Sassy new business unites dance community
A NEW business is hoping to be a central hub for the region’s dancing needs.
Sass Wear is a new venture that’s been put together by two ‘dance mums’, Bee Ford and Melissa Galletly, who have spent ‘hours and hours’ together waiting for their daughters to finish dancing.
The pair believe there’s an opening for affordable, quality dance wear and accessories in the Whitsundays, and have big plans to do so much more than simply offer a retail store.
The shop, in William Murray Drive, Cannonvale, has been open for two weeks, with a Grand Opening planned for the end of February or early March.
“We have been talking about it for a while,” Ms Ford said.
“Both our girls dance - they have been dancing since they were two-years-old – and last year, Mel and I thought, let’s bite the bullet and see if it’s viable.
“So we spoke to all the dance teachers and told them our idea and it was well received, so that was the first step, and we thought we would keep going, and then things just fell into place.”
The duo were able to get hold of some second-hand shop fittings – racks, front desk, mannequins and mirrors – and then contacted a few suppliers of the brands they wanted to stock.
“The suppliers got straight on planes and came up to see us - it was such a great response – so we started building relationships with them.
“We then had to find premises, and I was driving along Shute Harbour Road one day and saw a sign on a building opposite the Reef Gateway Hotel, so I rang and went and saw the landlady, and she has been brilliant and very supportive.”
The shop is next door to the Flour & Eggs Café, in William Murray Drive, and is open after school hours and on weekends.
Both daughters - Friday Ford-Robinson, aged 10, goes to Cannonvale State School, and Kari Galletly, aged 12, goes to Whitsunday Christian College – have been helping out.
“They are helping me in the shop – they are great little sales assistants, as they know what the other children like - and they are loving it,” Ms Ford said.
Both Ms Galletly and Ms Ford have jobs as well – Ms Ford works part-time in administration and Ms Galletly works for Local Search - but Ms Ford is hoping that, eventually, she can be full-time in the shop.
The range on offer is extensive, with everything from leotards and tutus, to shoes for all genres of dance, bags, warm-up gear, under garments, hair accessories and make-up.
Adults’ dance wear is also stocked, and the pair are in discussions with an Australian brand of active wear.
They also want to provide costumes for school dance productions and have plans to hire out dress-up costumes for events such as Book Week, donating the money back to the schools.
“We thought that would be a good way of giving back, as we want to put back into the community,” Ms Ford, who has both her Blue Card and Yellow Card, said.
They have also been talking to the dance schools about getting a minibus and being able to take children to dance competitions, which can sometimes be quite a long way away, and to the ballet, when it comes to Mackay.
“We want to be that pivotal sharing point – we’re always checking what the dance schools have on – and we are here to service everyone, across the whole region.
“We are a central hub to pull it all together for the community. We have a lot of very talented children in the region, doing some amazing things, and we want to share that with the younger kids to show them the opportunities that are out there.”
A website, including an online store, is due to go live in March, and Sass Wear also has a Facebook page and Instagram account.