Leatherwood Online
Tasmania's Journal of Discovery

Lovely Shells


Tasmania is a haven for the entreprenurial spirit. Exports from Tasmania include prized foodstuffs, arts and crafts, and a horde of nich products — all with value added, of course.

This section of Leatherwood Online is always on the lookout for enterprising individuals or small companies making their mark.

Join in the enterprise conversations by submitting your feedback here.

A GROWING BUSINESS | Faced with bringing up a young family by herself, a Bruny Island gardener relocated to Snug, 30 minutes south of Hobart, and developed a herb nursery that has grown along with the kids. She sells from home and is a permanent fixture at Salamanca Markets too. More here.

SPIRITS OF TASMANIA | PATSY HOLLIS talks to a Japanese potter who arrived in Hobart knowing no-one and speaking no English, to settle here and start an enterprise that exports beauty and health products based on all-natural Tasmanian ingredients to the rest of the world. They are exquisite, but apart from buying a ticket to Tokyo, where do you find them? Find out more here.

A WAY OF LIFE | ROGER BUTLER's working life was once ruled by figures. As an advertising executive and accountant, he was feeling the pressure for a change. He found it by launching Red Tag Trout Tours. Today he enjoys showing clients from Europe, Asia and the Americas why Tasmania has some of the world's best trout fishing. Read more here.

FOGGY MOUNTAIN MUSIC | The sign on the door says “Tassie’s best little music shop”, the walls are decorated with vinyl discs. The owner is Chris Bennett and he became involved with the music industry because of the blues. “I’m best known for selling blues,” he says, “along with jazz and country.” There’s a fair bit of rock, too.

It all began with the blues way back, because this was a passion dating back to his early teenage years when his friends were listening to The Beatles but he was more turned on by those amazing black singers singers such as Otis Redding. In another aspect of this lifelong passion, Chris formed the Launceston Blues Club in 1998. The club meets for an official gig at least once a month at the Royal Oak Hotel, sometimes oftener, to promote the blues, along with blues artists visiting Tasmania and also to help promote Tasmanian musicians.

there is actually a growing surge of public interest in vinyls and Chris finds he is selling more and more

Foggy Mountain Music was set up in 1980, and since then the music memorabilia has taken over walls and ceiling until there’s scarcely a spare centimetre to be seen.

Although the discs on the walls are decorative, there is actually a growing surge of public interest in vinyls and Chris finds he is selling more and more. ”It seems the analog system gives a warmer richer sound, particularly for music from the 50s, 60s, 70s, even the 80s, than when it is transferred to digital,” Chris explains. “People like the artwork on the covers too. They do need to have a good turntable, but it's not at all hard to get good needles.”

He finds he has to depend on imports for many of these, because in Australia most vinyl-making machines have been scrapped, but it’s not so in the USA or Europe. So one of the pillars of his business is searching out titles for customers. He has a good collection of casettes, too, something the big names in the record business have tended to let go. “This is a true independent,” Chris explains. "There's no bulk buying, that's why I can offer such a wide range." — PATSY HOLLIS

Foggy Mountain Music, 243 Charles Street, Launceston
(03) 6331 1566 | Photography by Alan Moyle


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