Photography By Jody D’Arcy. Produced and styled by Jo Carmichael
The Media have been all over these girls over the last few months and we couldn’t resist being part of this media flurry too. This clever duo you see have many fingers in many pies, a stationery collection under the banner of Mitchell & Dent, a boutique wedding and party fair called First Comes Love and a very successful design agency and gorgeous shop selling their stationery line and favorite things called Studio Bomba. So, if you don’t know of them already, let me introduce you to Leah Dent and Angela Mitchell the creatives behind all these amazing brands.
The attention of these two is so well deserved as everything they put their fingers to becomes artful, well designed and beautiful. So their latest venture of course is brilliant….a bigger premises only a hop, skip and a jump down the road. Of course more space means even more clever things they can do. So, Studio Bomba now boasts a bigger shop space full of goodies to buy, a bigger studio to hold more craft courses, the design agency, AND a cafe with great coffee and cake should you need an excuse to stay for a while. All put together in the elegant quirky way that these girls do so well.
This very busy duo took some time out for a coffee and a chat to show us around.
How was Studio Bomba born?
We started out life as a traditional design agency working with clients in 2006. The evolution into studio/shop/coffee-bar is mostly thanks to a 1905 Chandler & Price platen press we bought on eBay (of all places). What we thought was a giant indulgence for us nerdy letterpress-loving designers actually changed the nature of our business. We developed a stationery line named Mitchell & Dent, which led to the creation of an indie bridal fair called First Comes Love. We opened the shop so people could see the stationery and other products we create inhouse. And with our move to a new Oxford Street address, we added coffee and cake to make the mooching about instore experience much more pleasurable.
You have just moved into this new exciting premises ..what were the reasons for the move?
We ran out of room. At our last Oxford Street address, our press was in a teeny tiny little space behind a curtain at the rear of the shop and we’d have to move a dozen things before we could print. Our press (affectionately dubbed ‘Herbert’) now has a whole room to himself – luxury! We were so lucky to secure the lease on 324 Oxford Street, which was formerly Distracted Merchants of Fancy. We loved what our friends Natalie and Mark Green created in this oddly-zoned building and were super sad to see it close, but the timing could not have been better for us. And because we had all spent so much time here in the past six years, it felt like home from the moment we moved in.
What was your inspiration for the shop’s interior and café space?
Bomba is unusual in that it is smack dab in the middle of a residential area. We brought a lot of what we see outside in our immediate neighbourhood inside – patterned breeze blocks, concrete, oiled timbers and industrial features such as copper piping, painted pegboards and a studio door that is an old-school metal grill. We opened up the space and painted it white to keep it light and bright, relying on the texture of feature walls of red brick and subway tiles to create interest. Much of our furniture is vintage, such as a 1930s display cabinet and 1970s school chairs from the Netherlands – or features recycled elements like the army blanket upholstery on our banquette seating. The signage is all painted by hand and features custom typography by our studiomate Marcus Taylor.
What new goodies can we expect to see and buy?
We can’t tell you how much fun it is to stock a larger shop space! We have the same mix of stationery, artwares, craftwares, publications, accessories and designer knick-knacks that we had in the old shop, but have sourced some super new things to boot. We’re especially loving the wooden owls by UK-based Matt Pugh. We’re the only WA stockist which is exciting. We also have great new colourful cushions by an ace Melbourne-based designer and limited edition screenprints by US-based Ross Moody that are proving popular.
What’s on the agenda for the classes that you run in your studio?
We’ll be running more of the knitting, crochet and paper bloom workshops that were popular at the old shop. They will be coming up soon. We’re also in the midst of exploring new workshops with some terribly talented folks about town who have mad skills to pass on. Look out for leatherwork, woodwork and bicycle maintenance workshops to name a few.
Studio Bomba Shop & Cafe
324 Oxford Street
Western Australia 6007
Mondays to Fridays: 7am to 5pm
Saturdays: 9am to 5pm
Sundays: 9am to 3pm