Payton Hogan and Chira Grasby are opening a retail store and bookshop on Hindley Street they hope will continue Adelaide’s zine-making legacy, and become a home for young and emerging makers and craftspeople.
Retail store Twenty Seven is reviving Adelaide’s zine scene
On a sunny Wednesday morning in an airy CBD café, Chira Grasby slides a paper tote bag across the booth to their friend and business partner Payton Hogan.
Suite 4, Level 1, 9A Hindley Street, Adelaide 5000
Tue—Wed: 11am ’til 4pm
Friday: 2pm ’til 7pm
Saturday: 11am ’til 4pm
Official opening: Wednesday, 27 October.
The bag is filled with print materials and trinkets sourced from the Adelaide Comic and Toy Fair, which Payton, who is studying writing and sociology, couldn’t attend due to a work commitment.
“There were lots of writers there, self-published ones. I was so bummed I couldn’t go. I’ve got some of their books now though, thank you,” Payton laughs, nodding towards Chira.
Chira, who is a tattooist at Halfpace Studio, put together the goody bag both as an act of friendship and commercial reconnaissance. They and Payton are about to launch Twenty Seven – a new maker-focussed retail store opening on Hindley Street.
Twenty Seven will stock zines and self-published works from young and emerging authors from across the country, as well as fashion and homewares made by small-scale makers.
Payton first had the idea for the shop while assessing post-university opportunities for authors.
As an employee of a major bookshop chain, Payton knows there’s a lack of shelf space available to early-career authors.
“I feel like most bookshops, they’ll only stock authors going down the traditional publishing route,” Payton says.
“Part of the reason why I wanted to setup a bookshop of my own was I really wanted to support independently published authors, or even just aspiring authors. Anyone who needs a space to help get the word out about what they’re working on.
“I don’t like the exclusivity; I think that’s a huge bummer in writing, so hopefully we can help deconstruct that a little bit.”
There’s plenty of demand from young makers for just such an opportunity. At Halfpace, Chira established a small retail offering for clients to browse while they’re in the waiting room, stocked with clothing and jewellery.
It quickly became apparent Chira knew more people looking for a retail outlet than they had room to stock.
“I started getting more friends saying, ‘Can I stock items in your space alongside this?’ And I’m thinking, ‘I’m running out of room,’” Chira says.
“And so the more Payton talked about the idea of a bookshop, the more we realised it would be wonderful to mix those things together, give these artists I’m talking to an opportunity as well.”
The store will launch on Wednesday, 27 October, and Chira and Payton have been drip-feeding announcements on Instagram about their initial batch of stockists.
So far, they’ve announced ceramicists Wonky Pottery and Clay4Cuties, handmade hats from Stoopid Art, jewellery from Cavehoney and Dorkus Design, homewares from Soft Ware and Cush Coma, print material from illustrator Maybe Boy, and tees from Nevari.
Twenty Seven has around 20 stockists so far, and they’re still taking expressions of interest. They’re going to wait until after they open, though, before committing to taking on more stock.
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Chira and Payton hope Twenty Seven will become a go-to space for people who want to support young makers while buying art for themselves or as gifts for friends. They also plan to keep prices accessible to a younger demographic.
“We’re on a business model of taking the least amount we can to ensure the artists themselves are actually the ones gaining, because I think this is how that kind of space should run,” Chira says.
Twenty Seven will also host workshops presented by local creatives, and will have a particular interest in the zine-making community.
During lockdown last year, Chira founded Index Adelaide, a social media-enabled postal zine-swap that also held a physical zine market at Chateau Apollo in December.
Chira says they’ve noticed a dip in the local zine-making scene since Format closed and founder of the long-running Zombie Queen Zine Swap, Haneen Martin, moved to the Northern Territory, but they’re hoping Twenty Seven will pick up this legacy.
“We’re trying to help the revival of it… because Adelaide hasn’t had a physical space to stock that kind of work in probably six or so years,” Chira says.
“Now that we’re advertising that we want to stock those kinds of items, we’re having more and more people popping up in the community, which is amazing, or people saying, ‘I want to start making them for the purpose of stocking them in your space’, which is great.”
More than anything, Chira and Payton hope Twenty Seven will become known as a space where people feel comfortable spending time – be it to shop, learn a craft, or simply browse.
“It would be great if we could have more queer-oriented spaces that don’t revolve around nightlife and drinking and partying and that kind of stuff,” Payton says.
“All of that is important, but I feel like it would be great if there was more variety.
“We both have ideas for the kind of space we want to set up, and this is that trial pop-up, one-year phase to start with. We have so many ideas about the kind of space that we could eventually end up creating.”
Twenty Seven is located at Suite 4, Level 1, 9A Hindley Street and will open 11am ’til 4pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, and 2pm ’til 7pm on Friday.
The store officially opens on 27 October, opening from 11am ‘til 4pm.
Connect with Twenty Seven on Instagram.