881 High Street Thornbury VIC 3071 Australia Telephone: +61 3 9484 6001
Trading Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 - 5

DID you know that our blog has now moved to our website?
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Vintage Window Dressing with Business Victoria

Did you know that a photo of a past window display from the manufactory currently features on Business Victoria's homepage?

We are also quoted in the marketing article 'dress for success':
Dress for success: 
It's Christmas time and what better way to attract walk-in customers with a creative window display? Victorian businesses shares their tips with us.

It's great to see a small business featuring up there with the big players on Business Victoria's website. Thanks to Eugenia from BV for the opportunity.

Stayed tuned, as a case study on merchandising may eventuate from this article...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas shopping at the manufactory for the fellas

As promised, here's a continuation of the manufactory's recommended Christmas Shopping List. This time, we have focused on the men in your life:

Shopping List for your Men:

·       Luggage from Trunk & Orderly, available as a lunch case, kinder case or weekender. Sturdy and practical.

·       Gardenware, such as garden tools from Heaven in Earth, and heirloom veggie seeds from the Little Veggie Patch Co. Tasty and useful.

·       The best ever moustache wax available in dark, light and tacky, from Firehouse Moustache Wax. Given the thumbs up by all the mos in the know.

·       Field notes memo books (available as lined, grid or squared paper), Vintage Travel 2013 desk calendars and  Adventure sticks, soap to go. Lovely and clean.

·       Vintage industrial pieces, apothecary vessels, lighting, records and fans. Patina plus.

And many more items are in-store now...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Christmas at the manufactory

It's that time of year when the manufactory brings Christmas in-store, and I just love it!

Here's a peek at our wrapped new giftwares, glittered cards and gift tags all ready for you to take home:

We thought this year we would start a manufactory shopping list, to help ease the stress often associated with present selection.

We will add to this shopping list weekly, with his and her ideas, vintage items and handmade lovelies, so stay tuned for more present posts...

the manufactory Shopping List 

1. Presents for the little ones by Trunk & Orderly

Just in: traditional luggage handmade in Ballarat on vintage case-making machinery by Trunk & Orderly. We now stock all T&O luggage sizes: tiny lunch cases, super cute kinder cases and compact weekender suitcases. Handy, beautiful and tough.

2. Little presents for everyone by Murphy & Daughters and Zetta Florence

Add some scented bon bon soaps (handmade in Melbourne by Murphy & Daughters), or beautiful stationery by Zetta Florence to your present cupboard. 

These little gifts are great to have on hand for teachers, your neighbours and those surprise gift givers. Useful and just right. 

3. Presents for the greenthumbs 

How about some useful horticultural implements and beautifully crafted garden accessories for your gift list? 

We always have a great range on hand, mainly sourced from Brisbane-based company Heaven in Earth, The Little Veggie Patch Co. and Cote Provence (the latter are both based in Melbourne).

the manufactory also stocks fresh plants, for indoors and out, to add that green element to your home or gift giving.

Remember, too, we offer a free gift wrapping service with every purchase. So take advantage of this when you next drop in.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Vintage furniture, homewares and fresh botanica

It is way past time that I updated you on some of our newest vintage finds, and how wonderful they are! Starting with our industrial vintage pieces, we have these great little stools (4 remain):

Snatches of vibrant cherry red are everywhere in the shop, including these metal reflective road safety triangles (not the plastic ones):

Take a look at this amazing double set of spare parts drawers. They are slightly larger than ones we have sold in the past. Approx measurements are height 63cm, width 44cm and depth 17cm. The little drawers are 15.5cm tall, 11cm wide and 17cm deep. This item is welded together with a steel frame so it can be hung on a wall. Years of patina here:

And for our more feminine needs, we have reworked the Mote double ladder shelving with a silver and purple display that is awesome (mannequin, pair of MOTE ladders and large birdcage now SOLD):

Plus we have splashes of the blues:

And another little dog and mini shoe lasts:

So that's just a snapshot of our newest vintage items. Loads more are in-store. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

customers+business owners=amazing photos from maho and pea

We are fortunate to have many talented customers who run their own businesses too. Sometimes we can combine both of our businesses for additional benefits and that's just great!

Such creative customers include interior stylists, artists, architects, builders and decorators, garden designers, authors, food stylists, bloggers and many photographers.

When one of our customers (who is also a photographer) asked if she could photograph our little shop, of course we said yes!

Peta Calvert (Pea) is one half of maho and pea, photographers who are keen to help you document whatever story you wish to tell.

Peta took some beautiful photos of our shop:

Take a look here at their website:

These photos capture the story of the manufactory by showcasing the beauty of age alongside the freshness of growing things and the brightness of the new.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bespoke Vintage Shelving

We have a brilliant new addition to our shop. It's a handcrafted shelving unit made from reclaimed timber that looks so good it may have always been here. I am very fortunate to have such a wonderful husband who is also handy.

This corner previously housed our steampunk department and most recently a blueprint panel supporting rayguns, goggles and assorted fobs (panel is now for sale, POA). Although the manufactory will no longer custom-make steampunk accessories, we aim to stock interesting brass items which will be displayed throughout the shop. 

This vintage shelving area now displays our wonderful Murchison-Hume products, made in Sydney.

The shelves are stocked with cleaning products with evocative names such as Effortless Floor Splash, Boys Bathroom Cleaner, Counter Intelligence Surface Spray and Furniture Spritzer.

We also stock Decidedly Rich Hand Cream and Superlative Liquid Hand Soaps:

The scents are great too: Australian White Grapefruit and Original Fig, with some Juniperberry thrown in for extra variety.

Murchison-Hume premium housecleaning products are earth, food, child and pet safe. They are readily biodegradable and free from environmental pollutants. The packaging is just beautiful, being reusable and recyclable. 

Keep a look out for the 1 litre glass bottle filled with heirloom dishwashing liquid. As soon as we order this product it always sells out!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Community spaces in New York

New York has the most amazing public parks and integrated street furnture I have seen anywhere, and I am not simply referring to Central Park.

Public seating adjacent to the Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan island was inspirational. Take a look at these beauties:

A most brilliant use of metal and timber! Much better than our run-of-the-mill boring park benches any day.

The High Line on Manhattan's West Side is incredible. You can experience nature strolling amongst high-rise buildings, sitting on a bench that appears to defy gravity or a comfy rolling-lounge chair. Re-built in 2009 from the site of an elevated disused rail structure, it now attracts millions of visitors (locals and tourists). It was my all-time favourite New York experience. 

The story of the two co-founders of Friends of the High Line, Joshua David and Robert Hammond, is a remarkable and encouraging story. The Friends Group maintains the High Line and provides more than 90% of the annual operating budget. Their self-titled book the High Line should be read by anyone who cares about green and urban life:

Our local park in New York, Bryant Park, is a great case study for integrating active and passive park experiences. Like the High Line, it too is managed by private citizens for use by the community.

Adjacent to the New York Public Library, Bryant Park contains a restaurant, several food kiosks and an outdoor bar. It also has areas for playing chess and table tennis, a small stage for bands, a large film screen for Monday night cinema showings and fold-out chairs you could move around at whim. Simply magical:

One more New York posting to come. And please don't forget, we are open this Sunday 2 September, Father's Day, from 10am.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Natural History in New York

There were three key amazing experiences that we took away from our New York trip. Interestingly, each is rooted in nature.

Firstly, the American Museum of Natural History located adjacent to Central Park was masterful. It contained the best examples of taxidermy in naturalised environments that I have ever seen:

The hall of biodiversity was simply awe inspiring, demonstrating a small snapshot of the range of species our earth supports:

Of course, it may be preferable if the hundreds of school children that were visiting the museum (on our day) were seeing these animals in a free range zoo. Or even better, in their natural habitat. But this is New York city, and just about every square inch is built upon.  

We did manage to find a zoo on the High Line (more of this great green linear space in another post). Although the Natural History Museum is more realistic, someone is having fun with a spare rooftop:

We have constantly debated the role taxidermy has in our little shop. Yes, it's hot right now and everyone seems to have a moose or a buck hanging on their wall. 

Yet we have opted to go with stylised versions, made of ceramic or resin. Even the very life-like raccoon skulls we brought back from NY are made of resin. 

And we are at peace with that decision. 
So too is 'Noodle':

Stay tuned for two other favourite NY experiences...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Fresh from New York

Just recently, we took a quick trip to the US (namely New York). We are always looking for styling inspiration, as well as vintage and fresh pieces that are interesting and fit the feel of the manufactory

The good news is we managed to fit some great smaller items into our luggage! They are very limited in stock quantity, many are one-offs. They are also beautiful. 

We have labelled these vintage items (and some new pieces too) with a red ribbon and a red NY stamp. Most NY items are part of our new shop window display, on a pair of red ladders with baltic pine shelves.

In our next few blog posts, we will share photos taken in New York for great styling ideas.

Here's a peak at one of the gorgeous window displays of the exclusive department store, Bergdorf Goodman, on 5th Avenue New York:

Monday, July 16, 2012

Vintage Furniture

Did you know that most of the furniture pieces in the manufactory are for sale? From reclaimed timber and steel benches, to assorted ladder shelving and original pieces such as an oak side table and a marvellous 'haberdashery' unit handmade from saddle soap boxes.

Here are just a few of the larger furniture pieces available:

This amazing handmade timber drawers and cabinet is made from saddle soap boxes. Wonderful patina. One of a kind piece. Originally used as a haberdashery unit. POA.

The wonderful soft pine timber in this chest of 5 drawers is beautiful to the touch. Features fine details such as dovetail joinery and brass key locks (but no keys, sorry). The amazing pears sign is also available.

Pine timber chest of drawers now SOLD.

A feature of our store has always been the sturdy workbench. It holds bounteous botanica as well as wrapped Christmas presents from November onwards, and special vintage items. 

We haven't offered it for sale previously but it is now available. But please be warned, it is heavy and would take 2 people to collect it, and probably a trailer too!

And for a larger piece, this substantial timber ladder shelving is formed from a pair of double-wide timber MOTE ladders.

Pair of ladders and reclaimed timber shelves now SOLD.

So that's just a taste of the furniture items we have for sale at the manufactory

Please be patient with us if you purchase any of our larger furniture pieces. As they are all used for display purposes, we may not be able to unpack everything on the spot for you! 24 hours notice is usually required, and out of hours pick-up is not only possible, but is preferred.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Gearing up for Winter

It's been great to see some sunshine over the past few days. This has really lit up our new window display beautifully. The amazing wheel is a 4ft timber casting mould that would have provided the shape for other huge wheels. 

It's actually quite light, for it's size, and would make a great wall feature...(wheel now SOLD)

I am also excited about our range of vintage seedling terracotta pots and bobbins from France. Seedling pots are $9 each, or 3 for $25.  Bobbins start from just $10. Several bobbins even have the original silk wound around them. Beautiful.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Engineering blueprints

Do we have some amazing vintage items in store for you! Most recently we have sourced a company that has brought in engineering blueprints from a manufactory in Lyon, France. Most of the plans are c1920-1940s. They are simply amazing.

Here's a close-up of how we have used several of the blueprints on a panel in the shop:

And here's another image of the blueprint panel in the steampunk corner. This picture also showcases our fantastic industrial chairs (more colours in stock)and vintage silk bobbins:

We also have a bit of an equestrian theme in the shop at the moment. We have riding helmets, tiny horse figurines, ceramic horse busts and my favourite, show ribbons:

Plus, look at this amazing luggage collection at the base of a coffin lantern on a Miller tripod (now SOLD). We just love vintage travel items as they evoke thoughts of journeys to far off lands...

Please remember, we are open in June on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10am to 5pm. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Our 1 Year Anniversary & Trading Days in June

A few items of note today:

Did you know that Saturday 16 June will be the manufactory's first anniversary? How incredible this past year has been. A special thanks goes out to all our regular customers, and to all the new ones we are still meeting each and every day.

And on another good note, our Autumn newsletter is nearly ready. Stay tuned, as it should hit your in-box or mail box very soon. Our mailing list has grown to nearly 200 now, so that's also a great effort!

During the cooler months of June and July, we will be taking the opportunity to spruce up the manufactory and search out some great pieces just for you. This means that our usual trading days of Tuesday to Saturday will not be so, well, usual.

During June, we will be trading on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 5pm. Stay tuned for July's trading days...

We hope you all have a great week and keep warm.