Words by Hannah Rabbitt, Images by Mayowa Adeniyi
Published in Moustache Magazine
Tucked away in the hip streets of West End is a quaint little boutique. Spray-painted vintage bikes from garage sales and seamlessly mismatched pot plants adorn the space. Printed shorts, tees and structured frocks fill the racks. The stores owner, Maudie Gibson, was going to open a bar; your wardrobes can thank the lucky stars that she didn’t.
MM: When did Don’t Tell open?
MG: 6 years ago. I took over November 2012.
MM: What brands do you stock?
Lots of Australian labels! So brands like Cameo, Finders Keepers, One Teaspoon, Premonition, Blessed, and we have accessories and shoes and sunnies and things but they always change.
Who is the “Don’t Tell” girl?
She’s everybody. Even for a little store I try to keep it really broad. I sell to people from 18 to 60! There used to be an elderly ladies store up the road, and then they shut down, so I find that I’m always selling pantsuits and maxis and sunnies to like 50 to 70 year-olds. We have some really healthy old people in West End, it’s like that organic, yoga lifestyle, and so they still look really good in clothes. We also get people in for engagement parties, 21st birthdays, charity functions, heaps of graduation outfits; that kind of stuff.
How do you choose what brands you stock?
I was lucky; they came with the store. And then whatever I like. So, if see something on Instagram and it’s a label I’ve never seen before I’ll Google it. If I really like it I’ll talk to the wholesale and go have a look.
Favourite piece in store at the moment?
That’s so easy! It’s a black This Is A Love Song crop that has Trap sequinned across it in capital letters.
Did you always want to own a boutique?
No! I made my decision in six days! I bought the business on Monday and had my first day in retail on Saturday. I was going to open up a bar in this space, and then I ended up buying the business owners business.
Are you happy with your decision?
Yeah, I think so!
I’m pretty darn happy about it too. But don’t take my word for it. Pop down to 173 Boundary Street West End to check it out yourself.