There’s no shortage of spectacular fashion store in the Southern Highlands and ARKKE, located on Bong Bong Street (conveniently next to my office!) is one of my all-time favourites.
Its owner Kerry Anlezarkke has such a unique sense of style and her store is always brimming with fabulous finds. I think half my wardrobe must be from ARKKE and her previous store, Cloth & General, which she has recently merged in to the one gorgeous Bong Bong Street boutique.
Here, she shares aspects of her stylish Southern Highlands life. I hope you enjoy getting to know her.
Love Di xx
What inspired your move to the Highlands?
In 1996, my husband, who is an architect, was working on a building development here. I came along for the ride and stayed!
What do you love most about the Highlands?
Spring, the old houses, the ducks that everyone stops for when they slowly waddle across the road and the fact that most of the people here smile. And of course, my beautiful, loyal customers.
Tell me a little about ARKKE. How did it come about?
I opened my first boutique here in 1996. I sold it to a friend, who was also a customer and opened Cloth & General, a clothing and homewares store, followed by ARKKE early in 2018.
I love reinventing every few years, so I was keen to open a more unique style of boutique – one that I had to work hard at sourcing different labels for that you don’t find everywhere. I spend a lot of time doing that. I also love the jewellery that we carry, mostly repurposed old pieces turned into necklaces and rings. We have a beautiful antique comb that is made into a brooch and a ring fashioned from a kerosene lid!
What kinds of fashion labels will I find there?
I have a passion for Japanese designers, so you will find a few of them. At the moment we are also stocking German labels, French, Danish and a couple of Aussie ones, too! The handmade shoes we stock have been a big hit and the beautiful little leather bags made from old compass cases have been popular, too. I don’t think you come to ARKKE for a lot of patterns or bold colours, but you will find beautiful natural fabrics, architectural pieces that are quite intricate in their design, but look elegantly simple on. It’s unique and quirky, too.
Who is your typical customer?
Oh, every day is different. I have customers that have trusted me and shopped with me from the very beginning. They’ve been shopping with me for 22 years now! I feel very blessed and they have become friends. I seem to attract confident ladies who are looking for beautiful fabrics, long lasting items with a certain edge to their clothes. They have quite a lovely aesthetic.
Who are your favourite designers?
Oh, that’s easy! Elena Dawson, Yohji Yamamoto, Paul Harnden, Roggykei, Uma Wang, Horisaki … There is a bit of a theme there. Think of anything Diane Keaton would wear. Loose, dark and moody, but styled.
Now, back to the Highlands! Where is your favourite place to …
Grab a coffee?I drink green tea. The best tea maker is Sandra at Flour, Water, Salt.
Have a long, lazy lunch?I love a long, lazy lunch at my long old table at home.
Enjoy a pub meal?The Burrawang Pub.
Shop for fresh produce? I love picking fresh veggies straight from my garden, but otherwise Harris Farm market at The Intersection.
Enjoy a night of fine dining? Definitely Biota Dining.
What would be your ultimate Highlands experience?
I love sitting on front of the fire with friends or family and not having to go anywhere in a rush. Coming from Sydney, I wasn’t sure I would settle in here as well as I have. I travel a lot for work and I’m always happy to come back to the Highlands. My beautiful boy Murphy (my labradoodle) loves it too! It is very important to make Murphy happy!
If you wish to learn more about life and property in the Southern Highlands, please contact me via www.belleproperty.com/bowral