And I believe every woman should dress for the life she wants.
Basically, I live for this.
After a life spent in retail, I thought I was doing the right thing by retiring at 60. But after a year out of the game I realised just how much I missed it. Why quit when life is just getting exciting?!
I get such a kick out of helping my customers, and well, it doesn’t hurt that I love to shop myself!
And when I’m buying for the store, I’m buying for you.
I love bold colour, interesting lines, high-quality fabrics, and anything with a magnetic yet elusive vibe.
I’m hopelessly addicted to styling every corner of my life (just ask my husband!), but am also not averse to kicking back with a glass of wine and an action film.
We’ve got a few years to cover! Let me take you on a little style journey...
Act 1: A visual apprenticeship - When I left school in England I trained as a window dresser. A soul-tingling passion was ignited and when I opened my first handbag and accessory store, while I was also modelling on the side, it came in very handy. My window displays were legendary and one of my favourite things about the business.
Act 2:The interior styling years - When my daughter Gala was born I sold my handbag store and took a part-time job selling real estate. I loved the challenge and was a natural, but I found my talent really lay in rearranging the furniture to help clients ‘dress’ their house ready for sale.
Act 3: Finding my place in the world - As Gala went off to school, I bought a run-down fashion store business in a nearby seaside village and although there were some local customers, most ladies would travel from the city – and further afield – out for coffee or lunch and shop with me. We were a long way out of town, so my heart swelled each day when the store was filled with happy customers. I had found my tribe.
Act 4: The High Street - I was asked by the city mall if I would open a store there because they wanted to attract a fresh class of clientele. Against my better judgment I did, but only stayed there for two years before opening a new store on the High Street, where I remained for 10 years until I retired. (Well, at least I tried to retire.)
Act 5: Back on the bike -The call of retail was too strong and when a fashion store in the CBD was closing I knew it would suit me perfectly – compact, not too busy, great windows, amazing brands. In fact, it was Paula Ryan who begged me to open in the CBD and stock her product. I’m honoured to call Paula my close friend but also can’t recommend her designs enough – the woman is a genius!
Today I still adore everything about the fashion industry – the buying, the selling, the displays, and above all else, helping women look their very best.
When you’re dressed by Darling, everything just clicks into place.
I’d love to see you in store soon.