Bespoke Leatherwork + Vintage Fashion in Islington
If I ever come across my stuff in an op shop in years to come….I’m totally buying it!See our handpicked guides to Newcastle
BY ANNABEL ROBINSON
After two years of doing the hard sell at local markets, leather goods maker Geordie Malone and partner Eartha’s handpicked Vintage collection, the pair decided it was time to create their own space… something that could be a shop front and workshop, all in one.
This is when ‘Hide and Seeker’ was born. Originally the leather cross vintage collectables idea opened up at the top of Beaumont Street, a much smaller location, across from Geordie's previous workplace at Suspension Espresso.
It didn’t take long for Geordie and Eartha, to realise that they needed something more. Conveniently, a space around the corner on Maitland Road, Islington was the perfect space for their business to grow.
Landing on a shop front that has a large enough space out the back for Geordie to work was like hitting the jackpot. The main reason why Geordie wanted to take his business away from just selling at markets was, so he could tinker away in his workshop as well as sell to friendly customers that dropped by.
If you get the chance to stop by his workshop, you’ll see it filled with all different leather handbags, clutches, backpacks belts, and key rings! Each piece he creates is uniquely shaped as he says he gets a lot of his inspiration from such things as architecture, furniture design, and natural forms.
What is your all-time favourite piece to make!?
“It’s got to be the woven tote! Each time I make it, I always want to perfect it more. I always think that there is somehow I could create it better. I usually break about 2 sewing needles per bag, that’s how difficult it is.”
Apart from Geordie’s original, hand-made leather goods, the shop offers unique vintage collectables. This is where Geordie's partner Eartha, comes into the picture. Collecting amazing vintage pieces has been a hobby of hers since she can remember. Once she hit her teenage years, she began to sell some of her favourite pieces at markets and later online at Etsy and eBay.
“It was so hard, and still is, to part with some of my pieces as I just love them all so much!”
In 2013, Eartha lost her entire vintage collection due to the Morrow Park fires. It was the decision here that contributed to the jump-start of the pair opening up their own shop. She had to ask herself… should I just give up on collecting vintage pieces… or should I start fresh and sell in a shop front!?
With the support of her partner Geordie, the two decided to pursue what they love – leather and vintage goods.
So, tell us how you came up with Hide + Seeker?
“Well, once we found the space and signed the lease, I called up a mate for some ideas. I was down-playing a gig in Melbourne at the time and I rang him and said I will be selling my leather goods and Eartha’s vintage collectables…what should we call it!? Ideas started to spit back and forth and then he goes to me, hmm…hide and seek... hide and seeks… and then I just blurted out HIDE AND SEEKER!
"And that was it. So really the hide is me, the leather component and the seeker is Eartha, as she travels around the world searching for the most amazing
And the logo?
"The logo was created by Eartha's best friend who is an artist. I love it so much... Then Brett Piva, from Pocket Design who did our Hide and Seeker name logo, combined the two and got the finished product to where it is now."
Describe the store in three words
“Hmmm, that’s tough on the spot. But definitely homely. I try and have the feeling and expression of us in our home throughout the store. The space and my pieces really reflect who we are and the style of people we are.
“And then probably quality. I am pretty obsessed with the quality of a product over what is profitable. Even with the vintage stuff, we're not going to sell it if we don’t like it or think the product is good quality.
“And then I guess made-well. Our sort of sub logo we try and explain ourselves as is, ‘Made well then – Made well now. Op shops are doomed for the future because of how poorly clothes are made now. So I’m trying to help the industry by making good quality stuff that will last for years to come. If I come across my stuff in an op shop in years to come, I’m totally buying it.”
Coming into the new year, Geordie hopes to progress in new ways by attempting to do wholesale. At different points in his life, galleries and boutiques across the nation have reached out and shown a vested interest in his work. Geordie hopes to potentially sell his goods in other places than Hide and Seeker itself.
Going down the path of a different style of bag is also on the cards. After creating the Luna bag this year – his most amazing piece in my opinion! He saw that sometimes in his creations to be creative the bag may seem less function and more so a piece of art. A wider range including canvas bags and soft leather are what we expect to see from Geordie in 2019!