Maroubra’s Funky Junk turns trash into treasure with the friendly feel of a bygone era


Maroubra’s Funky Junk turns trash into treasure with the friendly feel of a bygone era
- 21st June 2017

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Former Rainbow St Public School teacher Rob Miller creates his own furniture from recycled materials and has opened his own retro shop called Funky Junk at Maroubra Junction. Picture: John Appleyard


by Rebecca Franks, Southern Courier

A FORMER teacher hopes to bring a touch of Byron Bay and Newtown to Maroubra Junction with his new shop Funky Junk which has the friendly vibe of a bygone era and sells retro, vintage and recycled products.

Rob Miller, who was a special needs teacher at Rainbow St Public School in Randwick for 12 years, embarked on a career change after being encouraged by locals.

The 57-year-old said he started making and selling his own furniture in front of his Matraville home when passers-by said he should open his own shop.

Rob Miller hopes to bring a touch of Byron Bay and Newtown to Maroubra Junction with his new Anzac Pde shop. Picture: John Appleyard

 

“I looked at many premises and I was going to give up,” said Mr Miller, who emigrated to Australia 27 years ago from Portsmouth.

“Then I found this dilapidated old bread shop. I put everything in, all the shelving and repainted. I got a graffiti artist to paint the shutters.”

Funky Junk, on Anzac Pde, is like stepping back into a friendlier era filled with retro homewares, classic novels, tie-dyed clothes, Nepalese throws, recycled bags, chunky necklaces and vintage records.

Out the back is rustic furniture recycled from wooden pallets, plant pots made from melted down vinyls, old typewriters, record players, tape decks and bongos.

Artist Lily Oen, who specialises in portraits and landscapes, is in residence most Wednesdays and Mr Miller is planning to bring in a tarot card reader on Saturdays.

Customer Holly Prichard said: “I love the shop, it brings a bit of colour to Maroubra.

“I have not really found any other shop like this in the surrounding area.”

Beaded necklaces, bracelets, rings and accessories for sale at Funky Junk, Maroubra Junction. Picture: John Appleyard


Mr Miller said he sourced items from house clearances, some donations, recycled materials and from overseas where he could spend 10 to 12 hours a day shopping.

“I like haggling,” he said. “I sell anything that stands out as a bit different.

“I want to bring a bit of Newtown or Byron Bay to Maroubra Junction.

“When I was teaching, during the school holidays I was doing markets and garage sales.

“People told me I should open my own shop so I gave up teaching. After 12 years, it wasn’t an easy decision to make.”

Rob Miller points to one of the plant pots he made from a melted down vinyl record. Picture: John Appleyard


“I keep prices low as I want to keep things moving.

“I’ve still made a bit and it keeps people happy.

“I like to build up relationships with customers, it’s a bit of a community thing as well.

“At the moment, it doesn’t feel like going to work.”

Funky Junk can be found at 882 Anzac Pde, Maroubra Junction.

(Southern Courier)