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Bondi’s backstreet treasure: OurMishMash

Side Street, Sydney had a cup of tea with OurMishMash’s lovely owner Jacquelyn Foster to talk clothes, living rooms and brownies.

1) What were you doing before you started a boutique?

I worked at MSN in London as the project manager for advertising and marketing.

2) Why did you decide to open one up?

I used to hang out at No-One in London, which was just a really funky café/boutique in Shoreditch. When I got back to Australia, I decided I needed a change – I was sick of the corporate world and was feeling a little flat. Being in London and surrounded by all the cool shops there was the push I needed to start up my own.

3) Why the name OurMishMash?

I wanted to combine my two biggest passions – coffee and clothes. OurMishMash is essentially a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I named it after I found the space.

4) What’s the inspiration behind the interior of the shop?

I wanted to create somewhere that felt like a lounge room, where you could chill out like you would at your best friend’s place – drinking tea, listening to music and working out what you’re going to wear over the weekend. We even occasionally hold knitting nights and art nights, which is something I’m going to try to get the store back into for summer. I scoured auctions and markets to get the relaxed, vintage vibe I was going for.

5) Bondi is a bit hit and miss when it comes to fashion. Why did you choose it?

Well, there was something lacking here – a place that had soul. When I found the space, it seemed to cry out for attention. I wanted it to be a destination store, not necessarily in the thoroughfare of Bondi but just a stone’s throw away. We stock the kind of labels that people are willing to drive to and get.

6) What kind of aesthetic does OurMishMash look for in its brands?

Although I hate the word, we like labels that are a bit on the edgier side. We stock Stolen Girlfriends Club, Ellery, 27 Names, Deadly Ponies, Jimmy D, Maise, LimeDrop and select vintage pieces. We’ll be putting on Elke Kramer, TV and maybe Romance Was Born next season.

7) What are some of the most difficult parts about owning a store? And the best?

For me, balancing all the fun stuff with the bookwork is the hardest part. The financial number crunching is definitely not fun, and there is so much to do after the doors close – but going to showings, buying stock and meeting customers is absolutely wonderful! It’s especially exciting to see what young designers come up with each season.

8) Tell us something about your store that might surprise people.

I wake up at 7am and bake everything! Well, except for the Caramel Kisses. The brownies are the best – they’re the same recipe from the Borough Market in London.

words: Seema Duggal


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