It seems everyone is tirelessly running around these days, but this cosy little Surry Hills store is slowing things down. It's a calm and quiet oasis filled with a tasteful selection of handmade homewares embodying Japanese and Scandinavian design ideals.
Founded by creative Tara Bennett, Provider Store is built around the concept of 'slow living', a mentality that's represented in the shop's products made by likeminded international artisans, as well as those created by Bennett in the shop's rear studio. Each product is made ethically and sustainably, with a sophisticated range of plates, candles, pillows and magazines all telling a story about its creator, and providing insight into Bennett's worldly travels.
A fourth-generation sewer, Bennett's background is in fashion having worked with some of Australia's leading retailers. The first iteration of Provider Store arrived on the scene in 2012, as a vintage clothing store founded by Bennett and three housemates.
After the place underwent renovations, the store lay dormant for a few years, but has now reopened as a collection of quality wares — selling everything from diffusers and chopsticks to locally roasted coffee, Monocle Travel Guides, handpainted pillows and more. Before heading into the store, you can take a peek at what's available online.
Provider Store's change of direction came in 2014 after Bennett's travels to Japan left her inspired by the culture's inherent respect for possessions. The clean streets and the utilitarian approach to many products can be at odds with Australian culture, which often preferences cheaply made goods over the practical or the pleasing.
Provider's highly curated range of products slot comfortably in the compact retail space at the front of the shop. At the back, there's a workshop that's shared with fellow creative Troy O'Shea Handmade – here you'll find Bennett crafting many of the products sold in-store, or hosting candle making workshops with a glass of wine in hand.