One To Watch
- CAIT PROVAN – Owner - Witch & The Wardrobe
Watch out Belinda, Nicola Warne (Gary Pepper Vintage) Natalie Massenet (Net à Porter) & the power brokers of the Australian Fashion industry - this young gun from Brisbane, barely out of her teens is giving the well established Vintage stores a run for their money with her own unique take on well-sourced Vintage & pre-loved clothes.
Born and raised in Brisbane, Cait or Lin as she is known to her friends has just turned 20 years old and is living the dream of many women aka running a magical pre-loved store called Witch & The Wardrobe.
I love meeting strong, independent & creative women of all ages and when I stumbled across the store in its opening week I was well-impressed, not just by the interesting stock but by Cait’s enthusiasm and gung-ho attitude.
This inital pop-in prompted me to take a few things from my own wardrobe and head back for a STEELEMyStyle x Witch & The Wardrobe styling session and a wee chat with this up and coming Australian talent in the fashion & retail industry.
Sally STEELEMyStyle : Where does the name of the shop come from ?
Cait Provan : The Witch part comes from My Mum who has a homeopathy clinic out the back (holistic natural medicine). I like to call her a Modern day witch hah ! In terms of my clothes shop, I wanted it to be seen as a Wardrobe. Anything could be in here.. there are no restrictions or limits.
SS: What is unique about Witch & The Wardrobe ?
CP: My favourite thing about my shop is that it doesn’t try sell you what’s hot right now or one particular style. It is for people who have an eye for style and can pick out pieces that others wouldn’t know how to wear. I also bespoke buy for regular customers – knowing they will love my choices.
SS: Who runs it ?
CP: Myself and my Mum helps out one day a week. My Mum also buys for the $5 rack – people seem to love finding a casual treasure from that rack. I know I have an eye for picking unusual pieces that can be used to create an incredible outfit.
SS: How did you get to this point ?
CP: By being obsessed with style mixed with my tendency to hoard.
SS: What did you do before ?
CP: I’ve worked in fashion retail for 5 years – including both a boutique in west end and a really cool second hand/vintage shop in Byron Bay called USED.
Working in USED gave me the last bit of inspiration I needed to finally open my own pre-loved store back home in Brisbane.
SS: Where do you source your pre-loved & vintage stock ?
CP: Our opening collection was a mix of pieces I had personally sourced & collected mixed with those from a vintage and pre-loved store in Melbourne that was closing down. Since then I’ve been on a great buying trip in America & Canada plus my Mum is always finding weekly gems.
SS: What is your favourite non-clothes item in your store ?
CP: It would have to be my limited edition antique gold cash register. Ding ding!
SS: What is the most enjoyable thing about running the store ?
CP: It is so inspiring when someone comes in and finds something they love.
SS: What has been the highlight so far ?
CP: Definitely the people that the store has allowed me to meet and get to know.
SS: And the challenges ?
CP: Getting the word out to the type of clientele who will understand and appreciate the shop.
SS: So, how are you getting the word out there ?
CP: Well any chance for creative advertising excites me like nothing else. Recently my Dad’s James Bond themed 50th Birthday provided an opportunity to showcase some of the clothes & create a James Bond themed runway show. Photographer Glen Harkin shot pics which we shared on Facebook and most of the outfits have now sold but the night also gave me a chance to make a short film with Robert Tilbury.
SS: Tell me a bit more about the short film.
CP: Well, I have been so inspired recently by short films from brands like Chanel & River Island – i like how fashion films are entrancing and spike certain feelings & desires within you – leaving you wanting more. This short film was not really planned – I just told Rob to come to the catwalk show and party and bring his gear – it has turned out so well thanks to Rob. We have had a great response. This was just a teaser – we can’t wait to do larger future projects together that leave a mark and inspire people.
SS: What’s next for you ?
CP: Hmm, Perhaps my own label…
SS:What are you wearing today ?
CP: A buttoned-up long sleeve shirt with a funny blue and beige print of camels. paired with a basic mini skirt and some matching blue cowgirl clogs. Yee-ha!
SS: How would you describe your personal style ?
CP: I’m inspired by the things that I love and interest me like freedom, the earth and universe, cultures, eras, fantasies and lifestyles.
SS: What’s your Instant Style tip
CP: Tie your shirt up and let your hair down.
SS: What was your style like when you were little ?
CP: When I was younger my style was …. 60′s & 70′s! Loved my clogs and denim skirts mixed in with some tutu’s.
SS: Can you finish these sentences for me
I seem to have a lot of ..…leopard print in my wardrobe.
I never seem to have enough … shoes.
My Off-Duty look is ….. comfy and simple.
Night-time style for me is …….. extravagant and experimental.
SS: Your Winter Style tip ?
CP: Don’t fall into wearing only dark colours. I love walking around in winter in bright colours and prints.
SS:What Jewellry & Accessories do you love ?
CP: I’m very particular with jewellry. I don’t like anything I have seen worn before by someone or celebrities. I have to search through op shops to find individual pieces.
CP: At the moment my favourite accessory is black leather finger cut off gloves I found at a market. The previous owner had hand painted amazing wolves on them!
SS:Whose style around you inspires you the most ?
CP: one of my best friends Sib Collie
SS: How do you like to wear your hair ?
CP: I love natural hair but I don’t mind a splash of colour throughout it here and there. My favourite at the moment is green!
SS: What do you beauty-wise ?
CP: I mostly use natural make-up and beauty products like Eye of Horus eye make-up and Nude by nature mineral foundation.
I try my best to stay chemical and toxin free.
Evohe, a sustainable luxury brand is my favourite brand for face and body care.
SS: What is always in your bag ?
CP: Make-up for touch ups. you never know when an invitation to a great event will turn up !
SS: When you grow old who would you most love to dress like ?
CP: Iris Apfel
SS: What art works would you most like to own ?
CP: Anything from David Bromley, especially his furniture. He knows what’s up!
SS: What makes you laugh ? my crazy kelpie pup Toba
SS: What makes you cry ? having to leave him for long periods of time
SS: If you had a superpower what would it be ?
CP: To be able to instantly transport to anywhere. Like that movie “Jumper”
SS: If you could tell your 14yr old self something it would be ….
CP: Don’t cut your hair.
SS: Music you can’t get enough of at the moment ….
CP: I’m searching through shops for good old records from the 60′s and 70′s.
SS: Best gig or event every attended ?
CP: Prince live late last year.
SS: Which movies do you love ?
CP: Pretty much I am in love with Johnny Depp for the epic roles he pulls and can play. So Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, Blow & Rum Diary.
SS: Which books or authors do you love ?
CP: I love The Great Gatsby. A great insight into the roaring twenties including the fashion, behaviour and events going on at that time.
Ohh how I wish I was around then.
CP: I’m also reading a book at the moment “The Times We Had: Life With William Randolph Hearst” - about the influential William Hearst and his movie star girlfriend Marion Davies in the 40′s. So exciting to read about the Hollywood stars and politicians they hosted and partied with at their castle.
It was such a highlight of the last USA sourcing trip to go there !
SS: What is your perfect night in ?
CP: a cheeseboard and good company to play cards with
SS: Fantasy Dinner party for 8 guests at your house – who is coming & what’s on the menu ?
CP: David Bowie, Kate Moss, Johnny Depp, The Dalai Lama, John Lennon, Andy Warhol, Slash and Keith Richards. Drinks are on the menu!
SS:Where in the world would you live if not in Brisbane?
CP: California !
SS: Any advice for those seeking their Inner Style ?
CP: Style should come from your inner fantasies and desires.
Witch & The Wardrobe
67 Boundary St, West End, Brisbane, Qld, Australia
(next to the West End Markets car park entry)
Open 7 days
Check out what happened when STEELEMyStyle dropped into Witch & The Wardrobe for a styling mash-up session …
Want to read about the STEELEMyStyle photographer Ruby Reginato who took the pics for this feature of Cait Provan. Click here
Additional photos: Zimbio, Pinterest and Witch & The Wardrobe Facebook