Business

Tough economy proves no challenge for cancer survivor

Cancer survivor Julie Strange at Tugun Family Jewels.
Cancer survivor Julie Strange at Tugun Family Jewels. John Gass

TUGUN'S Julie Strange was told she was crazy for opening a homewares, gifts and fashion store in the current economic climate.

But after surviving breast cancer including 12 chemo treatments, 30 hits of radiation and a double mastectomy, tough retail conditions and the challenge posed by online shopping are a comparative walk in the park.

No sooner had Julie opened Tugun's Family Jewels on Golden Four Dr on September 15 than she was swamped.

"People were buying up two or three items at a time. It was madness," she exclaims.

"There's been many a time when both fitting rooms are occupied and I've had people in the storeroom trying clothes."

She says many customers comment on the reasonable prices and she has regulars who drop by just to see what's new in store.

Cancer survivor Julie Strange at Tugun family jewells. Photo: John Gass / Daily News
Cancer survivor Julie Strange at Tugun family jewells. Photo: John Gass / Daily News John Gass

Julie had intended to concentrate on homewares and gifts.

But female workers in the village said they were tired of having to leave the area to buy clothes.

"Our customer base has been aged 15-70 plus lots in between," she says.

"People do still have that bit of money for small luxuries, feel-good things."

With help from husband Michael, she's created a warm and fragrant space with a shabby-chic-old-beach-house vibe predominantly using recycled materials.

The counter is made fashioned out of three white-washed timber doors topped with a panel of glass.

The change rooms have the look of an old garden shed including a corrugated iron roof from an old Queenslander and French windows and walls all finished with a whitewash.

The fashion, which Julie has sourced predominantly from Australian designers and India, reflects Tweed's laid-back style.

Racks of floral maxi-dresses are mixed with leather-look jumpsuits, 3/4 pants in striking magenta and cobalt blue, and a colourful array of shoes starting from $45.

After being diagnosed with cancer in 2008, Julie did two years of treatment plus ongoing participation in a drug trial.

She hopes her retail venture marks a healthy new era in her life.

"My husband was concerned the stress (of going into business) would affect my health," she says.

"But it's been an exciting stress rather than a worry stress. Life is short. Follow your dream and do what makes you happy."



Shark drones, nets or culling? How to protect Tweed beaches

Last shark registered by the SharkSmart Ap on  Saturday, September 24.  NSWDPI aerial team took a photo of the 4m White Shark at Fingal Head. It was monitored by lifeguards.

HOW do you think the Tweed should manage the risk of shark attack?

Kick the Kilos: September 29

A morning run is just one way to kick those kilos

Tweed consolidates top three spot.

Hats off to our award-winning chefs

(from left) Jodie Tatchell, Kerry Turner, Charlie Ebell and Bill Tatchell celebrate food.

A celebration of the Tweed's very best food and drink.

Local Partners

Homer Simpson thanks Australia during Opera House visit

Homer Simpson visits the Sydney Opera House.

ANIMATION favourite gets attacked by seagulls in viral video.

Channel 9 orders second season of Doctor Doctor

Rodger Corser stars in the TV series Doctor Doctor.

RURAL medical drama finds a loyal following.

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Penthouse in beach paradise

Take in the beach front views from the balcony of 701/ 4-10 Douglas Street, Kirra.

This beachfront penthouse is the perfect place to enjoy the views.

Casuarina sets the benchmark in Tweed market

Our property market is as strong as it's been since the crisis

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction