Nestled behind a row of paperbarks is one of Moruya’s retail gems, Dowry.
It’s a small shop specializing in hand-styled clothes, soft toys and homewares. Small glass cases display locally made jewellery.
Behind Dowry, is mother and daughter duo, Christine Land and Fleur Gunn. Fleur is one of three girls all with a flair for design and textiles.
Prior to moving to the south coast Fleur worked in advertising in Sydney. After buying a block at Bingie, it seemed natural to move south and bring up her three sons.
Fleur says she never imagined she’d become a shop keeper.
But at Dowry, she does much more than that. Fleur and Christine have created their own range. Fleur cuts and puts fabrics together, whilst a seamstress sews the garments. Where possible they include old fabrics like linen tablecloths. Christine or another staff member embellish garments with funky embroidery. There are smocks made of striped cotton ticking embroidered with bright flowers and leaves.
My favourite item is a free size pair of linen overalls. They’re made from Russian linen. The inside is an almost egg yolk yellow – dyed with turmeric. And they have contrasting floral pockets. Fleur says these were part of a collaboration with Annandale based Cathy Derksema of The Happenstore.
On the clothing racks I spy the first indigo-dyed denim I’ve ever seen. These are in the form of wide legged pants from Las Ninans textiles. Zara Ellwood, the creator is based in Byron Bay and sources fabrics from South America.
Dowry also upcycles old furniture. The local dentist was throwing out a dental chair and now it’s lovingly reupholstered. There are ottomans and pouffs in heavy fabrics and pieced upholstery remnants.
Fleur says they were influenced by the work of Frederique Morrel who reuses tapestries to make household objects.
Dowry is about slow fashion and has a strong sustainability ethos. Next time you are on the New South Coast, it’s worth scheduling a visit.