North Road Shopping, Brighton

Just home from a lovely shopping experience.  Yesterday I was at Westfield Chermside.  It was chaos.  I came home stressed and with a headache.  Today I shopped at North Road, Brighton (North Brisbane).  Came home happy!  It’s a lovely little shopping strip, with unique products at a great price.  I also love that each of the shops below are run by mums, creating their own family work balance.  Can you tell I’m on holidays?  I’ve had time to write TWO articles today!  (The first is a recipe for mini Christmas puddings if you missed it).

Appleseed Lane Boutique

Appleseed Lane Boutique

First I visited a friend of mine, Kavala, in the beautiful Appleseed Lane Boutique.  This  store opened in September and is filled with gorgeous things for families.  Great to see products stocked there from another friend, Warwick of Echinda Krafts – you can read this post on on Warwick I wrote last year.  I found a chalk pen to help with my organising….they have been selling fast today apparently!  Lots of other beautiful products to browse as well and several on my wish list.  Visit today (22Dec) or tomorrow (23Dec) for 20% off storewide and 40% off the sale rack.  Kavala and Jenna aim for family work balance by working alternate days.  You can find them at shop 1, 11 north Road, Brighton.  Visit the Appleseed Lane Boutique Facebook page for more information and photos of products.

Willow Gifts

I met Kathleen from Willow Gifts &  when she bought Kavala some delicious-looking quiche for lunch from her shop a few doors down.  I love that kind of community feel where “neighbours” look out for each other.  I’d peeked through the window of this eclectic store a few weeks ago when it was closed.  Today I really enjoyed going in and browsing the really unique range of clothes, jewellery, gifts and more.  Tucked into the corner is a small cafe and there were some “regulars” visiting.  Today (22nd Dec) and tomorrow (23 Dec) is an amazing 50% off storewide, including new stock.  I ended up buying a beautiful bright orange dress just like the one Kathleen has on for only $25.

Willow Gifts 2

What I enjoyed about the shopping experience here was the atmosphere.  There were some “regulars” in the store having a coffee, and other customers from the local daycare centre in for a chat while they bought Christmas presents.  I then learnt myself of the great family work balance story, so asked Kathleen if I could take some photos to write this article.  I had noticed a lovely lady doing crochet out the front of the store next to a pram and assumed she was a grandmother out for a walk…but discovered the story was even more interesting.

Kathleen had been trying for a baby for many years and in her own words “gave up”.  Then Phoenix came along!  He was welcomed to the world a few months ago and Kathleen was wondering how she could manage the shop with a new baby.  She just works Thursdays and Fridays (like Kavala & Jenna sharing days) so she and cousin, Lisa, can work around their families.  This local lady (whose name I didn’t remember!) was a regular customer and a retired nurse – and offered to come and mind Phoenix during December.  In January Kathleen will be on holidays so can care for him and after that he will be old enough to go to daycare a couple of days a week.  I just always find it so interesting and inspiring to hear how mums (and dads) find ways to juggle and come up with unique solutions to find their own family work balance.  Baby Phoenix was quite happy napping in the pram while mum works.  You can find more information about Willow Gifts on their Facebook page.

Willow Gifts

There is also another store opening in this same shopping strip, run by inspiring Professional Parent Katrina, who started in North Lakes and great to see her success this year as she won Quest Business awards.  So in 2012 Brighton will now boast a Petite Princess Parlour to add to this lovely street, can’t wait until my girls are old enough to have a party!

So what made me so happy about this shopping experience was talking to lovely people, getting beautiful products at great prices and supporting local business.  Definitely something we should all try and do not just at Christmas but all year round!  It’s also nice to know how many out there are balancing family and work – which isn’t always easy but as all these business owners show, it is possible, especially if we all support each other.

Renee Veldman


2 thoughts on “North Road Shopping, Brighton

  1. Lisa Gardener

    Hi, I’m Kathleen’s cousin, Lisa, her partner in Willow Gifts, and I love this blog. You write wonderfully and what you are doing for this small, hardworking shopping strip is tremendous. Thank you. Great pics too!!

    1. Renee Veldman-Tentori

      Thank you Lisa, so lovely to hear from you! Amazing place you’ve created and glad to be able to spread the word a little. Hope to meet you sometime! Renee

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