The majority, 90%, of the stock in here is recycled or upcycled or second-hand in some shape or form, which makes it so fabulous,” Jane says, who has upcycling and sustainability in her blood. Her father, Athol Salter, started Antiques Hall in Hall in the 1970s, and now works alongside her.

“That’s the core of the business: I come from a long line of upcyclers,” she says.

“My great-grandfather was upcycling before the term was even coined … so that’s how I’ve just been brought up my entire life; don’t throw anything away.

“Someone once described our business as ‘we swim against the tide of mass production’, and I really like that.”

Alongside the fabulous goods available for purchase, Dirty Janes will also play host to new Canberra café venture Billy T’s, run by Caleb Evans with the Tea Garden Company. In true Dirty Janes style, Billy T’s is aiming to avoid plastic wherever possible.

“Caleb’s supplied me with a copy of a menu … yum!” Jane says. “It’s all quite simple but really lovely and wholesome.”

Visitors to the emporium will also be able to make use of the hay barn for private functions, stroll through the vegetable gardens, check out the animals or attend one of the many events the Dirty Janes team has planned.

“We love events, we’re almost obsessive about having events,” Jane smiles.

“Because Canberra has a young population, I really want it to be about bringing the kids out, they can play in the playground, they can talk to the goats, feed the chooks; really have fun as well. It’s not like dragging them off to a furniture shop.”

Dirty Janes will open in Canberra on Wednesday 25 March, and will be open seven days a week 10am-5pm, at 80 Collie Street, Fyshwick. Follow them on Instagram for more: @dirtyjanes_canberra

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