Initially as I grew up from early childhood thru to teenage years there was nothing specific that I dreamed of being or doing as far as a creative endeavour in a career or a business. The choices back then for girls were defined in only a few main roles: secretarial, nursing, teaching or hairdressing. So initially I trained in secretarial skills and whilst working at Bethesda Hospital in Claremont I felt inspired to be a nurse and so changed my career. Quite some years later it was when I returned to Bethesda Hospital as a nurse that my craft background and the early sense of entrepreneurship made a distinctive combination in me forming the brand…. doffie.
Interestingly over the years there have been some wonderful stories and pictures of what clients have kept as family treasures with the doffie label still prominent.
Then I was drawn to what I now call “my stage” which took me into retail. There I felt I had great scope and a free reign to create the wow factor and to style an attractive space that made people feel good when they came shopping. My love of fabric shined thru and the use of colour and textures. Just recently a business woman said to me that I set the benchmark in brilliant retail all those years ago and I also have had people who can describe every store in detail that I have owned.
There is no limit to my imagination and in any challenge of design I feel inspired as I know I will deliver the best outcome for my clients. My passion for creating spaces that make people feel great about themselves as well as having a real sense of being at home in the environment that reflects their taste and style. I value being known for quality and that the bespoke products we craft have the potential to be the family heirlooms for years to come.
1981: Doffie Cottage Craft
Where the doffie story begins; before the first shop opened. Products were designed and made from home at Doffie Cottage Craft During this time I was night nursing at Bethesda Hospital in Claremont. My former patients to this day have my original doffie products.
1982: Bagot Road Shop
The first move into Subiaco. The beginnings of becoming a Subiaco icon.
It was next to the Subiaco primary school deli. It was here I taught craft lessons and one of my students was Renee Coleman, daughter of Jill and Perry Coleman, from Empire Homewares!
Prior to Bagot Rd I was taking part in the Victorian Rose Christmas Fair. I continued on with this while owning Bagot Rd Shop (as above)
My pink bike was stolen from the Baggot Rd shop.
Then my daily use bike was stolen!
1984: Rokeby Rd I
My first shop on Rokeby Rd.
Opened with a partner, Jan Payne (left).
Also pictured is long-term friend Peter Francis Lawrence. He grew up in Albany and is dyslexic. Now a famous artist in Sydney with his own studio. Still friends to this day.
Doffie’s “teddy bear” room.
In this shop, every room had a different theme.
This one was teddy bears and their friends. We had an elephant, a rabbit, a giraffe and LOTS of teddies!
This was prior to “teddy & friends” company. Although! They did try to buy doffie out for their company.
Room of Fabric
Patchwork classes took place here and I had in in-house sewing lady on the premises.
Customers used to say they loved the “sound of the machine and the smell of the iron” when they walked in.