Website - Thebutchershop
Instagram - @Thebutchershop
This week we Continue the series of interviews talking to local graff shops from all around Australia. We caught up with The Butcher Shop in Perth WA, who's doors have been open, selling paint and supporting the graff scene for over 15 years.
1. So first of all, Where did it all start & what year did The Butcher Shop open?
The Butcher Shop opened in 2005, it started out in the tiny back room of a clothing/accessory store called Keith and Lottie, you would walk through the store, through the gallery space and into The Butcher Shop, which was roughly the size of a kitchen cupboard.
We started out small, I was literally working day and night - doing night shift at a transport company, coming home to have a couple hours sleep then working in the shop during the day, we gradually expanded our range, until it made more sense to knock down some walls and make what was two small shops into one combined store under the banner The Butcher Shop
2. How did you come up with the name The Butcher Shop?
It was a name we had been kicking around for a while, seemed like a good way to theme the store, display products like they did in the old school butchers and wrap everything in butchers paper. Then we did some research on the building we were in and found it had been a butcher - who’d been shutdown for selling sly grog out of the back door during the depression. That was it, The Butcher Shop was born.
3. Are you mainly focussed on selling paint or do you specialise in other products too?
No we sell all sorts of things, being that it was originally two different stores combined into one we have a pretty diverse range of products.
Paint wise we have pretty much everything on offer from Ironlak, Mtn and Montana Black, We’ve got a huge range of paint markers - Molotow, grog ink, Sakura, Magic ink, pentel, pilot etc etc. We also do a heap of blank clothing from AAA and As Colour, plus printed tees. We are right round the corner from the main arts TAFE in Perth so we carry standard art products along with back packs, books and magazines, prints, model trains - the list goes on but the best way to see the whole range is to jump on the website www.thebutchershop.com.au
4. How is the graff scene in Perth, are there many legal walls or places for people to paint?
Not really, Perth has a pretty much zero tolerance when it comes to graffiti - so you don’t get “legal” spots sanctioned by the council that are chill, but thats not to say there isn’t plenty of spots going around. Theres lots of “grey" areas and plenty of walls that people have got permission for but then opened up for anyone to paint.
Perth scene is dope, lots of people doing all sorts of different styles, but Perth has its own unique, aggressive style passed down from the old school, it’s cool to see that in the age of the internet there is still a localised style being pushed and expanded on.
5. Graffiti can get some bad press and often the local graff store can cop a bit of heat, have you had any unexpected visits or problems from the media or the authorities?
Yeah we’ve had it all, being right in the centre of Perth we’ve had to bear the brunt of the anti graffiti backlash from everyone from normal citizens, the police to local and state politicians.
We’ve copped a couple pre election raids where the cops brought the news cameras along so they can push their “tough on crime” agenda on Today tonight…but like they say, any publicity is good publicity.
If anything it’s motivating, if what we do is so offensive to closed minded, ignorant people then we must be doing something right.
6. Can you share a story of something unusual, crazy or funny that’s happened in your shop?
One day, after a traffic accident at the corner adjacent to our store, an elderly motorist mistakingly went for the accelerator and not the brake, careering out of control he mounted the footpath narrowly missing some pedestrians and our shop and ended up on two wheels through the front window of the store right next to ours. Amazingly no one was hurt but the poor bugger had a heart attack and died. RIP!
7. We’re living in some crazy times right now and as store owners I’m sure you have been hugely affected. What changes have you had to make to keep the doors open and continue to service the graffiti community?
Yeah people are doing it really tough right now, we are grateful to be in a position where we could keep trading out of one of our stores. We had a “contactless” set up, where people could come to the front door and we would pass them their goods. Kinda like going to the servo after hours and they won’t let you in to the shop…
Also we brought in anything over $50 gets free next day Perth metro delivery, and over $100 dollars for the rest of Australia.
We ran a #isolateandcreate hashtag and teamed up with a local perth Instagram page to give away some some free gift vouchers to people using it.
Australia has been through some shit lately, with the fires and now the pandemic, so it’s cool to see people all across Australia staying creative and supporting each other, whether it was with bush fire appeal art shows or all the different isolation sketch comps going on…
8. What can people do to support you during these uncertain times?
Check out thebutchershop.com.au and support your local butcher!
But more than that, support local small business, we know how hard they work and for how little, so if you are going to spend money do it with someone local in your own community, where the money will stay, rather than giving it to some huge multi national that sends it to the Caymas Islands before they have to pay any tax.
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