A (Lucy Clements) History of Pigeonhole

Posted by Lucy Clements

Today our longstanding Pigeon Lucy tells us about her personal Pigeonhole history… and it’s going to take us right back to 2011!

Lucy in Pigeonhole London Court, Perth, 2012

 “So, it’s 2011, and I had JUST finished my last high school exams and was on the job hunt. I had already been a fan of Pigeonhole for a number of years but thought they were way too cool to consider hiring a 17-year-old with next to no retail experience! A friend of my sister’s was working there at the time so I heard down the grape vine that they needed someone to sit outside the front of the shop over the Christmas period and offer a gift-wrapping service. I sent Johann (Big Bird) an expression of interest on the 2nd of December (still have the email!) and got the job.

Funnily enough, I still have no idea how to gift wrap, because it rained on all of my shifts so I couldn’t sit outside and do the service I was hired to do! Instead, I worked in the warehouse with Johann, helping him distribute stock to the different stores. I guess through this one-on-one time he developed a bit of a soft spot for me, because my job certainly didn’t end 3 weeks later when it was supposed to.

I was over the friggin moon when Johann asked me to work in the stores as a sales assistant. The first store I worked in was Pigeonhole London Court (pictured above). You can see the entire store in that photo – it was so tiny. I know I look like a super sassy 17-year-old in that photo but I promise I wasn’t! And I like to believe I had a REALLY good reason for being on my phone… :/” 

(Left) Lucy at 140 William Street, 2012

 Lucy at Shop 7 Shafto Lane, 2013

“At this point Pigeonhole was still Perth only, but we already had quite a few of them! Other than London Court, there was also Pigeonhole Bon Marche (which was also the first ever Pigeonhole) and we had TWO Pigeonholes on Shafto Lane – Shop 7 and Shop 9. These shops were all teeny tiny, but within my first year we also opened up our first BIG Pigeonhole, which was in 140 William Street. If you know anything about Perth geography, you’ll know that these are all still within a 10-minute walk of each other! London Court was my home store so therefore still my favourite (she says with a lot of bias).”

Lucy in Pigeonhole Enex 100, 2014

“Skip forward 2 years to 2014 and everything has changed again. If I can remember correctly (aka please don’t fact check this), London Court is now closed, though it would still make short term reappearances over a couple of Christmas periods. Bon Marche, 140 William and Shafto Lane’s Shop 7 and Shop 9 are all gone too. Our new stores which have replaced them have made significant leaps in store size! We’ve got a big one in Murray St’s Forrest Chase, one in Fremantle (not so walking distance now!) and the one I now call Pigeon home, Enex 100. Pigeonhole was super into Lomography cameras at this point, which is why all the photos I have from this time look like this! 

We’ve also taken that big step and gone national! If memory serves me correctly, we’ve got a store in Brisbane now, and two stores in Sydney. I think the last piece of our puzzle (to date), Melbourne, wasn’t quite on our radar yet, but it was coming.”

Lucy in Pigeonhole Parramatta, 2017 

“Another 2-year jump! The year is 2016 and I’ve graduated university and am itching to fly the Perth nest, with sights set in Sydney. Hey Johann… reckon I can keep my job at Pigeonhole at work in the Sydney stores? Sure, he says (I’m 5 years into the gig at this point so pretty much part of the furniture). So off I go to a whole new team at Pigeonhole Central Park, with the more occasional shift at Pigeonhole Surry Hills. I’m still working as a part-time retail assistant at this point, with no real desire to move up the ranks.

UNTIL… I decide to move to Parramatta. It’s now taking longer to get to work every day, ugh. And, Parramatta is such an up and coming place! Imagine if we had a Pigeonhole here? I’d never have to get on that train again! I take the idea to Johann – I tell him that I’ll work there full-time and manage the place. Please Johann, give me a store that will mean I don’t have to commute to work!!! And… he said yes! I got my own little Christmas pop up store in Parramatta Westfield, and so my “Pigeonhole Store Manager” life begins.

(Also can I just say – I’ve just noticed I’m wearing the same jeans in London Court 2012 photo as I am in Parramatta 2017 photo. Girl needs some new clothes! Good thing I’d figured it out for the next 2 photos)”

Lucy in Pigeonhole Surry Hills, 2019

“Of course, all Christmas pop ups must come to an end, but it was a sweet time while it lasted. And… there’s a manager position now going at Pigeonhole Surry Hills. I was very nervous about saying yes, but I had a gorgeous team who made me feel very supported, so I took this little shop on.”

Sydney Pigeon Managers Lucy & Caitlin, Valentine’s Day 2020

“I loved my years managing Pigeonhole Surry Hills, and still oversee it to some extent today (not that the awesome team there need it!). But, that commute from Parramatta was still a thing, and I was also ready for a change of pace, so when the opportunity arose in Christmas 2019 to take on more of an administration role, I jumped on it. These days I mostly work from home (THE DREAM), but I still get opportunities to work in both Sydney stores from time to time.

And the teams in Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne? We were all working in our own little state bubble so didn’t have much to do with each other… until COVID hit. The lockdown meant NATIONAL ZOOM MEETINGS, which for a lot of us was the first time seeing each other’s faces. Now days I have a lot more to do with the teams in all states, which I love. Funny how an international isolating pandemic can bring you so much closer together!

And that brings us up to date! Thanks for having me for so long, Pigeonhole <3 Not too long now until I’ll be sharing 10 years with you guys. She definitely not that 2012 baby pigeon anymore!”