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Melbournalia is a souvenir shop with a difference. Along with three other like minded Melbournians, fashion and marketing guru Alasdair Mackinnon set about putting together retail outlets selling souvenirs “that have some of the city’s soul”.  Handmade, locally designed and locally produced treasures that discerning Melbournians are proud to call their own.

According to Alasdair, “Melbournalia started as a conversation between Dale Campisi, Michael Brady, Jenny Brown and myself. We are all local designers and artists who feel that Melbourne is part of who we are. We are passionate about it”. The group’s involvement in the Stop, Look, and Shop project as a part of the State of Design Festival earlier this year says a lot about their local credibility.

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The venue for this store  is The Captain’s of Industry, a hidden café right in the heart of Melbourne. The café shares its studio style space with a barber and a shoemaker. The old fashioned feel is accentuated by gorgeous vintage pieces dotted around the space; 50’s deco chairs, wooden tables and ornamental lamps add homely warmth to the sophisticated vibe. Melbournalia’s design and artistic ‘souvenirs’ are a discovery of their own. Eclectic yet complementary, the pieces are exactly what they promise to be, beautifully crafted and filled with stories of their own. Ranging from hand printed tea towels, calendars, badges, postal kits, scarves and knitwear the local vibe is completed with some iconic tram memorabilia. Alasdair chats to people as they linger around the counter, watching them pick up the beautifully compact Arcade books and stroke the soft woolen scarves (lovingly designed by Brunswick’s Otto and Spike). He says he is so proud that people are supporting their 30 local makers.

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Melbournalia is opening four stores progressively through November, with the last store opening on the 8th of December. Stores will be located in North, South, East and West Melbourne.

“We wanted a step up from a basic market. Each of the openings is at a different location in Melbourne and each one has a different theme. We want people to explore the hidden places with us, every part of the city has something different to offer…The thing I love about Melbourne, is that to discover the best places you have to adventure down lanes and walk through arcades, especially for the best art and design.”

If buying handmade locally designed and made products is important to you, check out the next Melbournalia opening, Thursday the 24th of November at The Nicholas Building, Room 3, Level 3 Corner Flinders Lane & Swanston St, City.  For more info go to their website.

Copy and photos© by Carmen Angerer, photographer, journalist, arts and design devotee.

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Guest Blogger.  Carmen Angerer is a writer and photographer who lives in the heart of Melbourne. She is passionate about art and design and actively hunts down great finds in her neighbourhood.  As a ‘twenty something’ adult, she has her finger on the pulse of what’s new and is keen to share her finds with the rest of the world.  Welcome to Isiiad Carmen!