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STORIES

COMMON PEOPLE #11

Jana Stewart, Petersham NSW

From the beautiful landscape of Mornington Peninsula to the creative launchpad of Sydney’s Inner West, Jana Stewart shows us that nature and city life can co-exist. This budding Microbiologist has transformed a space to call her own , a Mini Mart inspired by a road trip through Japan it’s filled with greenery and local art and designed for people who think outside the box. Jana takes her plant show on the road with her Plant Parenthood Workshop teaching the basics and science behind keeping those plant pets alive.


Words by Anna Heyligers & Jana Stewart

Images by Anna Heyligers


STORIES

COMMON PEOPLE #11

Jana Stewart, Petersham NSW

From the beautiful landscape of Mornington Peninsula to the creative launchpad of Sydney’s Inner West, Jana Stewart shows us that nature and city life can co-exist. This budding Microbiologist has transformed a space to call her own , a Mini Mart inspired by a road trip through Japan it’s filled with greenery and local art and designed for people who think outside the box. Jana takes her plant show on the road with her Plant Parenthood Workshop teaching the basics and science behind keeping those plant pets alive.


Words by Anna Heyligers & Jana Stewart

Images by Anna Heyligers


Tell us a little bit about yourself Jana and Microcosm?

I am a budding Microbiologist and I started Microcosm as a way to help people put more green into their lives. I grew up on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria surrounded by bush and beach and I really missed that connection with nature when I moved to the city. I think we often view nature and the city as these two separate spaces but the two can co-exist and the more we green our cities the better.

Tell us about your space, the Mini Mart?

The shop is a mix of plant shop, art gallery and event space. A couple of years ago we did a road trip through Japan and we really loved how the convenience stores were places where you could find what you wanted but were also a focal point of the local area. That’s what inspired our name- Mini Mart. The idea of a space that felt comfortable and casual but at the same time always had something you wanted. We focus on green living and interesting ideas from people thinking outside the box.

Why did you choose to set up shop in the Inner West?

We love the Inner West, we live there and love all the independent businesses and creatives in the area. The space is a launchpad of sorts for new artists and makers so with so many creative people in the area there are always people coming in that want to support what we do and the people featured in the store, or who are looking for a space to show their work.

 “I grew up on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria surrounded by bush and beach and I really missed that connection with nature when I moved to the city. I think we often view nature and the city as these two separate spaces but the two can co-exist and the more we green our cities the better.”

 

MEET JANA AT OUR POT PARTY

 “I grew up on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria surrounded by bush and beach and I really missed that connection with nature when I moved to the city. I think we often view nature and the city as these two separate spaces but the two can co-exist and the more we green our cities the better.”

 

MEET JANA AT OUR POT PARTY

What’s your most favourite achievement so far?

Getting our permanent shop was definitely a huge milestone for us. Our xmas night market was a highlight I think. We had so many artists interested in stalls and it was the night of all that crazy giant hail in Sydney. We were worried no one would come for the artists sake but people were hopping out of ubers and saying how much they wanted to support the event, it was very warming 🙂

How did you come up with the concept for your Plant Parenthood Workshops?

When I first started Microcosm I was doing commercial plant hire and maintenance because that was the only example of a plant business I could find and the only thing I thought I could do with plants. Overtime I kept getting people ask if I would come look at their house and help them get plants for their home, or saying they love plants but no idea on how to look after them. So I thought I would do a fun workshop where I would start people off with plants that were easy to look after but still beautiful and interesting, their gateway plant. The workshops are my favourite thing I do now. I love receiving messages from people months after showing me new leaves on the plant they got in the workshop or their house that is now filled with plants because they know what to do now. I love that I get to help start their leafy adventure and be a part of their home.

Who are some of the commercial client’s you work with?

I have worked with a few commercial clients, it’s not the main focus of what I do but I do love greening up a work space – Paramount House Hotel, Poor Toms Gin, Salisbury Hotel Stanmore, Young Henrys, Art Pharmacy, Hardcore Pies, Cornersmith Annandale, Triaxial Consulting, and soon Marrickville Hotel.

 “The workshops are my favourite thing I do now. I love receiving messages from people months after showing me new leaves on the plant they got in the workshop or their house that is now filled with plants because they know what to do now. I love that I get to help start their leafy adventure and be a part of their home.”

 

SHOP PLANT PARENTHOOD WORKSHOP AT NOEL & GLADYS

 “The workshops are my favourite thing I do now. I love receiving messages from people months after showing me new leaves on the plant they got in the workshop or their house that is now filled with plants because they know what to do now. I love that I get to help start their leafy adventure and be a part of their home.

 

SHOP PLANT PARENTHOOD WORKSHOP AT NOEL & GLADYS

If you could give our audience one tip about plants what would it be?

Pick a plant that will suit your space as far as lighting and use good soil.

What’s the plan for Jana and Microcosm in 2019?

More plants! Haha for Microcosm I want to take Plant Parenthood on the road more and get out to more places, for plants in general I hope we see more and more spaces incorporating greenery and city planning being more green conscious.

Learn more about Jana here.


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COMMON PEOPLE #10
Therese Petre, Stanwell Park NSW

The Thirroul based potter and creative, Therese Petre fondly known as Peacharoo is a humbled example of working for yourself and following your passion. The growing desire for handmade products has allowed her creative nature to transition her passion for pottery from an inspiration fueled hobby to a new career.