Blog from my Tailored Tasmania website:
This new addition to the Hampden Road streetscape is the type of secret treasure we love. Step inside and you’ll be greeted with anything from an old-fashioned travel iron through to the finest wares being created by local hands.
Why the name LIONHART? HART is a mature male deer. A LION with antlers…quite the hip, bold statement!
For owners Nancy and Peter, sourcing their ‘new and old’ finds is a passion that can easily be recognised when you meet them in store. Nancy, a French Canadian with a background in film production and Peter, a returned Tasmanian and IT guru, made the instinctive decision to swing open LIONHART’s doors just two weeks after floating the idea of opening a shop together.
And should they be proud now! Within days this little space has lured in curious locals and impressed tourists by the dozens. It may be small, but already its little lion roar is being heard across Hobart. So much so, they are quite certain that expansion into the back room will happen much sooner than anticipated.
As I begin the interview, a man walks in armed with a collection of beautiful tutu’s handmade by his wife (not the manliest armful, but stunning nonetheless). No sooner has he popped them on the counter, a delighted Battery Point resident can’t help but snap up two ‘Hung Up On Agnes’ tutu’s for her grand daughters.
“The craft in Tasmania is just lovely,” explains Nancy with a smile. “I remember writing down the name Ruby Victoria in a notebook many years ago and today I have her letterpress prints in store. We have work by Marley & Lockyer too, and are coming across new and exciting products all the time.”
Nancy has put her own stamp on LIONHART also, up-cycling a beautiful old locker and both Peter and Nancy may create their own wares in time, so keep an eye out for what this clever pair create.
And for the boys, don’t just think this is your typical, girly gift shop. Peter has put his creative flare to work, and there’s a stylish, masculine element that permeates the store- particularly evident in the string of Stonemen’s creative men’s underwear on the back wall!
“When I was living in Sydney I came across these fantastic underpants, and I like that they’re a bit unusual,” says Peter. “They’ve been so popular we have ladies styles on their way. Plus our headphones are super cool. They are from LA and offer great sound; we’re currently the only Tassie stockists. People enjoy plugging in their phones and having a play.”
When not in store, Peter busily scouts out plenty of ‘old’ treasures to add to LIONHART’s lair. You’ll find classic typewriters, Polaroid cameras, and one very trendy old transistor radio on the front window ledge.
Head into the side room, and from bold ropes hang an old school-boy favourite- the ruck sack. These classics are made by Whillas & Gunn, an Australian family business since 1972. And in typical LIONHART fashion, they hang proudly above little walruses that cleverly double as bottle openers….of course.
So come step inside and prepare to be delighted. Small in space but big on experience, exploring LIONHART is half the fun. Finding that something special for your special someone will simply be an added bonus. And don’t expect them to have it already… LIONHART pride themselves on sourcing all things different. Enjoy the journey!
*opposite Prince of Wales, Hampden Road and beside glorious Pollen Tea.