Case Study Article on Booskie.
Booskie is an exclusive and very unique handmade store. Opening its doors for the first time in late 2013, it is one of the first to have the works of so many different supporting designers and to have become more than ‘just a pop-up shop’. Although, in its early days, the only reason founder Sharyn Rowlands recruited with the first two designers, was to be available for a busy street festival, ‘The Monster Street Party’ without having to endure the cold night. Thus, with three handmade designers, ‘The 3 Handmaidens’ gained their name. One week became two, two weeks led on to Christmas, where they took a break but decided (mostly by popular demand!) to open on a more permanent basis. Their store residing right next to the bakery on the main street of Narrandera.
As the months went on and the response from the outstanding supportive local community as well as those passing through, ‘The 3 Handmaidens’ grew too big. Besides Sharyn’s own handmade business ‘Audrey Aggie & Me’ which begun to cater for kids and ladies sewing classes, the shop was stocked with all new designers. This now included her two daughters, Sarah and Meg, who front-lined the need for handmade soy candles in Narrandera, and originally did so under the name of ‘Saroma Candles’, and as they grew and began to incorporate a unique range of originally designed one-off pieces, they became ‘Saroma Creations’.
With so many designers and not enough space, ‘The 3 Handmaidens’ was left with an ultimatum; relieve some designers or somehow create space. Sharyn’s response to this problem was what we might have all done in the same situation, she explains “Well, losing any of our amazing designers wasn’t really an option, so we made the big decision to move...next door!”. From 108 to 110 East Street, they gained enough space for all their stock, the stock of the supporting designers and a huge space for ‘Audrey Aggie & Me”s sewing classes.
The address wasn’t the only big change. Sharyn, as founder, was the only designer left from the original three, and ‘The 3 Handmaidens’ title just didn’t quite fit anymore. During the endless painting and renovating the new store with its own unique handmade fittings, Sharyn and her second eldest daughter, Meg, discussed the new name of the shop but couldn’t both wholeheartedly agree. It wasn’t until Sharyn’s baby boy of 18yrs had unknowingly pitched the perfect name. Sketched on a scrap piece of paper was ‘Booskie’, a quick google search showed its definition in short, was an urban term of endearment, for ones you love or care for. “It was perfect”, said Meg, “People come to our store looking to get something for themselves or someone they love or care for, mum and I finally agreed on something..”.
‘Booskie’ has since made huge leaps and bounds, most importantly solidifying its core values to “stocking high quality handmade creations sourced from well-loved local designers” Sharyn says. The shop now includes an ever-growing patchwork room filled with bolts and bolts of designer fabric as well as any and all quilting and sewing supplies. Sharyn’s sewing classes as a part of ‘Audrey Aggie & Me’ have only become more popular and are often booked out. ‘Saroma Creations’ now makes their candles under the name of ‘Booskie’, now that the two girls are a part of running it. The store also has one extraordinary lady who is the resident crochet designer and works behind the counter with a contagious passion, Terry Andracchio. “Everyone loves her. We LOVE her, there’d be no Wednesday’s without the lovely Terry!” said Meg.
So there you have it. ‘Booskie’, now two doors down from the bakery at 110 East Street, Narrandera. From one woman’s desire to stay out of the cold of the night, to what’s become a truly beautiful family venture for Sharyn, Sarah and Meg.