Rustic Creations celebrates anniversary

President Pam Vickery, Secretary Elaine Tunstell, Treasurer Julie Craine and Associate Secretary Pam Merrigan outside of Rustic Creations on Tumut Street in Adelong.

This month, Rustic Creations is celebrating its eight year anniversary since their doors first opened on Tumut Street in Adelong.

The volunteer-run not-for-profit art and craft store was co-founded by Brita Reiss and Ian Elliot in 2012. Mrs Reiss passed away last year at the age of 74 and for Rustic Creations’ seventh anniversary, they honoured her by placing a photo and plaque on the wall.

Rustic Creations sells handmade items crafted by local artists, with profits going back to the artists and helping to fund the shop’s rent, power and insurance.

In the last twelve months, the shop has selected a new committee and welcomed 19 new members “which is awesome,” according to Treasurer Julie Craine.

Ms Craine is joined on the committee by President Pam Vickery, Vice President Bev Dennis, Secretary Elaine Tunstell and Associate Secretary Pam Merrigan.

Ms Craine said that whilst the shop itself hasn’t changed since appointing the new committee, they’ve “revamped” slightly and taken the shop online with the introduction of Eftpos facilities, internet banking, a new email address and a Facebook page.

“We’ve got a good vibe in here,” Ms Craine said, pointing out various items in the shop made by members including knit and sewn items, woodwork, paintings and local made and grown produce.

“I’ve been in Adelong for six years and when I came through here, I knew I wanted to be a member of the shop,” Ms Craine added.

“I just thought it was a wonderful thing for a rural place…there’s a lot of great people here who make beautiful things.”

Rustic Creations member Debbie Shelley wearing a handmade mask, an item which has proven to be popular due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The shop closed its doors for three weeks earlier this year due to Covid-19, and while the 45 members were in lockdown at home, they got busy making a range of items to sell in the store. One such product, which is proving to be popular in the last few weeks, is facemasks.

The masks can be washed and re-worn, and feature three layers of fabric to help stop the spread of the virus. 

Rustic Creations first reopened for two days following the lockdown period, then three days, and are now operating at seven days.

Ms Craine said that the shop, located in Adelong’s main street, seems to attract more tourists and visitors than it does locals, and they “don’t know why.”

“We’re working on getting the locals in,” Ms Craine said. “We love people coming in and chatting.”

The committee said they’re also trying to utilise what they have, so they remain Australian made and owned.

“We’re trying to get our things sourced from Australia before we go elsewhere,” Ms Craine said, noting that the woodwork products are made with recycled materials.

She said that Australian made products, especially handmade products, seem to be growing in popularity with online campaigns such as ‘Buy from the Bush’. The pandemic seems to have put an increased focus on buying Australian products, too.