Contemporary jewellery store Studio Melt and ethical slow fashion practice High Tea with Mrs Woo have opened a new bricks-and-mortar store in Paddington. It’s the second collaborative space for the two independent businesses, which also share a store in their home city of Newcastle.
The Sydney store showcases sustainable clothing and accessories by High Tea with Mrs Woo. Founded in 2004 by sisters Rowena, Juliana and Angela Foong, the label designs and makes each piece in its Newcastle studio using traditional tailoring methods, with a focus on low waste and longevity.
Contemporary jewellery and objects by 65 studio-based Australian and international jewellers, curated by Studio Melt founder Ange Hailey, further complement the gallery-like space.
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“Every piece in this store celebrates craftsmanship, materiality and wearability,” says Hailey, who established Studio Melt in 2012. “You’ll find beautifully made heirloom pieces and enduring designs from skilled hands to your hands.”
A shared appreciation for the ethical, thoughtfully constructed and unique underpin the store’s distinctive offering and helped inform its design. The Sydney store is warm, light-filled and welcoming with timber floors, light wood tones and soothing colours. Much of the furnishings, fittings and settings were custom-made by the foursome’s creative partners and friends.
“We’re lucky to find ourselves in a beautiful old building [where] we’ve been able to blend contemporary craftsmanship with traditional character,” says Rowena.
It’s a feeling captured in details like the pairing of minimal light fittings on pressed metal ceilings, pared-back, hand-finished cabinetry against early 20th century wood flooring, and textured linen fabrics used to soften classic edges.
“There is a lot of beauty and information to take in. So, we were careful to keep the furnishings quiet but still maintain enduring style and character. We know it works because customers often spend 20 to 30 minutes in the store, being pulled into all the right details,” notes Hailey.
Some Sydneysiders may recall High Tea with Mrs Woo’s first store in Paddington – just near their new space, where In Bed is now – back in 2009.
“We made beautiful connections with the Paddington neighbourhood. Many Sydney customers have stayed with us all this time, and locals still remember our old store today,” says Angela. “We closed it in 2013, when I fell pregnant with my first child and my sisters also started growing their families.”
Drawn to its heritage buildings and leafy, inner-city atmosphere, the foursome is happy to debut their partnered space in Paddington. “Pretty funny and great that we’re back in the same neighbourhood!” says Juliana. “And we would not have believed we’d return as a co-retail store 10 years in the future. It’s so much better than we could have imagined.”
High Tea with Mrs Woo x Studio Melt Sydney
68 Oxford Street, Paddington
(02) 9145 8520
Tue to Fri 10am–5pm