Scores of people braved the cold to be the first through the doors of Creswick Woollen Mills’ grand store opening at The Block Arcade in Melbourne’s CBD on August 8.
With many queuing up from 4am, one Mooroopna woman was so keen to secure her spot she waited outside the Elizabeth St precinct from midnight. When doors opened at 8am, punters received a warm woolly welcome from the store’s luxuriously tactile range of Australian made natural fibre products all beautifully displayed in the iconic building.
The first eight visitors through the doors were gifted an Australian made Regal Pure Alpaca Quilt, valued at $759 RRP and the following eight who walked in received an $88 Creswick voucher.Even four friendly merino lambs trotted around the iconic Arcade, much to the delight of onlookers.
Occupying the entire basement of the French Renaissance-styled Arcade, Creswick’s new store certainly is more than a shop – it’s an experience, for locals and tourists alike.
Showcasing heritage products designed at the company’s mill in Creswick, Victoria, the new store features unique historical and tourism displays, including a wool room and weaving beam, highlighting the family company’s commitment to Australian manufacturing and design.
Creswick Woollen Mills Executive Director Boaz Herszfeld said the whole family is proud to continue the tradition of Australian Made textiles and the nation’s fibre industry.
“Our family was selling rolls of fabric in Flinders Lane in the 1940s so this is a great milestone for our company to have such a wonderful flagship store in The Block Arcade,” Mr Herszfeld said.
“When people come to Australia they think of clean, they think of natural, so in a lot of the cases they have a preference for buying products made from our natural fibres.”
The not-for-profit Australian Made Campaign, whose involvement with Creswick has spanned over 16 years, has been helping local fibre, textile and clothing producers leverage Australia's reputation for quality products via Australian Made certification for more than 30 years.
Mr Herszfeld said overseas visitors do often prefer to buy Australian made.
“In the case of our beautiful cashmere coats, whenever people think of a category, they want to see an Australian Made logo. Buying choices are not always on the Australian Made, but it definitely helps.
Australian Made Chief Executive Ben Lazzaro encourages people to visit the store.
“As the last coloured woollen spinning mill of its type remaining in Australia, Creswick has been operating for 71 years so I congratulate them on this remarkable milestone,” Mr Lazzaro said.
“Australia is well known around the world for the highest quality, clean, natural fibres so it’s great to see Creswick – like the 2,700 other certified Australian Made businesses – continue to manufacture premium products in our pristine environment to Australia’s high manufacturing standards.”
Located in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, The Block Arcade is Melbourne’s most famous boutique shopping experience. As a key part of the Golden Mile heritage walk, the arcade is a truly unique location that is home to a wide range of retailers.
The Block Arcade General Manager Grant Cohen said Melbourne visitors crave authentic stories about Australia’s living history and said Creswick’s store has met those expectations.
“For tourists visiting Melbourne, they usually stay for two-and-a-half days so they often don’t have time to visit regional areas on short visits, so what a great opportunity now to get a taste of country Victoria right in the heart of the CBD,” Mr Cohen said.
“Both The Block Arcade and Creswick Woollen Mills have a richly decorated history, and it’s pleasing to see how Creswick have highlighted the building’s original 1890s architectural features; it’s just like you’re in the countryside.”