By Fiona Stocker.
‘Most girls love fashion, don’t they!’ Amanda Faulkner is a dyed-in-the-wool fashion lover, and her shop’s an oasis of style off the hustle and bustle of George Street.
‘When I was sixteen and had my first job, I’d get my pay check, go straight to Launceston and go shopping.’ She had a new outfit every week, she says.
For years she mingled her love for fashion and a career in retail, running a fashion business online from Western Australia. After moving back to Launceston with her husband and son, the timing was right for a bricks and mortar shop.
Nothing can beat trying clothes on, she believes, and it’s something customers are coming back to. ‘It’s so easy to buy something online and find it’s just not right. We all want to touch and feel before we buy, make sure it’s exactly what we want – and fits perfectly.’
The garments Amanda sells are those she wears. It’s her style, the clothing she and her family and friends love to wear. Clothes are modelled and photographed for her website by friends. ‘We keep it casual and real, and we have a lot of fun,’ she says. These are clothes for real people, the girl next door.
Winter’s in the shop, with fabrics that are warm, light and kitten-soft to the touch – think fluffy clouds of latte froth.
It’s a graceful, open space with just a hint of opulence, and the whole family is welcome. Husbands and kids often settle down on benches topped with comfy faux furs in the middle of the room, while mum’s in the fitting rooms with a delectable floral print blouse.
The only Launceston stockist for popular Australian brands Miracle and Sunny girl, Amanda has carved a silky niche for MiiOmai with beautiful, easy-to-wear daywear, and a small range of Tasmanian and Australian accessories. Hand-drawn and screen-printed purses and local jewellery keep things bright and cheerful through the winter months, with woven Merino scarves in gemstone colours for warmth and elegance.
The secret to winter is embracing it, Amanda says - rugging up for sports, getting out to the snow, and a rich casserole when you get home.
What’s your winter must-have?
‘These big fluffy jackets.’ (She holds up a creamy, cotton-wool soft fleecy jacket - imagine a polar bear that’s been beautifully styled with cute buttons and a boxy little shape.)’And a chunky knit scarf in Merino wool – really popular with mums watching weekend sports!’
What’s Launceston’ winter style secret?
‘Our lightweight knits always have wool in them, and so do our zip dresses. I’m a dress person, and I wear them in winter with stockings and boots. We all still go out for a meal in winter, and want to take our coat off and be wearing something lovely underneath.’ The shop’s best-sellers is a floral print blouse, with a classic scoop neck and zip all the way up the back.
Do you have a guilty winter pleasure?
‘I’d put on one of these woolly jackets and grab a lush hot chocolate from a George Street cafe!’
Amanda loves Launceston the same way her customers do – for its treasure trove of boutiques and cafes. And now she’s found her niche. The fashion girl’s come home.