Kaye is no longer To­day’s Girl

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

Kaye Curle likes round num­bers.

‘‘My hus­band and I cel­e­brated 60 years of mar­riage last year, I just turned 80 and I’ve run this place for 45 years. Ev­ery­thing just seems to fit, doesn’t it?’’

Curle opened To­day’s Girl, sell­ing women’s cloth­ing, in Tawa’s Main Rd, in 1971. She was in two other premises in the main street be­fore set­tling into her cur­rent spot, next to Vil­lage Bak­ery, in about 2001.

She re­called a bustling and en­er­getic high street. Butch­ers, framers, ap­pli­ance stores, hair­dressers – Tawa was a busy place that had its own com­fort­able vil­lage feel, Curle said.

Orig­i­nally from north Lon­don, Curle came to New Zealand with her par­ents in her teens. She was in­ter­ested in fash­ion from a young age, and said own­ing a cloth­ing busi­ness was a nat­u­ral thing for her.

In the 1980s she had To­day’s Girl stores in Karori, Hataitai, Crofton Downs, Porirua and Tawa. That whit­tled down to her Main Rd store in 1996, when the squeeze came on from shop­ping malls.

But Curle proudly said her de­ci­sion to close later this month was her own.

‘‘It was a hard de­ci­sion – you don’t just click your fin­gers and stop af­ter 45 years,’’ she said. ‘‘My cus­tomers are loyal and it’s been so nice to get the feed­back I’ve had, but I’m 80 now.

‘‘My son is 50 this year and he was at kindy when I opened To­day’s Girl. I could have kept go­ing be­cause we were do­ing fine, but this is my baby and I wanted to see it fin­ish, not some­one else.’’

The out­pour­ing of well wishes since she hung up her clos­ing down sign has made her cry at times. So many notes were be­ing left by cus­tomers that it was even­tu­ally de­cided to set up a note­book for Curle. It is fill­ing fast.

Curle hoped it was a com­bi­na­tion of qual­ity cloth­ing and the per­sonal touch that made peo­ple re­turn. She al­ways did her own buy­ing and tried to keep up with fash­ions.

With chil­dren and grand­chil­dren scat­tered around the world, Curle and her hus­band will spend time trav­el­ling to see them, and tak­ing time for them­selves.

She lives in Kapiti th­ese days and said she of­ten got nos­tal­gic about her time in Tawa.

‘‘My chil­dren grew up here. It’s a beau­ti­ful place to raise a fam­ily.’’

PHOTO: KRIS DANDO

Kaye Curle will close her shop for the fi­nal time on Fe­bru­ary 26.

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