Family, friends, customers and all of Surry Hills are mourning the passing of Vividshop owner Rajani Enderby, who passed away in May.
A true local personality, Rajani came to Australia from Malawi at the age of 21, and began working in Vividshop on Crown Street in 2008.
In 2015, she approached the previous owner and bought the business, which she had operated until her untimely passing.
It was a much more interesting career than her original job in Sydney, working for the Department of Immigration.
“I grew up with colour, and I love it and I love it in here,” Rajani wrote on the Vividshop website.
“Everyone that comes in, their faces immediately light up.”
Rajani helped make Vividshop a retail desination and expanded the eclectic mixture of merchandise available, including the signature touch of the colourful dried flowers from near neighbour Gerhardt.
It also became an art venue in its own right, hosting exhibitions by local artists and even musical performances by the likes of punk legend Steve Lucas, of X fame.
Rajani also expanded Vividshop to include two pop up stores, and built up the online business.
As the Vividshop Facebook post said of Rajani: “It was not uncommon for customers to enter the shop and stay for hours, enthralled by her worldly ales and huge knowledge on a huge variety of topics.
“Many would express their pleasure and amazement at finding someone so genuinely friendly and caring in an unexpected place. There was no pressure to purchase anything just a desire to impart wisdom and understanding which is unfortunately not very common these days.”
The post inspired many comments from people Rajani had touched along the way.
Author Netan Guegan described how Rajani had stocked her children’s book when other stores had not.
“Rajani was so kind and encouraging to me when we met,” Netan wrote.
“We chatted for hours each time, such a beautiful soul, so full of life. She will certainly be missed.”
The post was typical of other comments, all of which attested to Rajani’s spirit of generosity and compassion.
Business partner Scott says Vividshop will remain open “as is Rajani’s wish.”