Local business gives back to celebrate 16 years in business

Local business gives back to celebrate 16 years in business

Local independent retail store, Abicus, is celebrating 16 years of business with a charity auction that sees art, culture, fashion and community collide.

To mark the milestone, Abicus has curated an exhibition entitled ‘Back To The Future’ which launched on Thursday, 24 November 2016 and will run until Sunday, 11 December 2016. Most significantly, however, the exhibition will raise much needed funds and awareness for the Newcastle branch of the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, Headspace.

Abicus opened its doors back in 2000, and was one of the first independent clothing stores to liven up Newcastle’s iconic Darby Street. With a focus on offering timeless classics and unique pieces that were not easily available locally, their inseparable mix of music and fashion quickly became a staple for the in the fashion and music scene.

Tim McPhee, one half of the Abicus ownership duo, said that after 16 years in business and the addition of its sister store, Scout, he and wife Tiffany Minell wanted to do something significant to celebrate.

“This year is a massive milestone and we wanted to throw a great party but at the same time give back to the community and those that have supported us over the years,” Tim said.

“Mental health is something that both Tiff and I are really passionate about, having had so many friends and loved ones touched by the illness. We wanted to help raise awareness about mental health and support young people here in the region, and Headspace was a natural fit.”

“To do this, we have teamed up with Byron Bay based fashion label Thrills to curate an art exhibition that celebrates the blossoming diversity within the Australian art and fashion community, but is presented in a truly unique way,” he said.

Abicus’s ‘Back to The Future’ exhibition features sixteen artists, eight from each Byron Bay and Newcastle, who have been commissioned to create a one-of-a-kind artwork that is sewn into the back panel of a classic Thrills denim jacket.

Each bespoke denim jacket is being auctioned with 100 per cent of all money raised going specifically towards suicide prevention programs and creative workshops through Headspace Newcastle.

The silent auction will run in-store at Abicus and online at www.abicus.com.au

A diverse line up of artists have been hand-picked to contribute to the exhibition covering textile design, fine art and illustration including Paul McNeil, Aaron Kinnane, Michael Bell, Lucas Grogan, Sally Bourke, Brett Piva and Tab McGregor.

Headspace Community Development Officer, Byron Williams said that Headspace Newcastle is committed to the use of arts and music in our work with young people – it helps start a conversation.

“Suicide is the leading cause of death for young people aged between 15-25 years of age. We need to engage young people in conversation if we are going to change this statistic,” Byron said.

“You can say things with art and music that you might struggle to express in a face to face conversation. It is through conversations that we can begin to understand what a young person is going through and ultimately provide support.”

Those interested in supporting Headspace Newcastle and who wish to place a bid in the silent action to become the proud owner of one of the sixteen one-of-a-kind Thrills denim jackets can visit www.abicus.com.au.

IMAGE | Owners of Abicus on Darby, Tiffany Minell and Tim McPhee


Abicus opened its doors back in 2000, on what was then a very sleepy Darby St Cooks Hill Newcastle.

With a crate of records, a rail of clothing and the vision to offer unique classics and unique titles that were not easily available locally, this inseparable mix of music and fashion translated from the very first day.

Now, 16 years on, with a sister store Scout, a team of 13 staff and an immense amount of love and respect for the magical place that is Newcastle, we feel extremely lucky to be working with some of Australia’s most inspiring and prolific designers, musicians and artists.

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