Karen Bradford – Owner & Manager Sonny Jim, Wynnum
It was the thrill of selling adventure in the form of surf and snow gear and accessories everywhere from Perth to the Victorian snowfields that Karen established her love of retail. It is meeting and getting to know her customers – helping them find the perfect purchase that she enjoys most. Now Karen has brought her love of retail to Wynnum with the opening in mid 2021 of Sonny Jim. Located in Edith Street, it is part filling the void after the closure of DBS Mensland two years prior, however Karen has stepped up saying “Its more than menswear. We stock a wide range of product from unique designer clothing to leather goods, watches and skin care.” She adds with pride that all but a few of the 40 brands in store are Australian owned with a focus on environmental reach. Suppliers must demonstrate a thinking towards the earth, people and place. This covers even the skin care range with a botanical base.
Branching out and opening her own store had been a vision of Karen’s for a few years. With the closure of Wynnum’s only menswear store and in the midst of the pandemic with a lot of people working from home and shopping local, Karen realised the potential and took the plunge.
The overall look of the shop was inspired by Ralph Laurens ‘handsome’ interiors. Karen has added items sourced from backyard sheds to create a quirky look and feel to the store which is inviting and fun. The product range includes John Lennon labeled shirts and accessories creating a one stop shop for all men and those wishing to buy gifts for the men in their lives. The store frontage has a slightly in cheek motto promoting itself for “The discerning fella…” which is exactly what you will find when stepping inside. And the name? “Sonny Jim is a mischievous fella inside every bloke. He is friendly, outgoing, and sociable.” Karen explains, “Many men were called that by their grandfathers. It’s a name many of us can relate to.”
After years of travelling around Australia working in various retail outlets, Karen settled in Brisbane some 15 years ago with her children attending local schools. Son Jesse is co-managing along with modeling the latest looks and trends in various photoshoots.
Karen loves the Wynnum community saying “Everyone has each other’s backs” adding she finds the local community “Creative, Fresh and Motivated.” She sees a bright future for Wynnum with its unique community and Moreton Bay close by, adding to an ideal place to work and live.