May 10, 2013



In our second installment we chat to our new neighbors at Chee Soon & Fitzgerald about their incredible home furnishing store, their interests and what they love about being in the 'Fern.

Our names are Bryan Fitzgerald and Casey Khik.
We're both very much interested in art, design and history.

We started Chee Soon and Fitzgerald in Crown Street in Surry Hills. That was back in 1996 when it was bohemian and felt how Redfern does today. At that stage lots of people in the area were really into art and history and colour and it just sort of evolved from there. We saw the niche that needed filling and went for it. We've got no formal training, we just learned on the job.

We are passionate about anything that is well made. It can be from any period, it could be from the 18th century to the 21st century but it has to be well made, well designed and has to be something that can stand the test of time. It can't be too trendy or timely, because it might not last.

We have some great staple designers that we stock including Third Drawer Down from Melbourne that do great little art tea towels. We also stock Stelton, Marc Pascal, Laura McCusker as well as our own home brand, CSF, amongst others.

We make to order lampshades, cushions, blinds, curtains, things like that. People can come into the shop and show us a photograph of the room they are making over and we can advise them on what would suit the space.  We have a lot of beautiful Japanese silks made in the 1920s right through to the 1940s that we use in our custom designed orders. We also have Finnish fabrics (Marimekko), Swedish and Turkish fabrics, African handwoven textiles and Amish quilts from the late 19th century.

We bought this building 3 years ago and we found that this is where we will stay until we retire. It feels like old Surry Hills to us, the Surry Hills when we first opened in 1996 till 2000.    

I can certainly see the area opening up in terms of art, design, theatre and all of the arts which is what we like to be around.

We were drawn to Redfern initially because there was already a presence of these things and it will hopefully continue to grow, but not too quickly!