You don’t just walk into this “fashion boutique”, it invites you in, with it’s vibrant colours and eclectic and stylish clothes.
|Jodie, owner of The Last Tango fashion boutique in North Tamborine. PHOTO/Cheree Ray
Owner and Entrepreneur Jodie, is like a girlfriend who wants to have fun and make you look good in the process but there’s a savvy business mind and an incredible passion for fashion behind her light-hearted laugh and her engaging personality.
Jodie has, “been in the rag-trade on and off for 24years”.
She began her career in the 80s, working for a theatrical and costuming company called, “Geldarts”, based in Brisbane.
They did television and fancy dress. Straight out of high school, Jodi started off as an ironing girl and ended up as a manager .
After getting married and having kids, Jodie worked part time in sales, in a children’s store on the Gold Coast.
This lead her to opening up her own recycled children’s clothing store called, “Coochie-Moo Kids” in Oxenford about 10years ago. After 3 years, she moved the store to Runaway Bay and soon after that, she decided to incorporate woman’s clothing, which created a lot of interest.
She then took some time off to study art, yet her passion for op-shopping and “finding” great fashion pieces, had her searching from the North Coast, to Byron Bay.
“I would look for fantastic bits”, Jodie says as she recalls her purchasing as almost an obsession, “I love textiles. I would go into the stores and I would just touch the pieces and pick them..”
Jodi decided, to Set up a permanent market store on Sundays in Chandler. Having a knack for picking unique and interesting pieces, she developed a substantial clientele, who couldn’t wait to see her, “find of the week”.
Being a twenty year resident of Tamborine Mountain, Jodie realized that people here, would never get to see these skillfully picked item’s that had bought her so much success.
This prompted her to make her style accessible to locals. “On Saturdays, I would set up a tent on my front yard on Beacon Road and I developed a following” Says a humble Jodie, “then a friend let me use her garage at the Cottage Real Estate and I went from using it every two weeks, to every Saturday”.
Wears & Wears was a clothing store next door to the Cottage Real Estate and the owner offered half of the shop to Jodie. However, as her location changed, so did the market, “Little by little, it got harder to op shop and find bargains because it became cheaper to buy new clothes”.
Five and a half years ago, Jodie established The Last Tango as “the” local’s store, “The Last Tango is the local’s shop. When I buy, I hand pick every piece and I never get too many of one piece, because I don’t want everyone in town looking the same. I keep client’s in mind when I look for clothes... I am looking for family.”
Currently, she has a following on Facebook of over 500. Most people who seek her out on the internet, live off the mountain and don’t have the luxury of being able to walk in and enjoy what she likes to call, “more of a way of life, versus a dress shop”.
The secret to her success, isn’t just an innate drive, passion and beacon for fashion, it’s her ability to be tapped into the local’s, keeping her finger on the pulse of style in this community.