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Community & Business

26 April, 2023

Something old, something new

It’s not about what it is — it’s about what it can become...this was exactly Claire Harvey’s thinking, when she opened her new shop on Miller Street just last week.

By Emily Middleton

“The Rustic Burrow” is Claire’s home for all things old and new. Everything from vintage and retro pieces of furniture that have been given a new life, to pillows and throws to complement your settings, this store is a labour of love.

“I’ve always been a creative person and restoring, refurbishing, or painting a piece of furniture, is definitely up my ally,” owner Claire Harvey said.

“Everything is upcycled in here — all the cab- inets, the coffee table, even some of the vases. My husband’s a welder, so that’s where all the metal side of things have come into it,” she added.

Recycling of materials to make the most of what we have, is a central philosophy of her new store, Claire explained.

“Everything’s been sourced from left-over materials. For example, the metal’s been left-over from my husband’s workshop; the bag-holder is an old sleeper from the farm that’s got big bolts in it; the shelving unit planks, are from the old farm homestead — so everything’s been re-used or re-purposed.

Reducing waste, and our individual footprint on the environment, is another key concern. 

“That’s kind of my aim, to think more about sustainability and doing things yourself, rather than buying flat pack stuff,” Claire Harvey said.

“Just make your magic on something else, to fit into your home now,” she added.

Locals may know Claire from online; where she has made a successful market in retailing upcycled pieces of furniture.

When these pieces began to sell far quicker than she initially expected, Claire realised that there was an important gap in the market.

“The upcycling came from being in lockdown, look- ing around and wanting to change my furniture. I had a lot of the old 80s orange pine.

“Once I was doing my own furniture, people kind of cottoned-on to what I was doing, and asked if I could do theirs, so I started doing commission work, and that kind of blossomed into ‘can I buy your paints?’ – so I went into being a stocker for the paint company,” she explained.

From there, her upcycling workshops began at Curban Hall, which has eventuated into the newly- opened ‘Rustic Burrow Trading Co.’

“There are so many vintage, rustic and retro pieces of furniture sitting in old sheds somewhere, or it may be

a piece that has been inherited from a family member that is special to that person or family that the client wants to preserve or restore for their own home,” she said.

“Most pieces are heavily-stained with a look or colour that does not suit today’s designs, that’s where I come in,” she said, adding: “the quality of a piece that was constructed in the past, is so much more durable than the flat packs we see getting around these days, which makes them perfect for restoration.”

The Rustic Burrow also sell the tools needed to restore your own furniture including paints, brushes, and even new handles.

Claire is also grateful to Gilgandra locals for getting behind her new business and for being incredibly friend- ly, open, and receptive.

“The community has been so supportive and welcoming since opening, with visits from local businesses owners supporting me and lifting each other to make the town a success,” she said.

“How great is it, to see our town growing and shop spaces filling-up, especially with so many other rural towns closing their doors?

“It’s great to see everybody supporting each other, to keep the street buzzing,” Claire concluded. 

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