Maggie and Frank Swanepoel relax at Threads Project concept store.
Maggie and Frank Swanepoel relax at Threads Project concept store. John Mccutcheon

Threading it together creatively at Noosa Junction

NOOSA Junction is saying it loud and saying it clear: "We're ready for receiving."

And in return they're giving it out with new fashion boutiques, craft and decor, organic supply stores, coffee shops and festivals.

Despite rain, the Junction Flava Festival held in Arcadia Walk on Saturday, attracted hundreds out to enjoy a range of food, music and good company. (See social pics in this Friday's Noosa News).

The festival is part of a funky, fresh atmosphere that includes a brand new business model.

Thirty-four-year-old Sunshine Beach resident Gary Swanepoel has recently opened Threads Project, a concept store at 24 laneway, Noosa Junction.

He's showing us how to

make good with vacant spaces, never before used laneways and carparks.

The former South African moved to Noosa about six years ago, and with his young family of three kids (and another on the way), is keen to ensure their future here.

"So we need a sustainable economy and that's what we're working towards," Mr Swanepoel said.

The Threads Project, a gallery presenting work of upcoming and emerging makers and creators, is a leap forward in that direction.

Gary said one of his first impressions of Noosa was the enormous population of quality creative artists, the number of people working on their own from home, and a lot of vacant commercial space.

Gary said it had taken a year to locate and negotiate their premises.

Meanwhile, the successful live music event Junction Alley was staged in a carpark in July and a future one is planned.

A co-working space for creatives, Junction 2 has also been completed.

About three weeks ago Threads Project, the gallery and coffee lounge, (located at the back of a laneway beside The Source Organic Bulk food store in Lanyana Way) brightened up the Laneway wall with a series of huge murals.

The paintings make it the first of a kind in Noosa Junction.

The street art corresponds with the project's philosophy and business model of fostering creativity in The Junction.

"We're calling all makers, artists, designers, crafters, illustrators and anyone doing what they love to get involved in showcasing their work here," Gary said.

However, showcasing work is but one step in the offering. From that point, the commercial advice and mentoring kicks in.

"We want to support local talent and put money back into their hands and the local economy," Gary said.

For details go to www.


Who are the changemakers?

Gary Swanepoel joins a small team of local advocates for change who identify blank canvases of opportunity spattered throughout our business centres.

They wish to harness the vision of their potential, ensuring cultural and economic growth.

You are invited to join the project partners, artists, and businesses to make this vision a reality.