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Bound by a bookish idea

23 August 2017 | Posted in: News


Janita shares her story.

In 2015, I was listening to a radio interview on ABC radio with Christopher Saunders about Renew and The Emporium and saw a great opportunity.  I immediately thought of bookbinding.  I hadn’t thought of bookbinding for a long while but suddenly it seemed to be the logical choice. It was worth a phone call anyway.

A month later, I was in a shop in the former David Jones building.  My shop consisted of four old cosmetics counters and some plywood walls. The other ingredient was the people there. They were fantastic; clever, practical, helpful and friendly.

I set up a small hand bindery. Over the next 18 months, I refreshed and updated my skills as a bookbinder. With the help of Renew I got a logo designed, attended workshops, had publicity, both through traditional and social media and networked with a whole lot of people.

The Renew team were always there in the background they encouraged and supported our autonomy.

Starting a business as a sole proprietor is quite daunting and expensive, and it takes a lot of knowledge in a wide range of areas. Renew assisted me greatly in filling in the gaps and creating a whole and cohesive business.

I also saw the benefits Renew and The Emporium had on the local area. We attracted a lot of people to what was a derelict end of the mall. By bringing a vibrancy and energy to the area, I believe Renew has been instrumental in the revitalisation of Newcastle.

I have now moved on from Renew but they are still there in the background. I have just moved into a new shop with another member from the Emporium and also have a space in an art business incubator.  I know I would not be this far along in developing my business if I hadn’t been a part of Renew Newcastle and I thank them all very much.

New beauty spot appears in the Junction

23 August 2017 | Posted in: News


Kylie shares her story.

My time with Renew was brief. When I got the news on my opening week that I had only four weeks until the Emporium would close, I initially thought it was a lost opportunity. However, I decided not to think about the end date and just keep going.  During that month I learned that people loved what I was offering and loved the look of the store and loved the experience they had there.  Over the weeks, I made more and more sales and I knew I had something that was going to be okay.

The Junction Fair contacted me and said I would fit well with them and most importantly understood what Renew Newcastle was about and gave me the leasing flexibility I needed to enter their shopping centre.

Renew for me has worked exactly as it should. It gave me the launch pad to get going. It gave me an opportunity to see if customers liked what I offered. It gave me the confidence I needed and I will be forever grateful.

So rather quickly I now have a serious business and I am both excited and anxious. Mostly though I am thankful.

You can now visit Kylie at the relocated Savant Apothecary in shop 19, Junction Fair.

A home to Roost

17 July 2017 | Posted in: News

The Roost are behind an 8ft high mural that they say depicts the face behind the urban renewal of inner city Newcastle. It was unveiled on Market Square, in the heart of Hunter Street Mall recently.

Manager of The Roost, Bec Dujin, said “the project was a powerful and permanent message that spoke volumes about the importance of culture and creativity in shaping communities”.


A new place to potter

17 July 2017 | Posted in: News


Potteryali has built a reputation while in The Emporium and is working on a significant residential commission hand making and printing tiles for a kitchen splashback.

Reflecting on the last two and half years, Ali Sobel-Read says, “I have grown as an artist and businesswoman as a result of my retail space in The Emporium.”

“Renew has also supported me through a series of grants and workshops that have refined my skill sets and helped to promote my business.”

Ali’s business will change from a retail focus but continue creating ceramic work from the Clocktower Studio in Hamilton. She is welcoming both residential and corporate commissions from those who see beauty in Newcastle’s industrial architecture.

The new space will allow Ali to return to her roots as an educator to conduct ceramic workshops and tutorials for students of all ages.

For those of you seeking to purchase her work, she is investigating additional retail outlets around Newcastle to stock homewares and her other jewellery ranges. Stay tuned to her Facebook and Instagram pages as these locations unfold!

Where are they now?

17 July 2017 | Posted in: News

The Emporium tenants are merging into some existing collaborative spaces around Newcastle and new commercial leases. Their time in The Emporium has given them the opportunity to test the market for their business and have the ability to take on commercial leases elsewhere.

With Love Bree Lacey – commercial lease at 161 Hunter Street, Newcastle

PotteryaliClocktower Studio, 111 Beaumont Street, Hamilton

CCY Studio – City Arcade – (Coming soon)

Barbara Nanshe – City Arcade – (September)

BIIICreator Incubator and City Arcade (mid July)

Carved Green ManCreator Incubator

Stannard Inc –  watch this space

Red Block – online at

I & Mine – online at

VOUS – Edde in Islington and online at

Ritual Object – home studio

Fancy That collective – individual businesses

Lorna Ballantine Epps – watch this space

Savant Apothecary – The Junction Shopping Centre

Bobby Trouble – online at