Sweet Alma: As a child growing up in a European influenced home, I played piano and danced ballet, my life growing up was very creative and my love for fashion was apparent at a very young age. As a child I would spend hours drawing models in beautiful dresses and all kinds of other clothing I wanted to make. As a teenager I began to sew and I was very experimental with my clothing choices even back then.
Merge: What were the major influences in your selections of fabrics and clothing?
Sweet Alma: As I grew older I began to travel. I travelled for a year throughout South America, a year throughout Asia, I worked for a year in Belgium, and visited many large cities in America and Europe. I have been to many countries in the world and always enjoyed being exposed to international fashion influences. I was drawn to the unique boutique stores around the world and the many quality brands that international designers had to offer. Throughout my travelling, I felt a particular fondness to vintage clothing and accessories, and brands that were environmentally conscious.
Merge: You have a fairly diverse route before finding your milieu in the clothing industry, what were you doing before?
Sweet Alma: After travelling I undertook a BA in Statistics and Latin American Studies, as well as a Diploma in Software Development. I worked in these fields for a few years before spending 5yrs studying Chinese Medicine and Philosophy, this created a major change in my life and the way I felt about living. I began to invest more time in myself and my family. I felt inspired to live my dreams and to let my dreams influence my environment.
Merge: What was brought you to the Gold Coast?
Sweet Alma: Now married with 3 beautiful children, my husband and I decided to make the move to the Gold Coast, Australia. We felt an instant connection with the country we now call home and the transition has been peaceful for the entire family. Our priority has been to create an environment where we can spend more time together and with the children and working for ourselves has allowed us that freedom.
Merge: What was the driver to open a boutique in Chevron Island on the Gold Coast?
Sweet Alma: Before moving here I had dreamed of the boutique I wanted to open and felt a connection back to my childhood roots of experimental fashion. I'm so excited to see that Australian women appreciate international experience, a mixture of cultures, colours and fashions but I feel they struggle to find the right clothes for a long day out. Diverse clothing that is comfortable, unique and suitable for day time, night time, working and shopping. Clothing that can change appearance by adding different accessories, emphasize your inner beauty and express your personality. These are the things I will bring to the boutique at Chevron Island.
Merge: You also bring in some quite exquisite jewelry and other accessories tell us about your vision with local talented artists?
Sweet Alma: Colour will be a huge influence in the shop, aside from a few essential basics like the little black dress. The vintage range will be genuine, the designers travel the world to discover unique designs, they renew and repaint the fabric giving it life again and bringing it into the modern world. The jewellery is uniquely woven from gold and other materials with no two pieces that same. The wallets are handmade, colourful pieces of art. As well as an international influence it is also important for me to use local designers from the Gold Coast and throughout Australia. I want to support new talent and give them a voice and a place to showcase their work. Permanent trends I will showcase are the Victorian-Romantic, the 80's, Glam Rock and Classic Rock.
Merge: You've already started trading and it seems you are gathering quite a following what do you put that down to?
Sweet Alma: I hope all these elements will come together to create a shopping experience that is more personal and enjoyable. A comfortable vintage couch to sit and relax, a small but diverse collection to try on and a place where you always find that perfect piece to compliment your ageless wardrobe! We have also created an online environment where busy women can experience the entire range online, browse and purchase at your leisure.
Merge: And to let our readers know just some of the brands and products that you stock include; Mina Uk, Pizzuto, Wallets, Womens Fashion, Shenhav Russo, Elly M, Pink Sparrow, MINKPINK, toi et moi, Neta Sade australia, Mina Uk celebrity dress, Pizzuto celebrity dress, neta sade wallets, emanuel wallets, and Gipsy 05