DISCOVERING THE LATEST fashion TRENDS IN PICTON
Meet Cherry Siu-Ho, Owner and creative force of Pixie & Stone. Cherry has been a Wollondilly resident since 2015, is multi-talented, passionate, a forward thinker and is a huge supporter of other local businesses, business initiatives and events in the local community.
Read on to be inspired by Cherry’s approach to business in Picton.
First up, tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up in the north-western Sydney suburb of Cherrybrook, so yes, I’m Cherry from Cherrybrook! This was actually a coincidence because I gave myself my English name when I was aged 4, just before my family immigrated to Australia from Hong Kong. My parents left Hong Kong with me and my older sister in the late 1980s so that we could grow up in a democratic society. As one of the few Asian families in Cherrybrook at the time, there was a fair amount of bullying and racism. My response to this was to excel academically at school, and later studied commerce and law at UNSW.
I met my husband at university UNSW, where I studied commerce and law. We initially lived in Maroubra in a small apartment, before moving to Picton in 2015. We knew nobody in the Wollondilly, but fell in love with the calm and beautiful surroundings and we were lucky enough to find our dream house. We now have two boys, aged 5 and 7.
What about Pixie & Stone, how did it all begin?
I first got the idea of establishing Pixie & Stone in November 2020. I come from a long line of dressmakers, with my mother and grandmother and great-grandmother all being dressmakers. From a young age, I remember helping my mum with her work, with my job being cutting the ends of threads from garments and folding them. After the first COVID lockdown in 2020, I was ready to leave my corporate job and try something new and work for myself. I was feeling burnt-out, permanently stressed and never had enough time to spend with my young children. I’ve always loved fashion, I’m constantly looking at fashion, and I used to even love getting dressed up for my corporate jobs. So setting up a business related to fashion seemed like a logical choice.
Why Wollondilly for your business?
It had to be in the Wollondilly so I could work close to my family. I decided to open a bricks-and-mortar fashion retail store, because I wanted to offer our town more retail choices and the ability to purchase great Australian fashion brands locally without the hassle of online shopping and returns and problems with fit. As a local mum myself, I often don’t have much time to shop and I like my pieces to be Australian, sustainable, at a reasonable price and of good quality and fit. I imagined other Wollondilly residents might feel the same way. I opened the store at our initial location at 163 Argyle Street in October 2021 after the second COVID lockdown finished.
My favourite thing about Pixie & Stone is that I can connect with lots of local people who all have insights, stories and knowledge to offer. I’m very proud of the fact that I have many repeat customers, customers who come for a chat and to socialise, and that I’ve received support from some of the big brands in the city who were willing to work with smaller businesses like mine. We have now moved into a bigger shop at 67 Argyle Street and I am so in love with our new space.
Interesting facts about you and your business?
The name Pixie & Stone comes from several ideas. Pixie was the baby girl name we picked before we were blessed with two boys, and Stone is for Stonequarry (old name for Picton) and stone fruit (my first name being Cherry).
I still practice law and I write contracts for clients at the desk next to the counter and take Zoom calls in my back room! So yes, I can certify and witness documents if you bring them to the shop. I’m also involved in a technology start-up called Sunrise Envirotech and we are seeking funding to set up a plant that can take waste materials and turn them into construction, pipe lining and road repair materials. I’m also starting to do some facilitation, running a workshop called “Harnessing Transferrable Skills” with the Wollondilly Empowerment Project, and I’m participating in NSW Small Business Month, giving training on data privacy for small businesses.
Do you have any upcoming plans for your business?
Following the overwhelming support from our opening party, I’ve decided to host a series of evening events for locals to come together, learn something or just to socialise. I recently hosted Miss C & Me Creations, local resin and acrylic artists who led an acrylic paint pouring session. Participants created their own artworks, clocks and cheeseboards and it was a great success. I’m also sourcing a small collection of menswear and unisex clothing, so guys, watch this space!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Living my best life right here in the Wollondilly, I hope! If I could keep doing what I do now forever, I would be happy.