It’s been a little more than 18 months since Stan Savellis opened That Retro Piece, a store dedicated to selling hand-chosen vintage homewares in Summer Hill. Now the shop – which began online – has moved into a bigger space on Newtown’s King Street.
With plenty of natural light and exposed-brick walls, this new space is two-and-a-half times roomier than the original. “We have done everything we possibly can to really elevate the retail space – not just in terms of the stock, but the presentation. We have really fine-tuned what we sell,” Savellis tells Broadsheet.
All the extra space means Savellis has been able to expand his selection. While much of the range is still made up of mid-century Pyrex, glassware and ceramics, there are also new additions Savellis picked up during recent buying trips across Italy, France, Portugal, Spain and New York. “We probably have no less than about 1200 individual products.”
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Savellis explains that the items are mainly “things that we love, things that catch our eyes … But we always try and specialise in items that you can’t predominantly get from other suppliers in Australia”.
For example, you could find wall decor from the ’50s – including plaques and wooden flying birds with brass wings – as well as Empoli glass, Japanese glass, and decanters and vases from ’60s and ’70s Italy. But there are also items that would have been sold at department stores such as David Jones, back when the “department store was the place to buy all your homewares”.
Savellis is also thinking about expanding the range to include new products – but they’d have to fit strict criteria.
“They would likely be products that have designs from the mid-century era,” he says. “But vintage will never go away for us. It is our jam. It’s what we love. It’s where my passion sits and is the heart of That Retro Piece. This small range of new products will just be something a little extra.”
That Retro Piece’s online store remains popular. Customers are teased frequently on Instagram about new stock that’s available exclusively online. “Having a great online store is fantastic because it means anyone, anywhere in the world can buy from us, and you can give them what they want.”