Newcastle street wear business Nook Store to expand to Byron Bay five years after Renew Newcastle helped it get off the ground

On a roll: Brodie Bannerman with staff members Ruby Hart and Lucy Cook at Nook Store - which started as a Renew Newcastle project. Picture: Marina Neil
On a roll: Brodie Bannerman with staff members Ruby Hart and Lucy Cook at Nook Store - which started as a Renew Newcastle project. Picture: Marina Neil

A young Newcastle entrepreneur who was given a leg-up by one of the city’s flagship innovation projects is about to expand his business.

Brodie Bannerman will open the first Nook Store pop-up shop in Byron Bay next week, after steadily building a following from Hunter Street.

But Mr Bannerman, 26, admits he may not have been able to get his men’s street wear store – and clothing label, One Undone – off the ground without the support of Renew Newcastle.

He was 21-years-old when he started his small business. He secured a premises with Renew Newcastle, which gave him a head-start until he was able to move into an unassisted rental premises six months down the track.

“We’ve come along way since starting off just running our own small brand out of the shop,” he said.

“I have some really good staff that help with running the business, which is essential.”

Since it began in 2008, Renew Newcastle has helped draw foot traffic back into Hunter Street and assisted fledgling creative businesses by offering cheap, 30 day rolling rental agreements in the heart of the city.

Premises have typically been commercial sites that the owners preferred to have occupied while waiting for a full-lease-paying tenant.

Mr Bannerman started his clothing label after he finished a graphic design course at Tafe. He wanted to “bring it into a brick and mortar atmosphere”, so he approached Renew Newcastle, which gave him “heavily discounted” rent.

When asked whether he would have been able to get his business off the ground without that help, Mr Bannerman said: “probably not”.

“[Renew Newcastle] was definitely one of the best opportunities that I’ve had in terms of bringing our products to a street outlet and then building a customer base off that and just watching it grow to eventually give up that platform to take the next step – which was progressing from Renew to taking out a lease and paying rent,” he said.

His brother, who lives in Byron Bay, will run the new pop-up shop.

“I feel like we can make an impact there,” he said.