Activating Docklands

A person in a vast

Vibrant new pop-up shopfronts in Docklands are breathing new life into our waterfront community.

A market, but indoors is how Julia Mateariki describes the new Your Locals store in Docklands.

The pop-up shop stocks a varied range of products, including clothing, textiles, candles and original art works. All Melbourne-made or Melbourne-designed.

It’s one of eight new shopfront activations in Docklands as part of the broader Shopfront Activation program across the City of Melbourne.

The new shop and workshop space is run by a group of makers who now have the chance to sell their products in a major shopping centre.

They pay a vendor fee and keep all their sales. Julia had spent a long time looking for a space such as this in Melbourne, but found it too costly.

‘We just couldn’t get into the city until the Shopfront Activation Program,’ Julia said.

‘This gives us space in a really exciting location. It feels like a flagship store for us.’

Julia and her business partner Albert Lieu invited other makers and artisans to be part of Your Locals and received an overwhelming response.

Now, Your Locals is set to be a popular part of the local neighbourhood.

In good company

Your Locals joins many creative pop-up enterprises across the city supported by our Shopfront Activation Program, in partnership with the Victorian Government.

Tapping into the city’s creative sector, the program has helped revitalise precincts that did it tough during the lockdowns.

Council has worked closely with landlords to get people, customers and stock back into vacant spaces and bring back the buzz to key locations in the city.

The program has supported more than 60 activations across three key areas – Docklands, Lygon Street in Carlton and the CBD. It provides low-cost or free shop spaces for bespoke fashion and gift stores, and pop-up libraries.

Shop local at Your Locals and more

The Docklands shopfront activations mark the latest stage in breathing new life into the waterfront community.

It provides opportunities for local creatives to test new ideas, a concept warmly welcomed by Your Locals.

Everyone who’s moved into the store is enthusiastic about its potential as both a store and a workshop space.

‘A lot of love has been put into the space,’ Julia said.

‘I think people are really learning to appreciate the locally-made, handmade products. Now that it’s gift-giving season people are really getting into the market feel.’

Part of the building is a creative workshop where each of the makers can run their own classes.

‘The property is really big with concrete floors, exposed ceilings and a really arty vibe and all the products really fit the atmosphere.’

The Shopfront Activation program in Docklands – brought to life by Renew Docklands in partnership with City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government – also includes stores and studio spaces for the Ashen Oak clothing brand, the artist Jem Bray and Lucas Gilbert’s sculpture practice, among others.

Find out more about the empty shopfronts we’ve transformed across the city as part of the Shopfront Activation program.

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14 December 2022
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