Digging through the Decades

What is the shelf life of a vintage and retro store in a regional country town that is owned by two gay men and their golden retriever?

For six years, Dave Curry and Michael Hope have been a permanent fixture in Keppel Street, Bathurst. Bathurst is a small regional town and Keppel street is the hub for all shops that are unique, different or are part of a niche market, but no business is a sure thing, especially in a country town set in its ways. The street sees a constant dance of new stores opening and closing because they didn’t take off in the town, and there is a hidden but always present fear that The Naked Bud could next. Six years is a very decent run, and one that they didn’t think they’d get too when they asked to sign a one-year lease in place of a three year when they started. Many residents of Bathurst still do not know of the little retro store in Keppel street even though it has been an integral part of the community and has contributed to events within the small town.

Vintage has always been a love for Michael, who passed it on to Dave – an avid collector of knick-knacks for some time – and these two passions have combined and cumulated in their two storey terrace shop absolutely crammed full of anything and everything from decades past. The thing that they both agree is the best thing about hunting for and collecting old things is finding the story they tell, the hidden value and their hidden history. Whether Michael and Dave are at a garage sale or a professional auction, they always keep a keen eye out for something that is a little different or something that can be given new life within their store.

You can easily lose track of time in The Naked Bud, whether it’s by rummaging through the record room for an old classic, trying on retro clothes and pretending you’re a greaser in a milk bar or just losing yourself in the story of a unique little treasure you found behind a vase and had to blow the dust off. Everything within the store, whether it be Michael and Dave, the items or the store dog Jack, has a distinct personality that makes The Naked Bud something that is truly special.

There is no question that there are hidden treasures in The Naked Bud, you just have to have the patience to hunt for it.


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