Online store opens retail shop in city

Helen Mewburn is part of the Activate Perth #FillThisSpace initiative opening 29 Lines recently. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au   d494605
Helen Mewburn is part of the Activate Perth #FillThisSpace initiative opening 29 Lines recently. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d494605

TWO years ago Helen Mewburn was couch-ridden after having a melanoma removed from her leg, giving her time to consider her next move in life.

The mother-of-two who owned a business in West Leederville for many years says she was at an age where she wouldn’t get a job easily.

So she started another small business.

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“I have a passion for retail and sourcing beautiful products,” Ms Mewburn said.

29Lines started as an online business two years ago selling a range of products from mainly West Australian producers and last week, Ms Mewburn opened the doors of her new shop front at Brookfield Place as part of Activate Perth’s #FillThisSpace initiative.

Ms Mewburn said her very first customer was a regular from her previous business.

“When I was in business before I had a good customer base, they were loyal,” she said.

Activate Perth negotiated with landlords across the city to fill vacant spaces with five tenants, from WA Poets Inc to Town Team Movement, to activate the city.

Activate Perth chairwoman Di Bain said the initiative ensured empty spaces were activated and entrepreneurs were given an opportunity to trial their business concept with minimal risk

Ms Mewburn said activating vacant retail space would help make the city vibrant again.

“We have to bring the place back to life,” she said.

“Those interesting nooks and crannies have gone because of high rents and online.”