Lynda Gardener: Curated is a store located in Melbourne, Australia, showcasing an eclectic mix of vintage and industrial homewares, furniture and one-off finds. Lynda sources the globe searching for the unique and individual, and over the years has developed a huge following of fans in love with her shop and design aesthetic. She has also spread her wings into the world of property and interior design, and you can reside at one of her stylish self-catering boutique stays, including; The Estate Trentham ; The Apartment, St Kilda ; The White House, Daylesford ; and The White Room, Fitzroy
When did you open your shop? I opened it 24 years ago!
What genre is it? I have always sourced vintage and industrial homeware since I first opened (then the shop was called Empire Vintage), however more recently I have added a mix of new items too, due to my own ever-changing tastes! My shop has always reflected the way I live, and has had many changes over the years.
Why did you want to open it? Since the age of 16, I have always loved collecting and sourcing, and my own private collection took over and had to open a store after I decided I just had way too much stock to keep!
Who designed the shop? I did!
What are you best known for? One-off vintage pieces.
Where is your product sourced? All items are sourced locally unless I am traveling. I always like to pick-up stock for the store and new products can be from anywhere and everywhere, such as Turkish rugs, handmade Indian throws, Dutch-made stools…it changes all the time.
What makes your shop unique? It was one of the first totally styled and sourced vintage stores in Melbourne. Prior to it opening, it was all dusty old antique stores with a bit of a ramshackle mix of products on offer. I try to ensure my store is curated with gorgeous collections and displayed well.
Who are your customers? They are a total mix of young and middle-aged customers who are all looking for something special, as well as stylists and photographers sourcing for props.
Who inspires you? So many things…I could not even imagine how to decide on just one person. It has always been other stylists, interior decorators, and fascinating individual people that just do what they love, and are totally passionate about it.
What inspires you? All of the above and travelling – I always return back home and to the store with a new outlook, and special little additions!
Before I was a shopkeeper, I was….styling and creating the interiors for the Levi Strauss stores across Australia – sourcing vintage props and styling their concept stores.
The hardest lesson learned in starting a business? It takes time to build a reputation and a following, and nothing happens overnight! You have to ride the waves and not just give up!
What tasks do you like to delegate? not many it seems, as I am still doing 99% all myself !!
The best lesson you have learned opening a shop? that with passion and a strong will to succeed – you can! don’t give up too soon!
What would be your advice for anyone wanting to open a shop? Don’t go in over your head, start small and simple, build-up slowly.
Which famous person would you like to visit your shop? Right now, it would be Iris Apfel.
If you weren’t a shopkeeper you would be…? An art director, or own my own small boutique hotel in the centre of the city!
What is your perfect day off? Heading off to my country property with my partner and dog, which is just over an hour out of the city. It is always great to relax by the fire and just soak in the country stillness for a day or so.
Can you share your five favourite shops? All of these stores inspire and excite me with every visit: abc carpet & home in New York, Aesop for their individual, and outstanding design and styling in each and every store worldwide, Labour and Wait in London, Merci in Paris, De Weldaad and Sukha, both in Amsterdam, and of course all flea markets everywhere!
What is you favorite neighborhood restaurant? I love Fitzroy, the area I currently live in, and my favourite place right now is the Marion wine bar on Gertrude Street.
I wish I could…travel and have the opportunity to live in different countries around the world.
On the Future of Retail
“It certainly has been difficult over the last few years, and sourcing is harder because there is so much competition now than when I started years ago. Of course the internet, and having access to anything you’ve dreamed, all whilst sitting at home, has changed walk-in retail stores immensely. I live in hope that these stores will never die – I truly hope that most consumers will want the experience of the store, face-to-face communication, and the pleasure of touching and feeling the items before buying them. I hope we never lose our passion to visit and experience them, and enjoy the many unique individuals who own them, and bring so much inspiration to us all.”
63 Cardigan Place, Albert Park, Melbourne