From my perspective: business 25 years young and still going strong
FASHION trends in swimwear have done a full-circle, with styles popular when Tshinta first opened making a comeback this summer.
In 1987 when Tshinta opened in the heart of Port Douglas the popular style was a bustier with a highwaisted pant and this look returned this 2011/12 season.
Owner Julie Bell said she is thankful one certain swimwear fashion did not make a comeback and stayed in the past.
“In the late ’80searly ’90s, it was Pamela Anderson’s high-cut bather from Baywatch, how scary, I’m thankful the high-cut bikini hasn’t returned and I hope it never comes back in,” she said.
“The onepiece has made a big comeback in the last year and is very popular with the young girls.” MY HIGHLIGHT is still the hype attached to seeing the new swimwear range for the year, I love the buzz when it arrives in store or the latest cool cotton fashion pieces.
When I was a little girl, my wardrobe consisted of hand-me-downs - but the problem was I had two brothers - and mum made a lot of my clothes too.
I used to work with her to choose the styles and the fabrics, always wanting to be a bit different.
I moved to Melbourne as a young girl to study architecture and on my way to and from class I walked through the Myer Miss shop in awe of the fashions and the buzz that took place there.
After six months of study, I could no longer stand it and had to get among the fashion world and when a job came up in the Miss shop, I applied and got IT.
From 17 years old I managed a couple of Sussans stores and at 21 I was whisked The one-piece fell out of fashion with the introduction of the “tankini” in the late ’90s, with bottoms and singletbather- t op, which gave more coverage than the bikini.
While still a popular fashion style, the resurgence of the onepiece has been influenced with modern styles that are flattering and also vintage patterns and cuts.
Whether you wear a bikini, tankini or one piece, the best tip for any woman who wants to look her best in a swimsuit, is to visit Tshinta and ask one of the friendly staff.
“Just ask and we’ll help - somebody gives me a few points about what they like and we go from there,” Julie said.
“The reason why Seafolly has been so successful is having their separates so if you can get a bigger-size bottom and coordinate with the top and buy what you want and what fits best.” away in love to the Gold Coast and managed the Just Jeans store in the heart of Surfers for around five years.
My partner and I moved up to Port Douglas to start a new life together but because of the lack of accommodation, we brought the caravan and the cat and lived in Pandanus caravan park for quite some time.
When I got to town I found I couldn’t buy a pair of casual shorts and singlet at a reasonable price, so I saw the opportunity to open a shop the locals could afford.
I set up the business from the phone box at the caravan park and many locals today still talk about Tshinta’s champagne opening.
During the 25 years I have seen many things happen around the town, even just with the changes in the shops in the main street and I brought two beautiful children into the world - thanks kids for supporting me.
I love seeing the happiness I bring to my customers by helping them find something exciting to wear, it’s often a challenge to fit women into swimwear but gratifying to see the smile when I can achieve what they thought would never happen.
Years of dealing with all varied body shapes does help - I suppose you would call it experience, but I never stop experiencing.
Despite all the hard work and crazy ups and downs over the years I still love my job and I couldn’t have survived without the locals’ support.
My big payback to them is my completely radical sale in February and March - someone’s got to liven up the town.
Here’s to another 25 years, thanks everyone.
From this to this: 2012 Seafolly collection with overtunes of the (pictured) 80’s and 90’s stylings
Timewarp: Seafolly designs circa 1980s (and inset above)
Latest offering: 2012 seafolly collection