Menu Search

A trip not to miss

7 March 2018 | Posted in: News

Pictured: Bree-Lacey chooses lunch at local favourite, Sushi Koo.                                        Written by: Rayannon Innes | Photography: Lee Illfield

A few weeks before the closure of The Emporium was announced mid last year, Bree-Lacey Bickham graduated from her shopfront space into a commercial property two doors down. Although new to the Hunter Street Mall business community, Bree-Lacey’s custom-made womenswear store With Love Bree-Lacey, quickly became a fitting addition to a district known for its unique retail and hospitality offerings.

Sewing all of her vintage-inspired garments on premise, With Love Bree Lacey offers one-off, made to measure womenswear that looks timeless in any season. Bree-Lacey also stocks other local handmade goods including homewares and accessories from former fellow Emporium retailers Petra Hilsen Textile Design, Pottery Ali, CCY Studio and Jodie Louise Millinery.

Whether it be handcrafted wares, delectable food, consistently good coffee, engaging local and international art exhibitions, and many other goods and services, the inner CBD area has defined itself through its small business community. Despite this, with street construction making navigating the city and finding a suitable parking space more challenging, the journey into town can appear to be less appealing than it once was. During this current period of disruption in the inner-CBD area, some are even left feeling they should bypass the trip into the city all together.

Despite the challenges, local business need our support more than ever. Although parking hints can be shared and the use of cycle and public transport promoted, remembering what attracts people into Newcastle is integral to sustaining the vibrant culture of the CBD.

Bree-Lacey recalls many from Sydney and beyond frequently making the journey to view the work of herself and the other retailers in The Emporium. Today, those creative businesses are still trading but rely heavily on walkthrough sales.

As Bree-Lacey says, “It’s getting to know the makers behind things and getting to know the stories of their items. You’re not just getting an item, you’re getting a part of us”

Although even she can sometimes find herself hard-pressed for parking, Bree-Lacey suggests visiting the CBD earlier in the weekend where parking is free before 12pm on Saturdays.