Little Tienda Muse | Vi Hedemark
It was such a joy to chat with Vi Hedemark, owner and curator of Fable Bookstore in Murwillumbah, Northern Rivers NSW.
For me personally Murwillumbah is a special place. It is my husbands family's home where they have lived for 55 plus years, a place I have visited since my late teenage years. I have personally watched the town change over the last three decades. It felt very full circle to meet with Vi in a place so close to both our hearts but with really different meanings.
Vi is so welcoming and kind, I could honestly have spent all day talking with her about her life and of course her business. I hope you love meeting her here.
1. Tell us a little about yourself?
To start with, I'm originally from the United States. I used to live in New York City and worked in hospitality, mainly in hotels and restaurants. Working in those realms fed my imagination greatly, as the "upstairs, downstairs" way of interacting in the world and the comical and ever-changing stories behind the scenes to create a serene experience fascinated me. I came to Australia thinking it was only going to be a 3-week holiday, but it turned into many more weeks, and nearly 10 years later, I am grateful to call Murwillumbah my home, along with my beautiful family.
2. Fable is more than books, though why books? What is it about those pages that made you create a life out of them?
To be honest, when I think about it, the existence of Fable seems very natural to me, although it still surprises me. I grew up as a voracious reader, and my mum and dad always encouraged us to read. My dad is perhaps the most well-read person I've ever known, and he would take us to the library or bookstores anytime we asked. It was rare that we would leave with less than three books at a time. As we got older, my parents encouraged conversation around all forms of storytelling, whether it was through books, music, or films. My twin sister is an actress and filmmaker, and I think our love of storytelling is one of the ways we stay bonded and connected. In many ways, I feel that Fable has been born from a love of connection through storytelling.
3. How do you describe your style?
I wouldn't describe myself as someone who has a particular style, but perhaps it's just that I prefer classic shapes and materials. I value comfort and some level of uniformity in my wardrobe. For instance, I love having that perfect pair of jeans and a beautiful blouse, or the perfect white t-shirt that always makes me feel beautiful without requiring much thought.
4. In 2023, what do you hope for and what change do you want to see?
My hope is to gain more confidence in myself, to feel like growth is occurring in a sustainable manner built on a foundation of trust and connection. The last three years have been beautiful in many ways because of the resilience that was required to get through the hardships, but I definitely want to feel like I'm on solid ground. I want to be able to see growth in my business that also allows for an element of co-creation with other brands and businesses that are inspired by storytelling. Above all, I aspire to live a life filled with joy, appreciating the beauty that surrounds me, and maintaining a sense of curiosity.
5. What is your favourite place to be in the world?
I was fortunate to grow up traveling extensively. My mother is from Angola but is of Portuguese heritage, and she moved back to Portugal as a teenager. As a result, I spent part of my childhood in Portugal. We also lived in several locations throughout the United States, giving me the opportunity to experience different parts of the country and then when I was 13 we moved to India. As an adult, I traveled to Scandinavia and other parts of Europe, which allowed me to travel on my own terms. While I aspire to expose my daughter to the world and inspire in her a sense of wonder that comes with travelling, for now, I am focused on building a life here. So, I suppose my favourite place to be in the world is here, in the little quiet town of Murwillumbah, in the company of my family and friends.