Workshop26 Kimba’s Creative Quarter

We want to offer a space where makers, creators and businesses can do their thing. To add vibrancy and interest to our town, to draw people off the highway and into our town.
Started: July 2019
Completed: ONGOING
Based in: A little town with a big heart, Kimba is perched on National Highway One, halfway between the East and West Coasts of Australia. We like to say we’re halfway across Australia because, well, we are.

Project story

A brief backstory…

Workshop26 is Kimba’s creative quarter; a melting pot of makers, micro-businesses, and all-round good people.

Housed in a disused tractor workshop on the main street of Kimba (population 600), Workshop26 is industrial, stylish, and just the right amount of quirky.

A not-for-profit enterprise, Workshop26 aims to bring people together, and creates a market place and meeting place; a place for small businesses to grow, for people to learn, and for visitors to get a real taste of our wonderful little community.

Workshop26 is the brain child of five dynamic women; farmers, makers, business owners, and even a publican; a delicious blend of ideas, inspirations and styles.

Times can be hard on rural main streets, especially dry times like these; this group of savvy women – affectionately known as the Mad Women of W26 – know that diversification and tapping into the #buyfromthebush movement is the key to keeping dollars local, businesses open and families in town.

This community's situation before they created change:

Our Main Street was dying a slow quiet death. Hundreds of travelers were driving straight by our fabulous town every day and not stopping to see what we had to offer.

The community's first actions

A single text message between friends began it all. followed a hasty gathering with nibbles and champagne to flesh out an idea. Finally we raided the knickers draw and bought an empty tractor shop.

Some positive outcomes of the changes

Workshop 26 has put Kimba on the map! We see hundreds of visitors each and every week! We’ve been featured in Graziher and Country Style magazines as well as in several tv, radio and newspapers reports. It’s difficult to put a number on it, but the benefits to our entire community have been immense; both economically and to the wellbeing of the people in our community.

We began with just 3 little micro-businesses that were operating from spare rooms at home. Now we currently have 8 full time tenants and we carry commission pieces from approximately 15 other makers. Workshop 26 has given our locals something they can be really proud of, they bring all their visitors by and everyone feels welcome to pop in and chat over coffee and a bickie.

We host multiple markets each year that draw stall holders and visitors from all over the state. Also small business owners from other towns hold pop-up shops at W26 to share their wares.

It’s been a wild ride and we know we are all a little bit mad, but gosh it’s the most fun we’ve ever had.

Follow on social:
https://www.facebook.com/workshop26kimba/

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