For Nikki Hall, retail and travel go hand in hand. Working as a writer with Lonely Planet for several years, the idea to open a store of her own was something of a return to the fold. Indeed, Hall follows three generations of retailers on each side of her family.
After closing the original Hudson, which sat on Carlisle Street for eight years, Hall once again packed her bags and took off to Latin America, Asia and Europe, where she gathered a whole lot of inspiration and many curios along the way. Filling her newfound space on Smith Street with Japanese umbrellas and cameras, Mexican prints and tribal bead works, as well as prophecies from Rhode Island and artworks from Brooklyn, the store really is travel guide in the physical form.
“The store is my travel memory. Originally Hudson was called Hudson because I was so in love with New York, so there are a lot of memories in what I do. I swapped writing about it for filling freight boxes with memories,” says Hall with a laugh. “After I came back from travelling, I moved to Abbotsford and I wanted to become a part of this community and see what I could do on this side of town. It’s very much about introducing products into Australia that I’ve found on my travels and I want Melbourne to share what I love.”
As well as the harder to find items like beaded dog collars from South America and socks from Korea, there are some all-star classics such as Drifter back packs, The Quiet Life caps and the incredible ceramic ghosts from Danish design studio Arhoj.
Hall admits that this time around, the store is a much greater representation of herself and the things dear to her. She has also, rather daringly, taken things offline. “This is much more of me following my heart. I’m trying to not have a website, which sounds counter intuitive, but I love meeting people and I want to create a place where people can come in and touch things and feel things and find out about products and just have a conversation,” she says. “I want people to have a real life experience.”
291 Smith Street, Fitzroy
(03) 9416 0886
Daily 11am - 6pm