One of the innumerable wonderful qualities of very young children is their vivid imagination. While many adults are bogged down in a mire of worldly responsibilities, children's spirits soar high above the world we see to a realm inhabited by fairies, pixies, elves and other magical creatures. Therefore it's hardly surprising that, when fancy dress parties and other similar events come up, the costumes of choice are often those of these illusive, mystical beings.
Situated in a cosy nook of South Terrace Piazza in Fremantle, the Pickled Fairy and Other Myths is a delightful shop that will be sure to revive the child within you, regardless of how old you are. Decked out creatively like fairy grotto, it's a place full of vivid colour, beautiful things, and lots and lots of sparkles. To enhance the experience, even the shop assistants are dressed as fairies.
To describe The Pickled Fairy's selection of children's costumes as comprehensive is a understatement. The plethora of imaginatively conceived and beautifully-made fairy dresses alone is mind-boggling. As I browsed through the racks I felt a little bit like I can imagine Alice would have, upon first entering Wonderland. There were soft shimmery dresses in all shapes, sizes and colours, many of which have been made here in Australia: cute little ones for tiny toddlers right up to grown-up sizes for teenagers and young-at-heart adults.
Although, according to the fairy denizen who I spoke to during my visit, pretty fairy dresses are amongst the Pickled Fairy's most popular products, there is so much more to this unique and exquisitely beautiful retail space. Naturally, not all little kids want to be fairies, and to solve this potential dilemma the store also stocks a range of attire for young pirates, wizards and dragons. There are also mermaid outfits and much, much more.
In addition to frilly, glittery fairy fashion, the Pickled Fairy also purveys loads of other beautiful treasures and miscellaneous phantasmagoria such as fairy wings, fairy dust, sparkly jewellery, pretty purses, wishing jars and even magic wands. There are also gorgeous little fairy-topped containers where littlies can leave their baby teeth for the tooth fairy, fairy-themed mugs, jewellery boxes, exquisite fairy and unicorn figurines, hair-bands, garlands and multicoloured dream-catchers. There is also a beautiful range of fairy-themed stationary designed by the store's owner, Jenny Diggins, as well as some lovely children's fairy books which she also wrote, the Values Van project, promoting positive qualities such as cooperation and sharing.
As well as being a delightful, one-of-a-kind shopping destination, the Pickled Fairy and Other Myths serves another very special function, as a venue for children's birthday parties. Hidden away at the back of the shop is an enchanted fairy glen where magic is always sure to happen. It's here that very fortunate children (and grown-ups, too, if they so desire) can celebrate their birthdays and other events. To attend these special celebrations children are encouraged to dress up in their best fairy, mermaid, wizard or elf finery so they can fully experience all the excitement.
Pickled Fairy parties are tailor-made for various age-groups and last for one hour. Girls and boys turning 3 or 4 can choose between having a Teddy Bear's Picnic in Fairyland or a Fairy Dance Party, while those turning 5 or 6 can have a Fairy Dance Party, Fairy Storybook Party, Mermaid & Seafairies Party or Missy Cupcake Fairy Tea Party. A difficult choice, indeed. However, whatever option is eventually decided on is sure to be a winner. Finally, children 7 years old and over can make a choice between the Mermaid and Seafairies option, the Fairy Dance Party or an Alice in Wonderland Tea Party in which Alice, or even the Mad Hatter himself, will demonstrate how to have a proper grown-up tea party served on the best china, with lots of fun and games.
All birthday parties cost $198 for up to ten children, with $14 extra for each additional child. This price includes invitations, food, birthday cake, a little present for everyone, and of course the priceless company of one of the Pickled Fairy's friends in her own magical abode.
Whether you've stumbled in en-route to Freo Markets, are a fairy enthusiast pursuing your passion, or have popped into the store for a children's birthday party, a visit to the Pickled Fairy and Other Myths is a delightful experience that you certainly won't forget in a hurry. A magical spot that's unique even in the eclectic milieu of down-town Fremantle, a visit to the store also solves the eternal dilemma faced by the parents of many young pirates and fairies - how to attire their little ones in a suitably magical way without breaking the budget.
To find out more about the Pickled Fairy and Other Myths, take a look at their website or give them a call on 08 9430 5827.
Address: 7b South Terrace Piazza, South Terrace, Fremantle, Western Australia, 6160