Once upon Brighton beach lived a little girl with little blonde hairs all over her sunny head. By chance she had been born in the London fog, and when she was very little, she was on a ship going back to Australia. It was upon this ship that she had what may very well have been baby’s first dance with her passion, albeit assisted. One night on the North Sea, her father, the architect with an eye for design, fashioned the little girl in his own image, goatee and all, and passengers and crew alike agreed that she was the most uniquely dressed fancy on the vessel vast, a “chip off the old block”.
And when they landed back on the bottom of the big continent, the little girl began to grow up and she swam and stitched and beaded and knotted and windsurfed her way through school, by which point she was three quick steps to her own little market, where she sold beaded bracelets and ug boots and berets.
One day when she was young and clever, the little girl realized that if making things was fun and water wet was fun, then combining them would be twice as fun, and no master of arithmetic in the known land wide would challenge the logic. So she crocheted cotton bright red into a bikini and marched right down to Brighton beach. ‘Oh my goodness!’ people gasped, one lady fainted. Well apparently, I wasn’t there, I wasn’t born. Anyway, it was a marvelous piece of crocheted glory, I’m sure.
Well, she definitely started designing swimsuits for her friends. That can be validated and substantiated. And then eventually she started a design course. She had every intention of studying her love for making wearable wares, but was warned by a weary stick in the mud teacher sans taste. So she studied textile design instead. I’m not sure why. It seems a little flat and square. Anyway, this led to what seems like the working definition of boring. Beige carpet boring. The little girl (although at this point she was a little less little) sat in a room of her first employer, the carpet tycoon, and thought of alternative names for all the beige carpets in the beige carpet shop. And when, glazy eyed, she had cycled through all the nuts and mammals in the known universe and a little beyond, she woke up.
And life was too short, so she started a pattern making course. After some slightly more sportscraft stimulating textile design work the little less little girl trotted round the globe and when she got back, she started her own label in her later-to-be husband’s girlfriend’s house. No its not sordid, soapy or smutty. It makes perfect sense, but you’ll just have to trust me.
Anyway, she began to sell her swimsuits and this time more people stood up and took notice and it just became obvious that the little girl was fast becoming a big busy girl with a heart of lycra and an eye for design, the “chip off the old block” herself. No the goatee didn’t suit but the eye for design did.
Then one day when there were too many creations to fit in her friend’s house anymore, she waved goodbye remembering a happy holiday in Sydney, and being 8 and the water and the bridge and the lovely people who might be persuaded to spend more time in lycra. So she skipped up to the beautiful harbour city with her trusty sewing machine under her arm and high hopes in her pocket.
Anyway there she was, alone amongst the sky scrapers. In no time at all she set to work to make busy her life and she bought rolls of lycra and hired staff and cut and sewed and packed and delivered all over the land. But it was at times dangerous. After toiling day and night by order of the David Jones buyer, she encountered a bumptious receiving dock guardsman who tried to thwart the little girl’s ambition when he spotted the missing “DO NOT IRON” label and declared that the bloodied and sweated load be sent back. “Oh dear” she cried and wept tears of despair all over the little man’s coat lapel - a clever ploy by all accounts because it worked a charm and the halls of DJ’s were decked in Sue Rice swimsuits after all. Encouraged no end, she began to enter contests and sell to other department stores and take photos of models in swimsuits and life became a fabric frenzy.
She was so busy, she almost missed cupids little arrow when the marvelous man from Melbourne that we mentioned earlier, came to visit and married bliss doubled, tripled and quadrupled the glorious lycra business venture. Their children joined in and they all rolled in lycra as families do. Well this one did. Soon the family was 4 and the stores several more and the not–so–little girl’s hands were full as full.
It wasn’t long before the winds of change whispered in the not-so-little girl’s ear in the form of desperate women knocking on the myriad shop’s doors. They told tales of woe, of sagging breasts and bottoms, of midriff bulge and wedgies. They wanted more.
Back to the drawing board of a little shop in Glebe she went, inventing boob supports and tummy trimmers galore. The women came from far and wide to buy the magic items that put everything back where it used to be and to this day in the fabulous new shop in St. Johns Road, she and her family and little band of merry helpers, still do.