Paper Planes Co owners bring Melbourne's quirk to Mandurah Terrace

It’s not every day that you find a fairy bread shaped purse, lolly earrings, old-fashioned tin toys, realistic dolls and a unicorn head under one roof. 

However, at Mandurah Terrace’s newest shop, Paper Planes Co, there’s that and much more.

The friendly faces behind the colourful dream-like store are Victorian entrepreneurs Donna and Scott Cameron, who decided to take it upon themselves to bring a piece of Melbourne’s quirkiness to the Peel region.

The pair moved to Mandurah from Melbourne eight years ago, searching for a relaxing town to raise their children.

“We had a holiday here just beforehand and we sort of realised we wanted to have a change of scenery,” Ms Cameron said.

“We were over peak hour traffic and stuff like that.

“We were seeing this beautiful town and thought let’s do it.”

However, it wasn’t until they recently visited some friends back in Melbourne with their four-year-old daughter Bonnie that they decided to open their own shop.

“It was her first visit back so of course we were a little bit more focused on going into kids shops and she was getting gifts from friends all really cool and different,” Ms Cameron said.

“It was stuff that we hadn’t really seen here.”

She said what surprised them the most was the good quality of the toys and the existence of more dad-friendly toy shops, as opposed to mum-focused ones.

Their experience in Victoria sparked their desire to open a unique dad-friendly shop of their own in Mandurah where local residents and visitors would be able to find gifts they wouldn’t get anywhere else.

“It’s sort of kids and kitsch, it’s a kids shop but there’s a lot of stuff here for grown-ups too,” Ms Cameron said.

“We wanted to create an experience because that’s what we were finding in Melbourne, it was almost like walking into a gallery where you can look around and have things catch your eye.

“That’s kind of what we wanted.”

Kitsch and kids: Mandurah's newest shop, Paper Planes Co, sells from tin toys to bags, books and umbrellas. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Kitsch and kids: Mandurah's newest shop, Paper Planes Co, sells from tin toys to bags, books and umbrellas. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Their main focus, she said, was to sell items that were appealing to both children and adults alike, such as old-style tin toys, to encourage parents to play with their children and make memories together.

“Grandparents are coming in and saying ‘I had that as a kid’, so they are buying a lot of that stuff for their grandkids,” she said.

“And I think that’s really nice rather than all the flashing lights and the stuff that is really over-sensory, we wanted to go back to simple stuff.”

The couple said they have received a very positive from the community so far, with cactus mugs, fairy bread purses and toy utes being some of the top selling items.

“The feedback is a lot of people saying that they want to keep going back every week because we keep getting in some new and different stuff,” Ms Cameron said.

“We’ve noticed that people are very happy when they come in here, and almost appreciative as well,” Mr Cameron added.

The pair opened the shop on the corner of Mandurah Terrace and Tuckey Lane, one of the fastest changing areas in Mandurah’s CBD.

The area has experienced a significant makeover in the last few months going from a neglected space to a creative hub, with murals, street arts and foodtruck festivals sprouting in the area.

“There’s a lot of creative people in this town and all of a sudden it feels like those creative people are coming out and putting their footprints,” Ms Cameron said.

“We started seeing all the bits and pieces, the art installations and stuff, and we felt this idea would fit really really beautifully in this part of town specifically.”

“We are really happy to be around this part of town,” Mr Cameron said.

The couple are also part a group of local businesses behind this year’s Winter Wonderland, which will bring an ice rink, food experiences and giveaways to the foreshore next month.

Tickets for the Winter Wonderland event can be bought online or in person at the store.

For more information about Paper Planes Co go to their Facebook and Instagram pages.