KIEWA VAL­LEY

Julie Sauervein

Alpine Observer - - News -

What is your job?

My hus­band John and I run Co-op Col­lectibles Vin­tage Store in Ded­erang. We are mainly open only on Sun­days, and by ar­range­ment at other times. It’s a hobby busi­ness – we don’t want it to be­come a chore. We are both col­lec­tors turned hoard­ers. We get our trea­sures from clear­ing sales mostly, and ev­ery­thing has a story.

Is it some­thing you al­ways wanted to do?

I have al­ways been into col­lect­ing stuff and never threw any­thing out, but I never saw my­self turn­ing it into a busi­ness. When I was young I wanted to be a po­lice­woman. My dad, Bob Kurth, was the po­lice­man in Ded­erang – I’ve lived here all my life. I’ve been here 56 years and I love it. I’d never leave. In­stead of join­ing the po­lice I got mar­ried and had chil­dren. I’ve al­ways worked in the house. I didn’t need to work. My mum was there and it was just fam­ily, fam­ily, fam­ily.

How did you come to open the shop?

We bought the build­ing and were go­ing to pull it down when some­one sug­gested we open an an­tiques/vin­tage store. The build­ing was a co-op store back in the early ‘50s bur it only lasted about four years be­cause the other store was com­pe­ti­tion, and they did home de­liv­er­ies. Later on it be­came the post of­fice and tele­phone ex­change. It was run by Ada McIn­tosh who died very re­cently in Kiewa Val­ley House, aged 92. The post of­fice closed in the ‘80s and it was just used as a res­i­dence, and we bought it about 10 years ago. I con­sider my pur­pose is to re-home this stuff so that peo­ple can en­joy it.

What do you love about the job?

I love it all. There are al­ways sto­ries. The peo­ple we buy things from have got sto­ries about the goods, and the col­lec­tors are very knowl­edge­able and tell you all sorts of things. We had a col­lec­tor in here a while ago who talked for hours about Fur­phy wa­ter tanks. I learn some­thing new ev­ery Sun­day. I’d have loved to have been a house­wife in the ‘50s so I could have used all this stuff. My own kitchen is pretty retro. The so­cial as­pect is great too. We love go­ing to clear­ing sales – it’s so ex­cit­ing it’s al­most like a drug. It’s very so­cial meet­ing peo­ple at the sales, and we love the trav­el­ling – we get to see a lot of the coun­try­side.

What else do you do?

I have an­other job that’s very im­por­tant to me. I work in the shed at Ve­gi­t­a­tion in the win­ter when they need more hands to do the pack­ag­ing. I love that. The Iarias are such good bosses. There’s such a friendly re­laxed at­mos­phere. Also I have a very close re­la­tion­ship with my grand­chil­dren and we spend a lot of time to­gether. I am part of the lo­cal can­cer sup­port group with Tr­ish Dixon. She’s amaz­ing what she does for us. I am on the com­mit­tee for the Dragon Boat Club, but I can’t pad­dle be­cause they prac­tice on Sun­days. Also, I have an acre and a half of gar­den which keeps me busy.

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