Cult retailer A Flat Shop has a new name and new digs at Ebenezer Place, so CityMag took a look.
A Flat Shop, now Shop Pond, heads east
Over the tail end of 2023, when most of us were procrastinating as much as possible and pushing commitments into the new year, the folks behind A Flat Shop were busy renovating a vacant shop on Ebenezer Place and deciding on a new brand identity.
4—10 Ebenezer Place, Adelaide 5000
Tue—Thu: 11am ’til 5pm
Friday: 11am ’til 7pm
Sat & Sun: 11am ’til 5pm
Formerly based out of a second-story apartment at Gresham Street in the city’s West End, the store now named Shop Pond sells second-hand designer garb worn by Adelaide’s best-dressed alongside a spattering of new threads made by up-and-coming Australian designers.
It’s a formula that’s served Shop Pond founders Angela Carrig, Nathan Peacock and Christopher Arblaster well, who tell CityMag they were ready to step out from the cloak of Gresham Street and onto the busier East End lot.
The new store is industrial but chic: fire-retardant-coated beams hold the space together, walls are roughly painted, and Arblaster’s Filter Store takes up the right part of the shop –demarked from Shop Pond’s spot on the left with bright yellow clothes racks.
Long-term A Flat Shop fanatics will be comforted that Shop Pond isn’t reinventing the wheel with the rebrand – expect the same curatorial nous the trio has brought to Adelaide wardrobes for years. The same smiles still greet customers too, only now they’re far easier to find in the heart of the East End’s café and retail precinct.
What’s different? No more trudging up one giant staircase to reach the coveted threads (good) and no more in-store kitchen (arguably a sad loss).
“We haven’t quite got to the stage of having an actual pond here,” says Angela.
“We had to leave the name ‘A Flat Shop’ because it was really just relevant to that space – we thought it was like a living space, so we saw the need to rebrand as well.
“It’s kind of an umbrella name as well; we’d like to be peaceful.”
The trio told CityMag the space was “a shell” before they stepped in to form their vision for the location – a step away from the “ramshackle” nature of Gresham Street.
“Gresham was quite ramshackle, and had a lot of natural character,” says Chris.
“That was a really nice thing. So we thought about how to preserve that but make it a more public-facing sort of environment. Whereas [the new shop] is kind of the opposite – before this it was a café and the Maras Group took out all that stuff and painted everything for us – it was quite plain so we had to inject some character.”
That was achieved by referencing the ‘plain’ shell of the room; Carrig customised a checkout desk to match the coated beams that hold the rooms up. The beams themselves were also altered with little shelves neatly placed up the length of the steel to hold smaller items like jewellery and sunglasses. The subtle meeting of customisation with the industrial base the team was given is present throughout the store, giving shoppers little shots of surprise around every corner and in every crevice.
“The other thing when I think about Gresham versus here is Gresham was a larger space, so in the smaller environment we’re trying to preserve a feeling of space but then also use all the space that we have way more,” says Chris.
Perhaps the biggest change from Gresham is the re-introduction of Filter Store as a clearly defined half of the Shop Pond whole. Chris has been operating Filter Store since 2012, but folded it in neatly to the broader umbrella of A Flat Shop when that space opened in 2019.
Now, he gets 50 per cent of the shop floor for his brilliant collection of imported and Australian vintage clothing. For the uninitiated, expect beautifully crafted coats and jackets from defunct cult European designers, grails from Japanese fashion labels, eccentric suits, and patterned tees, shorts and windbreakers.
Shop Pond has its share of vintage, but a good chunk is made up of brand-new items from the likes of Sydney-based Alix Higgins or functional designs from Be Right Back. Adelaide creatives are a strong presence in the store too – hand-made jewellery from Lilly Buttrose is available, as is the quirky and always colourful Tricote.
The trio said they already felt welcomed by the Ebenezer community.
“Maybe one of my favourite things about this street is the sound of people getting their hair cut,” says Chris about Shop Pond’s neighbour Orenda Hair.
“It’s the best kind of background noise. I love the idea that there are people somewhere nearby talking to each other. It’s great.”
Shop Pond is located at 4–10 Ebenezer Place, Adelaide and is open from 11 am until 5pm from Tuesday to Thursday, then 11am until 7pm on Friday, and 11am until 5pm on the weekend.
Connect with the business on Instagram for more.