We're so glad to be able to introduce you to Gwyd Jones through Pitty Stories! You will normally see him behind the coffee machine at Criterion Street Cafe in the CBD or Machine Laundry Cafe in Salamanca, however you'll soon learn that he loves art, film, quality denim and marmalade. Here is a little of what he had to say when we caught up with him after work the other day - and as usual, Candice Carlin has captured some awesome shots of Gwyd in our fave Hobart cafe!
PM: First question – do you have a favourite place to eat in Hobart?
Gwyd: Oh I’d have to say Tandoor & Curry House - the chicken makhan is the best. Ah! My brother Josh loves that place and that’s his favourite dish too. Ha, we sometimes go with Josh and some other people so sometimes there’s like six of us and we all don’t want to order the same thing because it seems stupid that six people will order the same meal when you could get different things. All the other stuff is really nice but we all secretly want that every time, and whenever you say, “Oh, I’ll try this instead” you secretly resent your decision.
PM: Do you have a favourite book or favourite books?
Gwyd: Um, I don’t read that often but I do like The Trial by Franz Kafka.
PM: On your day off, which is probably very rare, what do you like to do?
Gwyd: Ha I don’t know. I don’t really do that much if I can help it. Just relax and hang out. I kind of like to do stuff because I get annoyed with myself at the end of the day if I haven’t done anything, but half the time that’s what happens. In terms of enjoying something though, I like to go out for coffee or something like that.
PM: Do you enjoy art or do you have a favourite artist?
Gwyd: Yes I do enjoy art and I have a lot of favourite artists actually. Um, a lot of the time it depends on the medium I guess so I’m not entirely sure. Your wife’s an artist, isn’t she? Oh yeah, Emily Jones is a really good painter from Hobart, same surname and everything haha - but yeah, I definitely like my wife’s paintings.
PM: Who or what inspires you?
Gwyd: Um, lots of things! I think people, like different people I know. I think art inspires me a lot- I really like different visual arts and I like film a lot and I like music a lot so all of those things really inspire me. I also think the natural world inspires me a lot.
PM: What’s your hope for the future? That’s a pretty broad question but it can be anything.
Gwyd: I’m actually quite a pessimistic person, so I feel like I have no hope and hope at the same time about the future. I wouldn’t have picked you as pessimistic. Ha, I mean, yeah, you look at the world and look at the universe and I think it particularly feels that way at the moment but it’s all pretty depressing. But at the same time, you can talk to somebody and you see people who are doing great things so I think it’s definitely a two-sided thing.
PM: What’s your main motivation for going to work every day? Do you have one?
Gwyd: Hm, like obviously you need to pay the bills or whatever but I think most people want to do something with themselves and sometimes if you’re lucky that means your job is doing something you love or like or suits your strengths. Sometimes it doesn’t but there are always ways of fulfilling that kind of role. But I think everyone wants to produce or create something.
PM: What’s your favourite place in Tassie?
Gwyd: My house, my home. Oh I love it! Everyone’s favourite place should be their home. Ha, yeah I mean I don’t see it as perfect but you know, it’s mainly because I live there with people I love more the place itself but yeah.
PM: Raising a family in Tas, what do you think the best part about that is? Obviously you’re raising a family. You’ve just got the one, right?
Gwyd: Yeah and we’ll have another in July. I thought so! I said that to Kenna but I wasn’t sure! Yeah we’re having a boy in July, so that’s really close! The good thing about raising a family in Tas is the pace of life I guess. I really like big cities and that’s one thing I don’t like so much about Tasmania actually, but I can see the benefits of [Tassie] with a family. In comparison you lived in London for a while, didn’t you? Yeah, like I really miss London – I was born there before I moved here, and we moved back there for a while but when we got pregnant we moved back to Tas to start the family, so for us it was that we had family and friends here already. It’s obviously a lot cheaper to live in Tassie than it is in a big city. I think probably the pace of life is easier, but I think it’s also better for your mental health to be somewhere like Tasmania, whereas a big city would have a negative impact on you if you knew you could be somewhere else I think. But having said that, if I had the choice we would probably move to a city and I wouldn’t feel like I would be doing wrong by my family. There’s a lot more opportunity, but I reckon you would sacrifice lots of things for those opportunities.
PM: I’ve got a few Pitty questions if you don’t mind.
Gwyd: Not at all! What do you think differentiates Pitbull Mansion from other Hobart stores? I think the fact that you’re your own place, you’re not a chain so that makes a big difference as you’re free to do what you want. You’re in charge so you can decide what suits you and what suits Tasmania, you don’t have to follow what the store in Sydney wants you to do or anything like that. But you guys are obviously passionate about what you do and you can tell that in what you get in and how you present it.
PM: I guess as I guy shopping in Tassie, you probably don’t shop heaps and heaps but you do shop here. Do you have a favourite Pitty purchase?
Gwyd: Ha, I do like my Rolla’s, they’re great.
PM: Fashion or clothing wise, would you prefer made in Aus, or an op-shop buy or something else?
Gwyd: Oh I do quite a bit of op shopping and obviously it’s cheap but you also find things that are a bit different. Sometimes something has got a bit more character or it’s already had a life and that kind of thing. But a big thing that I value is quality. Cheap stuff doesn’t last and you know it’s probably made by somebody who isn’t getting paid very much and other people are making their money off that. That whole system is so horrible and it’s hard to avoid, though it’s easy to talk about it. Things that are made well last longer and you know where they come from, you know the ethics behind that and how sustainable it is. Generally the proof is in the garment itself and often I think that everyone’s bodies are different and its so annoying trying to find jeans that fit perfectly for example, so if you’re buying from a company that factors that in, then you can have more control over something that will fit you better or be tailored properly.
PM: Definitely, I think it would be great if we could have an in-store tailor or something like that. What do you think Hobart needs more of then?
Gwyd: I don’t know, I feel like we need more variety. You get the same things at the big stores, and like if you find a cool t-shirt, then it’s a cool t-shirt and obviously someone else will probably like it too, but I guess that’s the good thing about op shopping because you get random stuff that no one else is going to have. I think it would be great if we had more stores like Pitbull because you guys are small and you stock a lot of things that other people wouldn’t, but there’s only so much you can do, so if there were more you could feed off one another and supply lots of things that you don’t see everywhere. Trends are a big thing and I think they would affect you guys, but probably more so the bigger stores, but you have the timeless pieces too and I think that’s what a lot of people are after now anyway.
PM: Yeah I think more people are moving towards that way of thinking which is great. Finally, what’s your favourite thing to have on toast?
Gwyd: Probably marmalade.
Gwyd wears Red Wing Iron Rangers in Amber Harness available at the Mansion, and his own hat.
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