Yardsale Trading Co is a relatively new boutique in the up-and-coming Newcastle neighborhood, Islington. The founders, Shellie & Neil Smith, bring a Pacific Northwest vibe to their Australian shop by primarily carrying brands like Bridge & Burn that are based in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. We were thrilled to have Shellie share their story & give us a sneak peek into what life is like in Newcastle.
Neighborhood: Islington- it’s a great little area just west of Newcastle CBD. The area has always had a bit of a reputation amongst locals as “the red light district” but this has really changed over the last few years with a great mix of students, couples and young families really taking over the area without changing its underlying vibe. There is also a great cluster of eclectic independent shops with a strong vintage and antique presence. If you are after somewhere interesting and unique without the edges polished, Islington is the place to be.
Tell us the Yardsale Trading's backstory: Yardsale has been a dream for us for many years. Neal is a visual artist and has always tended to do whatever to support his practice, I worked as an Architect (unhappily) for many years, so we have always wanted to start something that enabled us to work together in an independent and creative way. After getting particularly fed up with life behind a desk, we decided to chuck it all in, go traveling for 3 years and then we come back to Newcastle and become our own bosses. The majority of our time traveling was spent on the west coast of Canada, and I think the laid-back lifestyle and DIY mentality of the Pacific Northwest really connected with us. I think its this vibe that we try to bring to Yardsale, whether it be in the brands we stock or the products we produce in house. We are always looking for quality, timelessness and practicality when stocking our shop.
What tunes are on regular rotation in your shop? At the moment, Australian artist, Courtney Barnett is getting a fair bit of airplay.
What’s the best thing about doing business in your hood? The community, for sure. Islington has such a diverse, friendly and supportive spirit. We have always lived around the area and feel really lucky to have been able to open our little shop and be so well supported.
What’s another must-visit spot in your hood? Auld & Grey, right next door to Yardsale. You just never know what wonderful and unique bits and bobs are going to turn up in this eclectic emporium of soft industrial and salvaged curiosities. The eccentric Aunty and Niece duo are always on the hunt for the extraordinary.
What’s your fave Bridge & Burn piece? All of the Waxed Canvas Jackets! Australia has a long tradition of wearing “oil skins” in the bush, so we find the Bridge & Burn waxed canvas jackets are a contemporary and wearable version of an outback classic.
Describe your ideal Newcastle weekend: We always keep a close eye on what is going on through the local website Hunter Hunter. There’s always something going on around the area now that Newcastle has really shifted away from it’s industrial image. The arts community here is really thriving, which was spurred on by organizations such as This is Not Art Festival and the Renew Newcastle project.
Mornings: When we have a day off, we always head straight to Nobby’s Breakwall for a walk out to the ocean. Newcastle has some of the best beaches on the east coast of Australia so a dip in the surf is always on the cards.
Afternoons: Afternoons are usually spent pottering around our backyard and working on our veggie patch. The awesome thing about Newcastle is its climate, we sit right on the border between the tropical North and temperate South, which means we can grow everything from bananas and passionfruit to kale and broad beans.
Evenings: The best way to spend the evening is on the balcony of Casa De Loco, eating empanadas, drinking sangria and catching the afternoon sea breeze before heading to the Terrace Bar. Terrace Bar is located in an old stripped out Victorian era terrace and showcases eclectic mix of live music and DJ’s. Plus, their beer and wine list comes from small local vineyards and craft breweries.
Best way to end a weekend: Sunday mornings wouldn’t start well without a lazy breakfast at Baked Uprising before hitting Islington to explore the numerous antique and vintage shops to unearth some treasure. The best way to round off the weekend would be to spend the afternoon meeting up with friends and kicking back at The Edwards Bar for “Spit and Pong” while waiting for your washing to finish at their in house Laundromat.