My first experience of Voski was six years ago. I remember thinking the first time I
stepped into the shop that it looked like a beautiful kaleidoscope of colour and
textures. Each nook and cranny was filled with little treasures.
Before I met Lisa, I had met the lovely Tammy who was with Voski until it closed it's
doors. It was Tammy who introduced us. I remember thinking WOW these women are
Lisa and I got to know each other over time and the more I got to know her, the more
I loved who she was. Lisa has this beautiful bohemian aura about her which draws
you in. What Lisa brought to the hills was a gift to all of us. Voski was an institution,
a meeting place for us up here. Even though Voski is now gone, I will always
remember that I was fortunate enough to have experienced it.
Thank you Lisa… Love and blessings always Jen xx
I first started Voski when I was working at Wilga in Kallista. At that time I noticed
there was a market for older women and women who didn’t want the norm in fashion.
I thought yeah I want to open my own shop and be able to cater for that market.
I also wanted to be able to manufacture what I wanted without having to try to sell it
There were shops at the time that I liked and I wanted to emulate what they were
doing. One was Husk in Hawksburn and the other was Christine’s in the City.
My other inspirations were from stores I liked while I was growing up and they were
Merrivale and Mr John, which was a magnificent shop with all its exoticness and
richness, it had such a great atmosphere. I just loved it… just loved it! Around the
same time, I had heard about BIBA, which was in England. That was a store that was
something different and not your norm. I wanted to create that feel with Voski.
I wanted to have a shop that I would want to go into, a little jewel with hidden
treasures. I wanted people to walk in and find the treasure they were looking for, it
didn’t have to be expensive, but it could be, but it didn't have to be… Yeah that is
what I wanted, a little gem, a little jewel in the hills.
I wanted it to never feel that it wasn’t open to everyone, that if you had your child or
your dog with you, it was ok to bring them in too. I wanted people from all lifestyles
to walk in, and they did.
I was lucky that my mum had given me some money to help start it up. I had quite a
bit of stock that I had made. Then I had a couple of companies that I wanted to buy
from so I contacted them. I had bought lighting, big mirrors, etc and that was the
beginning of Voski. Then once I was up and running, I had to go buying for new
labels. In the beginning I had to research everything. I would drive up and down
Collingwood until I found the right places. I enjoyed buying gift wear and accessories
that were a little bit different. I love colour, lots of bursts of colour, which I loved
having in there, plus all my little finds along the way. I am such a bowerbird.
I was also selling beautiful Chinese antiques in the early days of Voski I had some
lovely pieces. It was good fun over the years. I loved my customers. I felt very
honoured and very lucky when it came to them. I enjoyed having customers coming
in for last minute clothes to wear; sometimes we would have to create the whole
outfit. I enjoyed helping people have fun while choosing the right clothes for them. It
was like stepping into a large wardrobe.
Having Tammy work for me was great. She kept things organised for me, was lots of
fun, and she was big part of Voski. I also had a few other girls working for me too and
they were all just terrific. It worked well.
To be continued...