Ipswich is a city with heritage at its heart but don’t be fooled by thinking it’s stuck in the past. History is now merging with creative energy to offer something special that both locals and visitors can enjoy.
Creativity is defined as ‘the use of the imagination to create something new,’ which is exactly what happened when coffee roaster, Rob Mergard first set eyes on an abandoned warehouse on Brisbane Street. The hundred-year-old building was dilapidated and rundown but with a bit of vision and TLC, he knew that this was the new home for Dancing Bean. The roasters supply their beans to a variety of cafes around Queensland and New South Wales, as well as powering up the people of Ipswich with their award-winning coffee.
Just around the corner, there’s another historical building that’s received a rather grand transformation. What was once the old Technical College built in 1901, is now a bustling dining and retail mecca; 88 Limestone Street. The character-filled building is a favourite backdrop for local fashion designer, Nikke Horrigan. He has worn many hats from boilermaker to plumber to naval technician, but what he soon realised was that fashion has always his deepest passion. Nikke Horrigan, the label is for the cool, calm and collect men around town. If you’d like to get your hands on one, or many, of his pieces, they are available to buy online and in selected stores.
For the women of Ipswich wanting to spruce up their wardrobes, Soul Sista on Brisbane Street has a variety of beautifully colourful clothes to choose from. Wendy and Louise opened the store just over a year ago and since then, a community of fashion forward ladies has formed.
While Soul Sista can rejuvenate your wardrobe, it’s actual furniture that’s finding new life at Upcycled Treasure. Sam Vine runs “Learn to Shabby” workshops, which is learning how to shabby chic. There’s plenty of old furniture finding new life in her retail store and workshop. Loving the way Ipswich has embraced creativity, Sam has joined with other artisans to create the CRAVE Trail – a way to explore all things Creative, Retro, Antique, Vintage and Eclectic in Ipswich and beyond. 22 businesses form the CRAVE Trail starting in Ipswich and working out to the Lockyer Valley, Forest Hill and Laidley. Followers can spend a day or even a weekend where they can learn to knit, buy some beautiful quilts, join an art class, or just look and enjoy!
Find out more about Ipswich’s new CRAVE Trail here: