Home' In The City : In The City - Winter 2011 Contents 41
Monday May 30, 2011
‘Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin,’ thought
Alice; “but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious
thing I ever saw in my life!’
This is one of the famous lines from the book
Alice in Wonderland, which led Daniella Jukic to
create her label and store Alice be Curious.
The born and bred Canberran started selling her
jewellery line Alice Be Curious at the Gorman House
Markets and through encouragement from her
family and friends opened Alice Be Curious in June
Tucked away down Mews East in New Acton,
Daniella said she picked her location for a reason.
“I started looking around Canberra; I knew
I wanted to do something unique so that
automatically knocked out the Canberra Centre and
the Westfields, that wasn’t really my niche,” she
“I was narrowing it down to Braddon and New
Acton, and I decided on New Acton because there
are already some boutiques in Braddon.”
Although New Acton isn’t as busy as the already
established areas in the City, Daniella is content
with the location.
“I was happy to do something different and
challenge Canberra’s perception of where to shop,”
“I was inspired by Melbourne and Sydney, were
you go down a laneway and there is a shop you
wouldn’t expect to see there.”
The charming store situated in the bottom floor
of an apartment has an inviting atmosphere with
cute trinkets and classic touches. Stocking a number
of favourite Australian brands including Wish and
Cooper St as well as few quirky finds, the store
appeals to a large range of women.
“I try to find brands that aren’t heavily saturated
in Canberra,” she said.
“Every item in the store is hand picked and quite
often ordered three months in advance.”
While Canberra fashion has a fairly conservative
connotation, Daniella believes the mould is being
“I am seeing more girls taking more chances
now,” she said.
“What I find that sells well are the quirky pieces.
“I think people do want that individuality, they
don’t want to be like everyone else.”
This is why Daniella puts an emphasis on
personal service by ordering limited numbers of
the same item and doing special orders for her
Working full time in the public service, Daniella
mans Alice Be Curious Friday night, Saturday and
Sunday and by appointment during the week.
The 25-year-old said she has learned the importance
of work-life balance and despite working so much she
wouldn’t change a thing.
“Learning to let others help you is one of the biggest
things I have learnt,” Daniella said.
“I am really lucky I have a very supportive family
and friends, and my partner is a very big mentor in my
life. He gave me that initial leap of faith to go down the
“I would do it again. I would go through all the stress
of setting it up again because it’s worth it.”
Although her jewellery-making has been pushed
aside for now, Daniella isn’t one to shy away from
studying having completed a fashion illustration course
at CIT and keeping herself busy with sewing once a
week and attending design and textile workshops.
designer I can go down that path,” she said.
“I am just a crafty person and although it doesn’t
always work, I just like creating things.”
Almost a year on Daniella is smiling at her success
now, but she admits it wasn’t an easy road.
“I’m not going to lie it hasn’t been easy,” she said.
“It has been challenging, but I thrive on challenging
myself and seeing what I can do.”
Currently in the development stage of expanding
her store online Daniella has no intention of leaving
Canberra anytime soon.
“I am in the process of expanding online in the next
couple months and I wouldn’t mind working closely
with CIT and helping the students who graduate by
stocking their brands in my store,” she said.
“The most rewarding thing is going out in Canberra
and seeing someone wearing something from my store
and I can just tell that they are confident.
“I enjoy working; I wouldn’t want to not work.
“I like interaction and I get to play dress ups, so no I
am definitely not giving that up.”
From opening a store to studying,
Daniella Jukic is taking life as
it comes no matter what turn it
takes. BY MELANIE CLARK
Curiouser & Curiouser
Owner Daniella Jukic in her cute and quirky store Alice be Curious.
Photo: Rohan Thomson
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