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December 2, 2015

A very independent Christmas: Open Studio

Christmas shopping can be hard, or it can be an excuse to visit places you've never been before, buy great products and maybe fit in a yoga class or two. But that's only if you visit Open Studio.

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  • Words: Alicia Franceschini
  • Pictures: Baxter Wiles

Christmas can be a good time, but at this stage of the year there is a lot of shopping-related-anxiety standing between you and the delicious food, copious amounts of wine and naps.


Open Studio is located at rear entrance of 33 Sturt Street, Adelaide, 5000. Check their website for more consistent opening hours in the run up to Christmas.

If you’ve had enough of constant Christmas carols and are fed up with children crying on Santa’s lap, then a visit to Open Studio is likely in order.

Launched in December 2014 by the multi-talented Anny Duff, Open Studio is a retail space selling locally-made products that are kind to the environment, but is also a gallery, workshop and photo studio.

“We kind of do everything here,” says Anny. “It’s a multidisciplinary space and that was the approach from day one.

“We really wanted it to be a bit of a blank canvas where anyone could come in and see the potential and approach us with ideas to have an exhibition or a photo-shoot. That’s how it’s been for the past year but we’re always looking for new ways we can run the space.”

Open Studio began as a place for Anny to consolidate her many creative endeavors, including her clothing label B Goods, which is stocked in the studio. B Goods was borne of Anny’s frustration with the throw away culture that pervades consumerism today.

“I had a yearning to make something that was a little bit more meaningful,” she says.

“I realised there was a massive hole in the market for aesthetically pleasing but also environmentally friendly clothing. Through researching fabrics I fell in love with hemp and I decided that this was what I was going to base my whole company on.”

Open Studio also stocks Anny’s recently-released  swimwear collection – designed in collaboration with Vege Threads, which is made entirely from post-consumer nylon and completely South Australian manufactured.

Among the other products on offer is Wingnut Ceramics from Melbourne, local brand Border Co. timberwares (made exclusively from hard rubbish), and a range of independent publications including Strange Plants, Kinfolk and work from Melbourne artist Miso.

Consumables aren’t all that’s on offer either.

“We have Yoga here three times a week. It just adds a zen energy to the space,” says Anny. “It feels like people come in and get rid of their troubles, do some yoga poses and then the next day it always feels like the studio is really rejuvenated.”

Open Studio is currently open by appointment, which has worked well for Anny so far.

“Even though we’re not open all the time at least there’s an opportunity for our customers to come and talk to us. I think when there’s a disconnect from the designer and the customer there’s a risk of losing touch.”

Anny’s hands-on approach to retail allows her actually to engage with people when they visit the studio, which makes it a more meaningful experience. Once you know it’s there, you will want to keep going back.

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