If you’re familiar with Sydney’s Cleveland Street in Surry
Hills you’ll be aware that, in places, it can be rather uninspiring. However, where
Cleveland meets Marlborough Street is not one of those places.
Here you’ll find one of the newest Design Hunter™ hubs, where a collection of
design-inspired stores has cropped up over the past four years. The latest
addition to this ‘rose among thorns’ is I Ran The Wrong Way, a shoebox-sized
store described as “a trader of good finds”.
Run by the passionate Melinda Tually – a film production freelancer in her other life – the store’s aesthetic could best be described as ‘unpolished’,
fitted out with old furniture and found objects, with just about every nook and
cranny put to good use.
“The premise is ethical, sustainable and local,” Melinda explains. The products
are all sourced from producers earning a fair wage, from Bioplates – bowls and plates made in India from Palm
tree leaves – to local Australian products such as Jangling Jack’s scrap
yard creatures (an unexpected hit).
“I think it’s nice to have some sort of low-key platform for Australian
producers/artists where sometimes I think the barriers can be quite high,” she
While the store may be small and the faded green and white linoleum may be
cracked in places, it’s the unique designs and ‘upcycled’ objects that make
this store a ‘good find’ in itself.
Melinda explains that with the cluster of stores and a number of restaurants
opening nearby, more and more people are taking the time to explore the area. "It’s nice that there’s an alternative to the likes of Oxford Street for people wanting interesting finds from independent retailers",” she says.
The Cleveland Street hub includes I Ran The Wrong Way, Bird Textile –
producing textiles made from certified organic cotton and made in Byron Bay using
solar power – David Met Nicole – an eclectic collection of furniture, homewares
and fashion – and Garden Life – a retail store and landscape design company.
I Ran the Wrong Way
Oh, and the name….
conversation years ago, a friend dropped that statement whilst they were
sharing a memory and it struck me – the idea of intentionally heading in the
wrong direction," Melinda says.
usually find yourself wandering in the wrong direction or losing your way but
running the wrong way made me laugh and then when I thought about it it
actually resonated with me. Basically going against the grain can take you to
good places too and that’s what I hope people get when they come in here."