November is Shop Small month, a nationwide movement founded by American Express that brings together support from the business community, governments and consumers to support small businesses — many of which are found in areas with a high proportion of LGBTI residents.
The Star Observer has selected small businesses in our major cities as a starting point to help you get in the spirit of the campaign. The list below pertains to Sydney, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let us know of any other small businesses that deserve the LGBTI community’s support.
To find a full list of small businesses to support in your area, visit www.shopsmallaustralia.com
The Bookshop Darlinghurst
207 Oxford St, Darlinghurst
Ph: (02) 9331 1103
For more than 30 years, The Bookshop Darlinghurst has been one of Australia’s finest and long-running businesses that specialises in LGBTI-themed books, magazines, calendars and DVDs.
Located along Sydney’s famous Oxford St, near all the gay bars, the store has been a cherished hub for the local and international LGBTI community.
The Bookshop opened in 1982, initially based in Crown St before it moved into its familiar Oxford St premises in 1984.
Since then, as specialty and LGBTI bookstores around the world have flourished and, more recently, died out – The Bookstore Darlinghurst has held firm.
Its operators are conscious of keeping prices down in the face of competition from international online bookselling goliaths, such as Amazon and Book Depository.
However, shop is also just as much a drop-in centre, a social hub and a lifeline as it is a place to buy books. In other words, it’s more than just a retail store.
Some loyal customers are known to come in at the same time on the same day every week – whether it’s to buy things, to have a chat, a gossip, or to hear what’s going on in the scene.
Its popularity in Sydney is also such that it’s common for people to meet there before they go out to dinner or the nearby bars; and parents of young kids who’ve just come out also pay visits, looking for specialist books.
The Bookstore Darlinghurst offers a diverse range of fiction and non-fiction titles from Australian and international authors and photographers, and it is the place to go for both big-name authors and hard-to-find books on various topics and themes.
You’ll find the latest Paul Freeman coffee table pictorial book, sitting alongside New York Times bestsellers or self-published works of literature, to an array of gay romance and erotica novels, informative books publications on homophobia, parenting and the like.
From bear calendars featuring a hunky, furry fellow each month, through to saucy lesbian erotica, The Bookshop Darlinghurst has certainly been stocking its shelves with some of the best and sexiest LGBTI literature available, and its owners are proud of what they offer Sydney’s LGBTI community.
It has also hosted a variety of author-signing events and book launches, with TV verteran and ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Molly Meldrum being one of the recent big names to descend upon the iconic Sydney bookstore.
If you’ve ever wondered what literary lesbians, bookish bears and pop culture twinks have in common, come and pay a visit. You’ll be welcomed by the bookshop’s friendly and knowledgeable staff.
Studio 45, 322-340 Bourke St, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 8668 4045
Teamm8 is an underwear, sports wear and swimwear shop in Sydney’s Surry Hills district. The flagship store is exclusive to Sydney, and also hugely popular among the city’s gay men.
While it may have only one flagship store, its buyers are from all over the world, thanks to a busy online shop and over 38,000 fans on its Facebook page.
Their Facebook page and website is often updated with hot model photo shoots and behind-the-scenes footage of those shoots, and the brand is also known for choosing a “mate of the month” each month as part of its savvy marketing campaign.
Its products have also been featured in and graced the covers of men’s and gay men’s health, lifestyle and fashion magazines around the world and international models have been known to wear Teamm8.
In addition, the label is often compared to other international premium underwear and swim wear labels, such as Andrew Christian and fellow Australian label AussieBum.
If underwear, swimwear and sports wear is not really your interest, fear not, for Teamm8 also offers loungewear and accessories.
The ultimate aim of Teamm8’s unique design is to capture the pioneering spirit of the Australian continent and our love for outdoor pursuits and active lifestyles.
4-8 Flinders St, Darlinghurst
Ph: (02) 9357 3362
BANG first opened in Melbourne in 1996 and quickly became one of the city’s most popular stores. In 2006, the apparel then opened its larger flagship store in Sydney in 2006, located just off Oxford St and right next door to the city’s largest late night dance club ARQ.
Over the years, BANG has become well-known for having the some of the largest range of men’s swimwear, underwear and athletic wear in Australia.
It stocks all the top overseas brands and many sought-after international and local labels including ES Collection, Addicted, Andrew Christian, Tulio, Pistol Pete, Nasty Pig, BCNU, and much more.
House of Priscilla
1/47 Oxford St, Darlinghurst
Ph: (02) 9286 3023
House of Priscilla takes pride in ensuring absolute customer satisfaction. From off-the-rack glamour gowns, to custom-made outfits, shoes, wigs, gloves, jewellery, head pieces, wigs, make up, party wear, dance wear, the store has something for everyone.
Since 1999 House of Priscilla’s costume designer, Anthony Defina has become renowned across Australia for his imaginative and stylish range of costumes and
accessories, winning five DIVA awards for costume design.
House of Priscilla has also supplied costumes for events including The ARIA Awards, The Logies and cast members of So You Think You Can Dance Australia. New products are being added all the time, so be sure to visit often to see the many fabulous new additions.
Two Good Eggs
148 Goulburn St, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9283 9694
Two Good Eggs specialises in serving a European-inspired breakfast and lunch coupled with outstanding tea and coffee.
Located in a hidden corner of Surry Hills, in a refurbished factory overlooking Harmony Park, the cafe is the perfect setting for a leisurely weekend brunch or a business lunch.
The team at Two Good Eggs also offer a range of different catering options or you can design a package to suit your needs and budget. Its operators understand the importance of caring so they ensure your function exceeds your expectations.
The menu also often has daily specials, and its reviews on popular blogs and phone apps have consistently rate this hidden local gem very highly.
102 Oxford St, Darlinghurst
Ph: (02) 9360 7011
Better Read Than Dead
265 King St, Newtown
Ph: (02) 9557 8700
260 King St, Newtown
Ph: (02) 9565 4688
1/132 Oxford St, Darlinghurst
Ph: (02) 9331 8899
2/112-116 Enmore Rd, Enmore
Ph: (02) 9557 5821
Which small businesses in Sydney do you recommend? Tell us with a comment below.
For a full listing of small businesses you can support, visit www.shopsmallaustralia.com