Cate and Nick Giplin, the team behind Brown’s General Store, want to return to a unique and personal shopping experience, progressively rarer to find in a world of next day shipping and constant sales.
Brown’s is an aesthetically stunning nook in Paddington. It provides a dual service to its community as an innovative gallery and retail space for ethically and locally produced products.
Cate and Nick have used their experiences, travels, and passions to create a space that reflects their passions, experiences, and travels.
“We were living in New York around 2012 and 2013 and were blown away by the gorgeous stores there – so carefully and well curated, we wanted to create this,” said Cate.
“Then when we travelled through Europe we saw all the glorious ateliers, and shops and galleries with locally made wares, and we wanted to do that.”
The pair balances the work of owning a new business by playing to each other’s strengths. Nick has a fantastic aptitude for technology, which he uses to run a successful IT consultancy, and a creative side which expresses itself through photography.
Cate, meanwhile, has a background in retail, galleries, curation, and project management. For the important task of providing Nick and Cate with inspiration and joy, the Giplin team has its newest member Eddie, the pair’s young son.
The store is representative of Cate, her family, and her truest aspirations.
“I love talking to people, so owning a business, a space where I can chat to customers, hear their stories, connect, that is just a dream come true for me,” said Cate.
“Nick and I are both great lovers of well-made, quality, aesthetically appealing goods, and we wanted to offer these kinds of products, all made ethically, to a wider audience. And finally because I have a background in the arts, I am just a lover of beautiful things…I like the beauty in the everyday.”
“We stock ceramics, jewellery, leather goods, woodwork, body products, prints, cards, fashion, bags, plants, baby clothes, toys and more – every item we stock is ethically made and 95% of our products are Australian made,” she said.
“Our goal is to make a living by supporting makers to make a living, and offering the community beautiful quality ethical goods.”
The store’s ethical and local ambitions exceeds personal preference to reflect a broader issue of sustainability.
“We want to support local makers as we believe the act and ability of making well crafted goods is something to be celebrated and supported, we want a strong maker movement in Australia,” said Cate.
“We believe in ethically made products because we do not want to have the items we love and purchase to be based on others suffering. And we want to offer that option to our clientele, we want to give them the opportunity to purchase locally and ethically too.”
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