This week we are interviewing 2 local mums, Sonya and Kiran.
We’re two Eastern Suburbs mums who connected over a love of art and all things hand crafted. We curated a pop-up emporium of handmade unique treasures.
The Rockpool Emporium is a celebration of creativity and living beside the coast. Featuring locally handmade art pieces, furniture, homewares, ceramics, jewellery and gifts
We’re aiming to draw attention to the diverse array of local creative talent and provide an outlet for creative makers to connect with the community. This pop up has been supported by Randwick Council through the Creative Arts Grant program, so we’ve been really lucky to have that support.
Kiran: I needed to balance my professional life as a doctor with something creative and a few years ago I started a micro business called Design Weaver with a focus on beautiful fabrics and upcycling. I’ve become known for my chair renovations, where I use an array of remnant or upcycled fabrics and hand embellished pieces to create a totally new piece of furniture. Sonya and I became friends when Sonya popped into the blank space gallery 7 Clovelly Road in Randwick. I was curating a small pop up exhibition featuring a range of local creatives, and Sonya was keen to put on an exhibition of her own in the space.
Sonya: Yes, our friendship was cemented that day. I’m a graphic designer but craved a more hands on art practice rather than on a computer and decided to study visual arts part time. After completing my studies I have been looking for ways to connect with the community and other creatives. Kiran and I have been working together to curate Rockpool Emporium pop up to bring many local talented people together.
Kiran: So from the excitement of those 2 pop ups, we thought that our pieces would work really well together. Being coastal people, we were both intrigued by the concept of bringing together a larger collaboration of creatives to put on an exhibition with the watery theme hence the name Rockpool Emporium
We’re really keen to share The Rockpool Emporium pop up with our community….it’s looking fabulous….so please join us for our drinks events on Thursday 15 September 4-7pm, Saturday 10 September and our last day 17 September from 2-5pm.
Where and how long have you lived in Sydney’s east?
Sonya: I grew up in the Eastern Beaches – and have lived my whole life here. Mainly in Maroubra and Little Bay. We like to joke that we’ve always lived within a 5km radius of the RSL!
Kiran: I had connections to this area my whole life also. My dad was a scientist at UNSW. My husband grew up around here, and we have loved living in East our whole adult lives.
Three words that describe what it’s like to live in the eastern suburbs?
Beautiful, Busy, Variety
How many children?
Sonya: I have 2 kids
Kiran; I have 1
Sonya: Malabar Headland – I’ve always been fascinated by the layered history and wildness of Malabar Headland. It’s definitely been the subject of many an artworks.
Kiran: It would have to be Centennial Park. I have so many family memories of celebrations in that park…and nothing clears the mind like walking under the beautiful branches of all those giant trees!
Sonya: There are so many wonderful beaches around us. Little Bay comes to mind as it’s a beach I explored growing up.
Kiran: Whilst I love the coast, I’m not such a beach person…so for me it’s about Gordon’s Bay.
Favourite kid friendly cafe:
Sonya: We both love Café Curio, which is right near 7. Clovelly Road. They have super friendly staff and lots of home baked goodies, as well as healthy treats for kids.
Favourite Coffee Spot:
Sonya: The coffee at the Lion and Buffalo is hard to beat. I also love their signature ramen soup on a cold winter’s day.
Favourite date night place:
Kiran: Clove Lane in Randwick is a favourite spot. Their food is delicious – fresh and seasonal and it just keeps getting better. They’ve one a few awards recently including a Chef’s Hat, and given they’re right in our back yard, they’re worth a try….in fact, you could pop in to see The Rockpool Emporium and then pop over there!
Where in the east have you yet to explore and would like to ?
Sonya: Fred Hollows park
Kiran: Yes, Fred Hollows was such an inspiring doctor. I have recently come to spend more time around La Perouse, and I’m finding the aboriginal heritage of that area fascinating….I’m keen to explore it more.
What would you like to see improve in the eastern suburbs?
Sonya: It would great to see more diversity of architectural style, rather than the trend towards ugly high rise over-development.
Kiran: I would love to see people engage more with local handmade. We have such talent in our neighbourhood, and I’m always hoping people can look beyond the shopping mall to smaller places like ours.
Favourite Local Shop:
Kiran: 7 Clovelly Road. It’s a beautiful, art deco treasure box with lots of original features. The owners run it as a blank space gallery for creatives, and you just never know what you’ll find there. We try to pop in every couple of weeks.
Sonya: Yes, I agree it’s such a wonderful venue for all sorts of pop ups. Your imagination can run wild on how to fill it. It’s definitely a Randwick jewel.
Favourite wet weather location:
Sonya: The Ritz movie theatre, there is nothing better than popcorn and a movie on the big screen while it’s raining outside.
Favourite Local family Weekend Activity?
Sonya: A fish and chips picnic on the cliff tops at North Maroubra.
Kiran: I used to love it when we could go up to Randwick Randwick Public School on Saturday for the Growers Market. I wish we had something like that again.
Work or SAHM?
Sonya: I’m working on my craft from home.
Kiran: Definitely need the work to stay sane!
Sonya: Find something you love to do and go for it.
Kiran: I’ve found it’s important for the mum to always be looking out for something new. See an exhibition, go to a market, learn something new to remain open minded! It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut, and a happy mum, makes a happy child!