Kaye is no longer Today’s Girl
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.’’
Kaye Curle will close her shop for the final time on February 26.