Managing a boutique and dealing with death as a Funeral Director is anything but traditional for most of us, but for Gail she has a natural ability to manage both. The roles have similar elements in the need to listen, provide advice and also take care for the client or customer. Gail has this in abundance running both her Bay Terrace Wynnum boutique with its diverse and colourful wares, and providing a very personal funeral service to those on the southern Moreton Bayside and Islands.
Gail has always loved fashion starting out working in a boutique in South Australia. At just 25 years of age she bought the boutique and ran this before a move to Sydney where she literally ‘worked in shoes’. There a friend saw her kind and compassionate nature so suggested she worked in the funeral industry. With initial mixed feelings following the loss of her mother at a young age, she began to enjoy learning of the different cultures and helping people at a time of need. Muslim funerals she says were needed within 24 hours whist the Chinese community sometime took residence in the funeral parlour for a few days, complete with rice dishes and more.
She has brought this experience of patience and empathy as a Funeral Director to many on the Bayside, particularly amongst the indigenous community with her understanding as a former Bay Island resident.
Gail moved to Queensland initially to Manly in 1989 and for some 17 years has enjoyed a lovely and amazing island life on Coochiemudlo Island off the Redlands Coast. She ran a vintage recycled clothing and accessories shop in the West End before opening Bellabeachie boutique at Wellington Point and then some five years ago Simply Bella on Bay Terrace, Wynnum.
She describes the Simply Bella offerings as eclectic and colourful with something new and fabulous for her customers. In 2021 she added a slice of the artistic island life with a gallery opening at the rear of the shop. Art classes are now on offer to add to the creative vibe.
Gail is on first name terms with many customers – as they are with her. That’s what she loves about Wynnum – the personal contact with nearly all shops and cafes self-owned and operated. She sees a bright future for Wynnum in the current climate with many living and working from or close to home. “There is something for everyone in Wynnum from medical services to interesting shops” she says. “Shopping local helps keeps jobs local.” She adds.
Gail will certainly be an active part of the local scene for the foreseeable future providing care and compassion to those on the Bayside in all that she does.