Friday, December 24, 2010

Another year ends.. another year older!

Well.. here it is... Christmas Eve. And also my birthday. And as usual my daughter Christina has organised a small party at the boutique for me. Presents,sandwiches and cake for a lucky mother. Surrounded by my husband, staff and some special friends this is a very happy day for me.

And on this positive note; we close the boutique for our annual Christmas Break. While the Tax Office works in a fiscal year.. we look back on 2010 the year that was. It hasn't been an easy year.. some of our favourite special ladies have lost their breast cancer battle and passed over. To their families we extend our sympathy and hope that they can soldier on and enjoy this Christmas break. We'll be back in 2011 and look forward to seeing you all then at some time in the boutique.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

The only thing constant about change.. is change!

Well here we are again at the end of another year... as I get older the years seem to go faster. I look back at this year and am amazed at the changes that have taken place at our Boutique. We have new post operation compression products from Mareena that are keeping us on the hop! We are seeing lots of ladies who are scheduled for plastic surgery in our shop every day and the Doctors are pleased with the fitting skills of our fitters. So that has been a big change for us this year. And our daughter Christina who has been with us for 6 years now has decided to go and seek her fortune in Sydney early next year. We will miss her very much.. but we do wish her well in her new life path.

Of course, Christina was our seamstress who modified fashion bras so that they can hold a prosthesis. So from next year onwards, we will only be ably to supply a pocket; not fit it for our ladies. The other big change for 2011 is a change to our opening hours. While our weekday opening hours will not change... our Saturday hours will. From January we will be open by appointment only on morning of the second and fourth Saturdays in each month. We realise that this may cause a small inconvenience to some of our ladies, but to be honest working a 6 day week for the past 6 years has not been good for my heath. (Nor my staff who sometimes have to do this shift with me.)

And a final note for this blog.. we all stood outside and waved good-bye to the RAAF F111 aircraft recently. I loved these aeroplanes much to Mark's amusement and as sidebar, Mark's older brother Viv photographed these aircraft arriving in Australia in 1973 at Amberley Air Force Base. In fact it was his last job for The Sunday Truth newspaper before he left to go on to other things.

Till next time..


Sunday, December 5, 2010

What a reunion in Melbourne

Wow.. a weekend away from the boutique (thanks Jen and Christina) in Melbourne. My favourite Uncle and Aunt are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Their son and daughter (my cousins) arranged a surprise party for them and my part in this subterfuge was to keep them out of their home while the caterers set up. It was a wonderful event last night.. I got to see people I haven't seen in years. We all had a ball.

And.. I was in their original wedding party. Yes I was the flower girl.. and there I am in the official picture! Yes that's Debra from Spirit of Life Boutique 50 years ago. Mark cannot believe it!

Talk soon.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Silly Season has Started Again

Hello folks.. well here it is December 1, the start of the so called silly season. That mad rush to Christmas with mothers preparing shopping lists for those great family reunions that so mark our Australian way of celebrating Christmas Day. Here at the shop we have had the busiest November of the past 5 years. I have even dragged Mark in here to wrap parcels and take them to the post office. A lot of new prostheses have gone out the door. And speaking of prostheses.. this past month we have seen here at least once a day, ladies who have been fitted with the wrong prosthesis to suit their needs. At the risk of offending other fitters out there, the girls and I just wonder what were they thinking? Or to quote a training film I saw years ago... "Who sold you that then?" Just today I had a lady here who was fitted at a department store.. and despite having a broken shoulder, she was "sold" a heavy weight prosthesis. Her physiotherapist couldn't believe it. She should have been fitted with a light weight prosthesis. Unbelievable!

Ladies.. you do have choices in breast prostheses. And if you are told "This is all there is" (and we hear that a lot from these ladies) then vote with your feet and find another specialist fitter. Your prosthesis should fit you and your lifestyle, not the other way around. Here at the boutique we carry the widest choice in Queensland. (and don't forget we can do home visits if you're not well!)

Well.. I have that off my chest now! I am sorry to sound cross but to see ladies like this one suffering is just crazy.

Talk soon


Thursday, November 25, 2010

A wonderful chat with Alex Bernard

Recently I had the chance to talk with Alex Bernard from radio 4BC here in Brisbane about what we do at Spirit of Life Boutique. Alex does Summer Afternoons on weekends on 4BC and has a variety of interesting subjects and people on her program. Why not tune in on 1116 on your AM dial and spend your afternoons with Alex?

You can listen to the interview here. Take care.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day 2010

So here it is again.. Remembrance Day 2010. 92 years since the guns fell silent in 1918. Mark and I were discussing it last night. We both remember our primary school days and how we all stood silently on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month for one minute to remember those who had fallen in the war to end all wars. As a nation do we still remember to remember? There was a time when department stores would remind shoppers and their staff to stop for that one minute. There was a time when the city was a sea of red paper flowers on men's suit coats and ladies dresses. Mark's father who was a WW1 veteran himself would ensure his entire office came to halt each year to remember. He never spoke much about the horrors of his experience.. he just said... "War Changes Men".

For a lot of baby boomers, if you mention remembrance day they will automatically think of 1975 and the dismissal of the Whitlam Government. A subject that is still raw with emotion for a lot of people. Whatever you think of the dismissal.. take time out today to stop at 11 and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in all wars so that we might live in peace today.

Lest we forget.


P.S. The Summer edition of Boutique News is out.. look out for your copy in your letterbox any day now!

Friday, October 29, 2010

An invitation too good to refuse!

Yesterday i received an invitation to be interviewed by Alex Bernard on Brisbane Talk Back radio 4BC. So ladies this Sunday at 1:00PM if you tune to 1116 AM you'll hear your's truly talking with Alex about what we do at the shop and how we help out our special ladies. Do tune in... I am a little nervous but the family tell me that I'll be fine.


Friday, October 22, 2010

A new video on prostheses.

Hello ladies.. I have just finished put a new video on Youtube dealing with why you should wear a weighted prosthesis. Many ladies come to us referred from their physiotherapist. You see they have back/shoulder pain because they are not wearing a properly weighted prosthesis to match their natural breast. The video is here. Please have a look and let me know what you think.



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Think Pink Brunch for Chicks in Pink at the Lido!

Well it is October again so it's Breast Cancer Month. And this morning found me at the Lido at Ascot for a brunch fundraiser for the Mater's Chicks in Pink organisation. The girls at Chicks in Pink do a marvellous job supporting our special ladies as they endure their Breast Cancer Journey. Bev (in the picture with me) the Lido's owner is a firm supporter of Chicks in Pink and every October she and her fellow cafe owners on Racecourse Road decorate the street in pink balloons to really get into the swing of things. And a plug here for the Lido. They have a simply yummy menu and I would strongly advise that you enjoy a meal with Bev and the crew when next you are in Racecourse Road.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Our new car to visit our ladies.

On a rainy Friday afternoon here in Brisbane, I collected our new Holden Cruze from Dan Taylor of Motorama at Woolloongabba. This is to replace our Land Rover and allow us to visit incapacitated ladies in their homes as well as our famous road trips to visit rural women in northern and western Queensland. We will be coming to North Queensland next year, so if you have a support group please let us have your meeting details and we will try to visit you. Please call me at the shop on (07) 3511 4222.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Breakfast with the Lord Mayor!

This morning I was at the Brisbane North Chamber of Commerce Lord Mayors Breakfast. Every year the Lord Mayor attends and talks about his vision for Brisbane. I was surprised to learn how overseas markets see us as an up and coming city in Asia. One of the areas that Campbell touched on was red tape for small business. He said that if there is an area where you think the council could do things better; let him know. To me it seems a refreshing change.

He went on to say that Councillors from both sides of politics really have the city's interests at heart and work very hard to improve the quality of life for all citizens and also the Brisbane Experience for tourists. If you have friends or business partners who are going to visit, lead them to Brisbane Marketing's website where you can view a first class Promotional Video that showcases our home city.

Councillor David McLachlan is our local councillor in the area where we live and it was good to catch up with David again. Of course Mark was there with his camera and grabbed a shot of me with David and the Lord Mayor.

Talk soon.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

So sad to say farewell to our Land Rover

Well.. the times they are a changing. After 4 years and lots of trips to see our rural ladies, the time has come to change cars. We are sad to see the Land Rover go as "Britannia" as I christened her has taken us far and wide across the eastern seaboard of Australia. She is big, very comfortable (she has air suspension) and also safe with 8 airbags etc. But the big navy blue girl does like a drink and really burns a lot of fuel. And although she has become part of the family and people in small country towns know her, we need to look at a cheaper to operate car.

So we will be replacing her with a small fuel efficient diesel vehicle (with a 5 star safety rating) that will still take us far afield to see our ladies... but use a lot less fuel and leave a much smaller carbon footprint. Of course husband Mark is a little upset to see her go. She has become one of his children.. but he'll get over it.

We are planning rural workshops in Queensland for next year so you will still see us.. just in a different car.



Sunday, October 10, 2010

Spring is here.. and so is the new carpet!

What a day yesterday was. A really busy day at the Boutique ending one of the busiest weeks we have seen for some time. And then at 3:00 PM, the carpet men came. You see our water cooler decided to leak recently and destroyed the carpet in our shop. Our insurance company were very good to us, handled the claim quickly and efficiently (Good on you AON) and so yesterday the carpet men came.

They started at 3:00 PM after we closed the store and were still there at 9:00 PM! In the middle of this a lady rang us from the Wesley Hospital as her prosthesis had ruptured. So left the guys to it and did an emergency run in the trusty old Land Rover to supply her with another prosthesis. Of course yesterday was also the day we had been invited to a dinner party at our local Vet's home. Fortunately Christina volunteered to stay back with the carpet layers and then put all the racks etc back inside from the foot path. A great employee is our Christina and an even better daughter. Today she took a well earned break while Mark & I went in for a few hours and tidied the place up ready for what looks like a very busy week.

It's Think Pink month and so I have a lot of events to attend... find one near you, become involved, donate some money and help out the people who are trying so hard to end this terrible disease of breast cancer.

Talk soon.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

The coffee shops are getting busier

Well it looks as though the public are starting to spend a little again. This has to be good for all of us. The coffee shop owners tell me that things are slowly picking up again. And so are we.

We have a new breast form from Amoena due in this week. It is very different to what you may have or have seen in the past. It is lighter (30%) has climate control technology and has silver in its lining to kill any bacteria and so reduce any odours. Call the shop for details! It is impressive!


Monday, September 13, 2010

It's time to fix the economy.. go shopping!

Hi there.. since our federal election, business in Brisbane has nose dived.(I am not pointing fingers at any party; it's simply a fact.) Ask any cafe owner or retail shop and you will soon learn the truth. People are worried about their jobs, so they stop spending. All this does is make things worse for everybody. Virtually all of our friends in business are suffering greatly at the moment. And here at Spirit of Life, we're no exception. This September will turn out to be (on current results) the quietest month we have ever had in business. So if you need a new prosthesis or bra.. we would welcome you with open arms. And if you like coffee... then go visit your local cafe for a coffee and perhaps a sandwich. Unemployment is going to become a big problem in Queensland.. but you can help. Go and buy lunch with your friends.. or perhaps a new swimsuit from Spirit of Life.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

What a busy day at the Boutique!

Well.. what a busy Thursday at the boutique. We now have a new line of post surgery garments from Marena of the USA. These come in a range of items for post abdominal surgery and today we had Kendall here training our staff (and me) on the finer points of fitting these to the patient. These are a wonderful new line to compliment our post breast surgery products. If you're having liposuction or body sculpting surgery or any abdominal surgery that requires a compression garment, these might be right for you. Ask your plastic surgeon for their advice.

And.. right after Kendall left, our good friend Greg Cary from Talk Radio 4BC dropped in to say hello... so we grabbed a quick lunch with him at one of the many cafes on Park Road. Greg has a very interesting current affairs talk back program on each morning on 4BC (1116 on your dial) and can be heard all over Queensland on other stations. Greg's program is always very interesting and we are sure you will enjoy tuning in! And as usual.. Mark was here with a camera to catch the events.

The Medicare rebate for breast prostheses.. not sure who is going to be the new Prime Minister but if your prosthesis is getting on a bit you might want to replace it while the Medicare rebate is still in place! Ring the girls at the shop for details.


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Goondiwindi with the BCAQ

Hello there. Saturday night and I am home with a heavy duty cold. I have just come in the door from a BCAQ educational workshop at Goondiwindi. These are great events and we support BCAQ wherever they go. Along with a surgeon, oncologist, dietician, breast care nurse etc I spoke about choices in breast prostheses as well as mastectomy bras and swimsuits.

I met some amazing ladies and really enjoyed the country hospitality. Special thanks to husband Mark who drove me out there and back and unpacked/repacked the Land Rover for me.
This is a picture of me with Gina Fairfax who is the driving force behind BCAQ.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mother nature always gets it right!

Recently we have had an absolute plague of mice and rats around our home here in Brisbane. Mark has been tearing his hair out as they get into everything and anything. And then, just a few days ago we noticed the numbers falling.....

Last night we found out why. Mother nature has sent us a feathered mouse trap. Isn't it a beauty?



Saturday, July 3, 2010

It's been a while....

It's been a while since my last post. Things have been busy here with all the usual end of financial year paper work that all business people have to do. July is a big month here at the Boutique. Our Anita Care Winter Newsletter is out with some new breast prostheses from Anita of Germany. If you didn't get one in the mail, you can download an electronic version here. Also during July our current range of Anita Swimwear is discounted 30% off. Stock is limited though, so it really is first in best dressed as my mother in law used to say.

And of course, July is also the month of birthdays in my family.. husband Mark on the 3rd and duaghter Christina on the 26th. With an election in the air, it seems like the next couple of months will be interesting to say the least. Whoever becomes PM, it is important that they keep the Medicare rebate for extrnal breast prostheses in place. These were a long time coming and very important. You could always contact your local federal member and remind them of this.

Talk soon,


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Well.... it's been a while!

So it has been a while since my last post. My daughter Christina has been in hospital for surgery and I just got her home when my husband Mark managed to injure his lower back. Not sure how he did it, but he has been almost completely incapacitated these past 3 weeks. Lots of visits from the Physiotherapist, lots of Panadol and at last he is able to get around a little bit. Our month of May was a record for us here at the boutique.... made for a busy time with Christina still being on sick leave. Keep an eye out for a new Anita Winter newsletter from us in early July. We will be showing you some new bras (sneak peek here) and also some specials on end of season swimsuits. Talk again soon


Sunday, May 9, 2010

A day off in paradise

For the first time since Christmas, I have had a Sunday off for Mother's Day. No housework, no washing.. it has been great. Mark and another couple took me up to Teewah beach in the Land Rover. It was so peaceful jut cruising along the beach looking at the ocean. And the hi-lite was their Land Yacht. It was just amazing to see them zooming along at the water's edge powered entirely by wind. This is a big week for my family as our daughter Christina goes into hospital on Thursday for some extensive surgery. So.. as you can appreciate, you might not catch me at the shop very much in the next two weeks. I hope you had a wonderful mother's day too.



Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lest we forget!

ANZAC day again.. what does it mean to you? Do you pause momentarily? Do you watch the dawn service on the television? Is it just another public holiday, a long weekend to catch the last warm days at the beach? I hope not. While I was always aware of ANZAC day and what it meant to me, a baby boomer, I didn't actually have any relatives directly involved in the war. Or any war for that matter. And then my husband Mark told me of his late father's experiences in that terrible event..World War 1. You see he signed up at 16. He walked up to the enlisting desk and was asked how old he was. When he said 16, they told him to come back when he was 18. In his own words, "So I walked around the quadrangle and came back to the desk... I'm 18 now sir!" Sign here lad.. a shilling for signing up and away he went. London to the Western Front from where he was eventually moved to Poona in India where he ran the base dispensary. He left home in 1914 and didn't come back until 1921. He left home a 16 year old boy and came home at 23, a Captain in the army, and... literally older than his years. He rarely spoke of his time in the army, but always went to the dawn service, right up till the age of 80.. just before he passed on. He often told Mark that "War changes men" and to be gracious to returned veterans of all nationalities. Since I learned these things of Ron... well I have a new perspective of Anzac Day.
Lest we forget!


Friday, April 23, 2010

New mastectomy Swimsuit Video.

Hi Ladies... I have just uploaded a short video on mastectomy swimsuits. The first one (and there will be some more coming) shows the Amoena $99 special. Have a look and tell me what you think.



Monday, April 19, 2010

So we've finished the newsletter

At last our new newsletter is finished..thanks to Mark. From here it goes to our printer electronically to be printed and then distributed at Month's end. It really is amazing that we can produce a newsletter full of wonderful colorful pictures just by using our little MacBook Pro. Yes our Apple computer is a great business tool. And when you get your copy of the newsletter in the mail, don't forget that apart from our new ranges of products, we will be offering our usual special on mastectomy bras. And it's this: Buy any 2 Amoena mastectomy bars in the one transaction and you will get a 15% discount. This is a 'stand alone" special and any other discount offers do not apply. Speaking of discounts, did you know we offer a Seniors Card discount on all lingerie?

Talk soon


Monday, April 12, 2010

Wow! They're arrived.. we have Turbans and Caps!

Yes our Scarves & Turbans have arrived at last.. and they are going out the door as fast as we can unpack them. The ladies simply love them. If you're doing chemo at the moment then put some colour back into your life and be stylish at the same time with one of these fabulous scarves & turbans. And they are very light too!

Talk soon


Friday, April 9, 2010

A Busy Post Easter Week

I hope you all had a peaceful Easter. Usually this week is quiet being the school holidays etc. But not this time around. The shop is hopping and we're busy behind the scenes producing our May Newsletter. Keep an eye out for it. We will be showing some new pretty lingerie as well as a stunning bargain for a one piece mastectomy swimsuit.

Talk soon


Saturday, April 3, 2010

So this morning for the first time we opened the boutique on an Easter Saturday. A few ladies came in and I got a chance to upload the new Emma mastectomy bras to our website. These bras and matching briefs and camisole are literally walking out the door.

Have a safe Easter, Talk soon.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy Easter

You know, my late mother in law, May Taylor used to have this neat way of dividing up the year. She said that you get over Christmas, then before you know it, Easter has come along. Then it's Exhibition (RNA) time and.. then the run down to Christmas again. Well I must be getting older as it seems like only yesterday we celebrated Christmas. Anyhow.. to one and all have a happy Easter and if you are travelling on the road.. take care.

By the way... we will be open on Easter Saturday, but only from 10:00 until 12:00.



Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Discount on Anita Bras.. One day only!!

So for the 24th March only, all Anita Bras are 10% off when you buy 2 or more. If your size is not in stock, you can prepay for an order to enjoy the discount. Tell Christina you saw our special on the net.



Monday, March 22, 2010

I am being pushed down the information super highway!

Back in the shop after a quick trip to Sydney to the Breast Care Nurses conference. After a long (12 hour) trip in the faithful Land Rover our front door sure looked good.

Have you ever heard of Twitter? Neither had I until today and our web guru tells me that i should be "Tweeting" to let you folks know on a more regular basis what we're up to at Spirit of Life. So.. we now have a Twitter Page and I invite you ladies to follow me through a busy day at the Spirit of Life Boutique.

Talk soon.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Something new at the boutique.. soon!

Hello ladies.. well I am still at the Breast Care Nurses Conference at Coogee Beach. One of the things we get asked for a lot at the boutique is turbans.. for ladies undergoing chemo therapy.

Well.. I am pleased to say that we should have these around Easter time. And they are very smart as well. Keep an eye on our online shop and we will have them listed there as soon as we have them. They will feature in the next newsletter as well! In the meantime, I went for a walk on Coogee Beach with my husband Mark late yesterday afternoon. It really is a beautiful place. Lots of Sydney-siders having a surf after work before going home for dinner.

Talk soon


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Post Card from Coogee Beach

Hello there. Today I am at the Breast Care Nurses Convention at Coogee Beach Sydney. This is an opportunity to meet and talk with the Breast Care Nurses from Queensland and Northern NSW. And also I get to learn about the new treatments that our special ladies are going through. It helps me understand how they feel when they come to our Boutique for their Prosthesis.

Here is a Happy Snap of me at the Anita Stand.

Cheers for now.


Friday, March 5, 2010

International Womens' Day 2010

On the 8th of March, it is International Womens' Day. And it is a time to look back and see what we as women have achieved as we strive to improve our life and also to enrich the lives of those we care for. To this end, The Hub, a women's sub group of the Brisbane North Chamber of Commerce held a luncheon function today to celebrate the event.

Their guest speaker was the Lady Mayoress of Brisbane, Lisa Newman. Lisa is on so many boards and committees that you wonder if she ever has time to be at home. Today she spoke about her passion for charity work, how she mixed the roles of mother and being Lord Mayor Campbell's wife.. and manages to always have a smile on her face along the way. Lisa is a truly remarkable lady and we, the citizens of Brisbane are lucky to have her in our midst. I was fortunate enough to sit next to Lisa and learn more about her passion for life. She has produced a cook book with proceeds of sales going to charity. Good luck Lisa.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

So 2010 is here already.

He we are 2 months into 2010.. seems like Christmas was only yesterday. We have been very busy at the Boutique especially with ordering new season's swimwear to be delivered later in the year. The flooding here a couple of days ago was incredible! We managed to stay dry but some other shops in Park Road were flooded.

Late last year I joined the Brisbane North Chamber of Commerce. At Wednesday's meeting they had an interesting speaker talking about getting referral's for your business. We get lots of referrals from our clients and I guess that this is a good time to say thank you to all of you who have referred your family and friends to Spirit of Life.. we do appreciate it. My professional photographer husband Mark is also a member of the Chamber and is their official photographer. He grabbed this shot of me and other members at the last meeting.

Take care