Considered clothing, art and events in Islington
If you’ve wandered through the Islington strip lately, you might have noticed a sleek storefront with ‘Jack Jack’ emblazoned in red on the window.
The brainchild of multi-hyphenate Kate Fenton, Jack Jack is a concept store, fusing retail, art and events, unified by a focus on celebrating creativity and community.
Upon meeting Kate, it becomes clear very quickly how much her passion and fire has informed Jack Jack’s ethos.
“The energy that I want to bring to the space is about celebrating human creativity. I want to have a space where people feel like they can come in here and talk about their creative ventures,” Kate said.
“I want this place to be really loved by people, so they feel like they can come in and be themselves.”
After working in hospitality, as a vintage reseller and in corporate events, Kate decided last year to combine these skills to open Jack Jack after sitting on the idea for a few years. In November, she bought the business name, started an Instagram page, opened the online store, and emailed five brands to get started.
When it came time to find a physical location, Kate stumbled upon the space and followed her intuition.
“We only got the keys mid-way through January. I basically had six days to renovate before we opened. It was like an episode of The Block… On opening night, I realised I hadn’t slept properly in about 2 weeks,” Kate said.
This go-getter attitude has carried through since opening, with Jack Jack already hosting events in the store. Kate’s already booked out the year with rotating artist exhibitions, and she’s just hosted the first Islington Flea Market in collaboration with fellow Islington business The Conscious Exchange.
The store fit out is reflective of its multipurpose nature, and has the potential to host all sorts of events – there’s even a sink in the back corner for when Jack Jack needs a makeshift bar.
“The space is interchangeable, I can move everything out of here. All the racks are actually on a gallery track system, and that’s the way we fabricated it – so I can take everything off. The space is constantly changing,” Kate said.
Kate also plans to release her own line of clothing later in the year, and hopes to host runway shows in the alleyway beside the store.
During opening hours though, expect a carefully thought-out retail offering that showcases the best of Australian fashion, beauty, jewellery and homewares.
“Everything’s very considered, and curated, but in a fun way. I have something here for everyone, every age, every personality.”
Jack Jack offers all independent Australian labels (excluding 19-69, a perfume label from Sweden) with a focus on slow, sustainable production. Every brand that Jack Jack stocks is exclusive to the store in Newcastle.
Plus, Kate only orders a few of each size for each piece she gets in – and once they’re gone, they’re gone, so the store always feels fresh.
By offering labels that are carefully selected and unique to Newcastle, Kate hopes to inject something a bit different into the wardrobes of Novocastrians.
“I think on a deeper level, fashion is about expressing what you’re feeling, who you are, your values, your ideas and your mind.”
In need of some sartorial freshness? Head over to Jack Jack for a wardrobe refresh or just a chat about creativity, and keep an eye out for future events over on Jack Jack’s Instagram.