The vibe is airy and happy, sunny and colourful. It’s a little bit quirky and a lot retro.
The Local at Peregian is like a cool breeze on a warm day, and the store is a space that has something for everyone and where everyone is welcome. It feels like a small-town beachy shop from days gone by: there is vinyl in the turntable and a surf and skate feel to the retro-esque items on offer. It replaced an old friendly grocer space that had been vacant for years and has kept that relaxed and laidback vibe, delivered with a smile.
The Local, launched in autumn this year, is a curated collection of textile, musical and homeware treats, a quirky, happy sibling to the brick-and-mortar flagship Boom Shankar store on Hastings Street.
Local fashion designer Dui Cameron is the driving force and founder behind both Boom Shankar and The Local. Dui is currently in India working on creating Boom Shankar’s next collection, which, like all of her creations, is sure to be a fun and colourful addition to The Local when it lands in-store.
General manager Liv Mills says The Local has been warmly received and has quickly become part of the community’s fabric.
“We know how much locals and visitors to Peregian like to shop in The Village,” Liv says. “Dui lives here and loves The Village – it has a natural hub and it was a natural fit for us. Our design and production offices are here. It is where our foundation and heartbeat sit.”
Dui started Boom Shankar more than two decades ago with the intention of making clothes that were a riot of colour, felt good to wear and made the wearer happy. A strong ethical foundation of responsibly sourced and created textiles, fair and supportive maker spaces and giving back to communities underpinned the brand from its genesis.
The brand has come a long way from its start at local markets and, in the past few years has expanded its stockists around Australia. There are also international sellers in New Zealand, and this year, the company secured international distribution through Europe as well as Asia and the Pacific.
The Local offered a chance for Boom Shankar to showcase its own garments but also offer a curated mix of bespoke products to fit the unique retro vibe. The focus is on quality and design, and the work of local homewares brands and artists is on display – from ceramics to tea, handmade candles, jewellery, skincare and body products.
In terms of clothing, The Local sells a collection of other curated brands in addition to Boom Shankar designs. They were selected because they are fun, colourful, a little bit retro, a little bit classic, a lot here and now.
Making its debut at The Local are shirts designed by Dui’s 20-year-old son Charlie Ciavarella, whose shirt brand Local Grind has proven to be an instant hit.
Sold exclusively through The Local, he focuses on hero easy-wear shirts that reflect the surf, skate, relaxed culture that screams coastal living and unbridled fun. The launch of the label has surpassed all hopes and expectations, with some of the colours selling out within weeks.
You are sure to see his face around, as he spends his days helping out at The Local, bringing his signature laidback vibes to the store. Charlie is planning four new season releases
Liv says The Local has proven a perfect addition to the Boom family, adding another joyful space for Boom’s passionate Sunshine Coast customers as well as drawing in holidaymakers.
Liv says online and brick-and-mortar shops complement each other.
“For example, a southern visitor might come into the Hastings Street shop or The Local, see the brand presented as envisaged by the creator as a wholistic collection, and then become a loyal customer. This is a familiar story,” she says. “The coordinating stories are important and Dui has always been very clever to ensure any new delivery in a season will work back with items from the start of the season or seasons past. It’s all intertwined and retains the signature from last season. It goes to our core values of sustainability and quality.
“But there is a timelessness about well-designed garments made from quality fabrics, particularly those such as Boom that are designed to ride the waves of change.”
This year, the company has implemented new fabrications and the new season style is a little more dressed up, a touch more sophisticated – a dress that might be right at home at a long lunch on Hastings Street or in Peregian’s The Village. There is also a loyal following among those who love the lightweight cotton, bright-coloured dresses that are designed to be worn in the every day.
Boom Shankar is a medium-sized business now. There are 27 staff, there is a strategy informed by a skilled, experienced team about how to move to the next steps regarding international distribution and growth. The company was represented for the first time at a fashion trade fair in London in February and was received positively and warmly.
“What we learned was that we do not need to change to meet the market: we have a market,” Liv says. “We have the right parts of it coming to us. That is hugely heartening, and all this has enabled Dui to focus on design and creativity and let those who work with her take care of the rest.
“Dui is the first to say that she doesn’t take herself too seriously, that this is fashion. You are allowed to be bold and colourful; you can have a bit of fun and play dress-ups.”
From its inception, Boom was built on a foundation of ethics, community and giving back. Dui’s delight in the recent growth and development of the business is partly driven by the broadened capacity to invest in the communities and projects here and in India.
By way of example, as of March 2023, Boom Shankar has donated almost $64,400 to support the work of Forget Me Not Australia, a charity organisation that rescues children trafficked into orphanages for profit in India, Nepal and Uganda. Boom’s donations have helped reunite more than 700 children with their families.
Near or far, Boom’s focus has been on helping people live a big, bold, beautiful life. By design, The Local is a local point of connection, a warm and friendly place to be, a cool and positive location.
In the Boom Shankar family, The Local fits in just fine.