I grew up hiding in the clothing racks of op-shops (known as thrift stores in the US) and consignment stores while my Mom hunted for a deal. As I learned to chose my own clothing, I favored the hunting almost as much as the wearing, always looking for that extra-special piece hiding among the racks. I learned early on that cheap and economical are not equal to being wasteful and poorly made. Anyone can walk into a store and buy clothes but it takes a keen eye to make something your own. A well-cared for piece has more life in it than the first few trips outside it has with its first owner.
When I moved to Melbourne a few years ago, I looked for this store. There were a few options, but nothing that fully satisfied all my requirements. I frequented op-shops and vintage stores but it never felt quite right; either it was too picked over or too expensive. I needed that particular neighborhood vibe, somewhere I knew I could find something special and different every time I visited. I missed taking my old clothes in and seeing them have new life.
I saw opportunity, a service I could provide to my friends, neighbors, and peers. We all want more clothes but we don't want or need to spend too much money on them. What's a better and more diverse resource than the closets of our friends? So I decided it was time to start my own store. In addition to fashion, Mutual Muse is about sharing with your community; by providing your under-used clothes, you are giving them extra life and adding value for yourself and others where there previously was none.
We are very proud that Mutual Muse is a family owned and operated business. I run it with my husband Alec, my brother Anders helps with photo shoots, even our baby daughter Clementine occasionally “helps.” We love the Inner-North and can’t wait to contribute to the neighborhood. I hope you’ll join and grow with us while we learn from you. There are so many exciting things on the horizon.
Kirsta, Alec, and Clementine, sept 2014
Kirsta and Alec working hard on www.mutualmuse.net!