In this age of super-sized shopping centres with all the same big-name stores, it’s refreshing to find a retailer celebrating the rare and original.
Kabana, in Brisbane’s Graceville, fits that bill.
The store is the creative collaboration of fashion designer, Melissa Anderson and Toni Scott, maker of one-of-a-kind art frames.
The long-time friends and seasoned travelers have searched markets, bazaars and souks in far-flung countries to curate a colourful store packed with the unusual and unique – like the extraordinary art of a young Gambian man who gathered the wings of fallen butterflies to create delicate images of daily village life
“Through the sales of his artworks, he’s been able to support himself through University studies in Marrakesh,” explains Melissa.
There’s a similarly exotic story behind the vivid green-glazed pottery on display.
“That’s from South Morocco – a little town which, in Berber language, means ‘the last place before the Sahara Desert’. There are only seven ovens there, and seven families, and they’re the only ones who know the secret of making these beautiful ceramics that are now coveted and collected across the globe.”
Melissa and Toni are joined by their daughters, Rachel and Bella, on their travels to source items for the store. Their journeys have forged deep connections with artisans in India, Africa, Asia and Central America.
“We’ve tried to help families overseas,” Toni says. “We’re personally friends with all the families (we buy from). If you pick up a pillow or a rug in the store, we can show you a photograph of who’s made that rug.”
This emporium of the exotic also showcases Melissa’ fashion label, Ruby Yaya; locally made organic products; and Toni’s art. It’s also home-base for Rachel’s interior design business.
No surprise, then, that Kabana is inviting other creatives to express themselves. Regular craft workshops are held in-store with guest tutors teaching everything from how to make resin jewellery to crafting a hand-made linen and leather bag.
318 Oxley Road,
0408 366 834