People drive from far and wide to this niche shop
ARTISTS and lovers of art and craft flock to local art store Still @ the Centre from places as far as the Sunshine Coast, because their niche products cannot be easily found.
Sabine Amoore Pinon and Vianney Pinon are the owners behind the concept art stores - found in Byron Bay, Mullumbimby and most recently, Ballina.
Still @ the Centre opened in Ballina's industrial estate in March and the pair are "in love” with their newest shop.
The space had previously been a framing business and the Pinon's partly opened the new shop because they needed new space for framing.
"We were a bit bursting at the seams in Byron,” Mrs Pinon said.
She is the French daughter of an art restorer who used to work for the Louvre, Paris.
They started the Byron business more than 13 years ago and opened up a smaller shop in Mullumbimby last year.
She said the store had gone through three to four hands over 22 years as a framing shop, but has now been "dramatically changed”.
"I would think most of what we have in store is very niche. When I opened my shop I said, 'okay there is another art shop in Byron and I don't want to cross his thing. I am going to look for my brands'.”
They stock art products from around the world including France, Italy, America and Australia.
"We've virtually come up with a little concept art store. It's very different in what we carry and we're very much behind every single brand,” she said.
"If we find out the paper is not good enough we will discontinue it or go back to the brand and day, 'Can you do something about this?'.
"I would think most of this stuff you wouldn't find anywhere, not in an art store, and not in a stationary store because we have expanded into funky stationary.
"People come from the Sunshine Coast to Ballina as they cant find the equivalent in the cities.
"Our two main beacons are probably holding the whole Golden (acrylic) range of American paints and Langridge for the oils. We have been working hand-in-hand with (artist David Coles) for 15 years.
"He is the youngest paint maker here in Australia.”
The new shop in Ballina is easy to find - just look for a huge tube of paint at the store front labelled 'Ballina Prawn Pink'.
It's a new and invented colour, thought of after a trip to Bunnings looking at colour swatches which they are now trying to turn into something tangible.
"We've actually spent a lot of time trying to make it. It's one thing to pick it on a screen and another thing to turn that into a paint,” Mrs Pinon said.
"When we sent the invite out for the openings (of the new store) David Cole (artist and paint maker) shot an email back saying, 'Do you want us to make you some paint?'.
"We spent a whole weekend refining pigment in how we would come to an interesting Ballina Prawn Pink.
"He's going to make the first batch test and we were thinking of coming up with an exhibition and competition where you will have to use Ballina Prawn Pink in your artwork.”
Visit wwww.inbedwithmondalia.com for information on art materials.
1/3 Ray O'Neill Crescent, Ballina.