April 10, 2019
Through the ages – Penny Lane
The cycle of fashion trends lasts as long as fashion boutiques – they close as quickly as they open. Profile sits down with Penny Lane to discover how she successfully established one of the Sunshine Coast’s longest running fashion houses.
Golden skin with the same sun kissed hues in her hair, casually wearing a Nice Martin jumpsuit, Penny Lane is the definition of Coastal meets fashion forward edge – style that’s the essence of Alterior Motif. The much-loved boutique has reigned strongly in the Coast’s fashion industry for just shy of 20 years. It’s an incredible feat when so many boutiques struggle with the economic inconsistencies of owning and managing brick and mortar stores. Instead, Penny learned that the only way to build a name is through a strong customer connection, not being afraid to reach out to the online world and, importantly, working hard – an ethic strongly ingrained in her since she was born, in Byron Bay.
“I grew up in a real bohemian lifestyle, my parents were real hippies and we lived off the land when we moved to Buderim. My dad was a fisherman and my mum sold Thai food at the markets. So, from a really young age we were hard workers as my mum is Thai and it’s just natural to bring up the kids like that,” explains Penny.
Growing up, Penny knew she wasn’t going to be an academic and preferred to be out surfing than book bound. By year 11, she finished school and worked at a surf shop, which was the catalyst for her retail career. From here, Penny built up her confidence and relationships with customers, slowly coming out of her shy shell and into the throws of retail. She soon left the Sunshine Coast, bound for Sydney, with her coastal roots in tow.
“I have travelled a bit and I have always worked in retail. I don’t know what it is… I must be a big talker,” laughs Penny. “I find it easy to talk and connect with people.”
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