HOW DID ONE HUM­BLE AND DED­I­CATED BRIS­BANE MOTHER TURN 50CM OF FLUORO YEL­LOW LY­CRA INTO AN IN­TER­NA­TIONAL BUSI­NESS AT THE FORE­FRONT OF ITS IN­DUS­TRY? WITH HARD WORK, BLOOD/SWEAT/TEARS, BACKFLIPS AND SOME SWAROVSKI CRYS­TALS – THAT’S HOW.

Haven Magazine - - Front Page -

If you have a young daugh­ter and she’s into gym­nas­tics, chances are you’ll have per­son­ally con­trib­uted to the in­spir­ing and up­lift­ing story that be­longs to Bris­bane lo­cal and leo­tard queen, Sylvia Pich­ler of Sylvia P Sportswear. Let’s rewind the tape back to 1992 when Sylvia and hus­band An­ton made the huge de­ci­sion to move their young fam­ily from their home­land in Aus­tria, across the world to Aus­tralia. At the time, the Pich­lers’ youngest treat­ing Thomas sug­gested his con­di­tion would im­prove in warmer weather. Sylvia and An­ton pretty much threw a dart at a map and Bris­bane was the lucky tar­get – Red­land City to be ex­act. While it was a some­what ran­dom de­ci­sion to move them­selves, Thomas and his older sis­ters Daniela and San­dra to Aus­tralia, this coun­try would prove to be the land of op­por­tu­nity. And it all started with one home­made gym­nas­tics leo­tard for Sylvia’s mid­dle, San­dra. bal­let-style leo­tards - so I de­cided to make them my­self,” Sylvia re­calls. Gra­vatt. I bor­rowed an over­locker and zigzag sew­ing ma­chine from the real es­tate agent who sold us our house and pieced it to­gether in our liv­ing room.” San­dra’s fel­low tween-aged gym­nas­tics friends thought the leo was pretty cool and soon San­dra was the trendi­est gym­nast at train­ing. It was not long be­fore the other girls started ask­ing Sylvia to make them some leo­tards too. at the then Chan­dler Comets Gym­nas­tics Club,” Sylvia re­calls. “Fol­low­ing that, I was asked to make the gym­nas­tics club’s uni­form.” But don’t think this de­voted mum was any kind of ex­pert ma­chin­ist at the time. Sylvia’s ca­reer to that point had seen her work­ing as a nanny and even a taxi driver in Aus­tria! She took night dress­mak­ing cour­ses to hone her sew­ing and pat­tern-mak­ing skills. “I had no busi­ness back­ground be­fore start­ing Sylvia P Sportswear,” Sylvia ad­mits. Just like most start-ups, the com­pany be­gan in the fam­ily home in Cleve­land. quickly out grew. They moved to their cur­rent larger premises in Ca­pal­aba in 2012. When asked what Sylvia’s one big break was, she says there was not one. “It’s all come about through hard work, per­sis­tence and striv­ing to be bet­ter,” she says. “We be­lieve that cre­at­ing in­no­va­tive de­signs of pre­mium qual­ity can em­power our cus­tomers to achieve their goals, who­ever they are and what­ever they pur­sue. The la­bel is ded­i­cated to cre­at­ing prod­ucts that re­spond as our cus­tomers’ phys­i­cal pur­suits de­mand and give them In­ter­est­ingly, as Sylvia P Sportswear started to make its mark on the gym­nas­tics fash­ion scene, so too were Sylvia’s chil­dren mak­ing their own mark on the same sport. San­dra was a state rep­re­sen­ta­tive in both artis­tic gym­nas­tics and later in rhyth­mic gym­nas­tics. Thomas was an Aus­tralian win­ning two gold medals at the Com­mon­wealth Games. San­dra and Daniela were also gym­nas­tics coaches. com­fort of the gar­ments,” Sylvia ex­plains. “If my kids weren’t com­fort­able wear­ing Sylvia P gar­ments then oth­ers wouldn’t be ei­ther.” Fast for­ward to to­day and Sylvia P Sportswear is a leader in the de­sign and man­u­fac­ture of gym­nas­tics gar­ments for women’s artis­tic, men’s artis­tic, ma­jor­ity of Aus­tralia’s gym­nas­tics clubs. With stock­ists of their prac­tice wear through­out the coun­try, they also have dis­trib­u­tors in the USA, Ja­pan and Europe. The range has also been ex­tended in re­cent years to in­clude ac­tivewear, dancewear and even men’s and women’s weightlift­ing suits. Cus­tomised Sylvia P gar­ments, with the gym­nast’s name writ­ten in tiny Swarovski crys­tals or their club logo fea­tured via sub­li­ma­tion print­ing tech­nol­ogy, for ex­am­ple, are also hot prop­erty among cartwheel­ing kids. look great, Sylvia says the most re­ward­ing part of the whole story “has been see­ing the busi­ness turn into a fam­ily busi­ness with all of my chil­dren now part of it”. in­jec­tion of the next gen­er­a­tion,” she says. “With my chil­dren tak­ing on with de­sign and mar­ket­ing per­son­nel help­ing to im­prove the face and struc­ture of the busi­ness. I have been able to fo­cus on my strength in back-

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