FREMANTLE BID: FOCUS ON FREMANTLE CBD

Top shop on the block

INTERVIEWING The Butcher Shop’s owner Aimee John, you can see why her Fremantle CBD shop is quirky, chilled and comfortable.

It reflects the bubbly and enthusiastic businesswoman’s presence; over the phone, it seems incongruous she’s a 30-something and not a young bohemian straight out of art school.

The shop’s walls are a rainbow of spray cans, art supplies, clothing, books, magazines, accessories and artworks; however, to buy some supplies you’ll need your driver’s licence to prove you’re over 18.

• The Butcher Shop Fremantle’s Eleanor Hoffman ready to answer art questions. Photo by Meagan Barrett

• The Butcher Shop Fremantle’s Eleanor Hoffman ready to answer art questions. Photo by Meagan Barrett

Ms John opened the first Butcher Shop in Northbridge in 2004 when she was  just 22.

The business started as a stall at an event aimed at giving unemployed people with an entrepreneurial bent the chance to test a business idea.

“It started as a gallery space for local artists,” Ms John says.

It proved successful, so she took the plunge and negotiated a lease for the Northbridge shop and says it “naturally grew into art supplies and continued to grow.”

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Next came clothing, with the shop stocking local brands as well as t-shirts designed by local and international artists.

Ms John says the art supplies side of the business has boomed.

”Craft to hardcore to fine, all sorts,” she says.

Ms John grew up in Bridgetown where her parents were small business owners, which gave her an understanding of running one herself.

Despite the town’s renowned scenic beauty, she doesn’t really know where her love for art came from, saying she just started drawing things.

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After completing a fashion design course at TAFE she decided to open the store.

“I wanted to make my own opportunity,” she said.

“It was the first store with young regeneration.”

Fremantle with its strong appeal for artists and art lovers was a natural choice.

The Butcher Shop was originally “by artists for artists” but she says it now has customers of all ages and backgrounds, from beginners to veterans.

“It’s very diverse,” she said,

“70-year-olds to young children with their parents.”

Ms John has previously painted murals for Fremantle council and worked with students in Bunbury to paint an underpass.

by MEAGAN BARRETT

The Butcher Shop
14 Point Street, Fremantle
6420 0902

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