About Us

Denise Cox - proprietor

Denise first discovered the vintage clothing world in the mid-1970s, but this was definitely not a case of love at first sight. Dragged into secondhand stores by her mother, her distaste for polyester and paisley made the visits a chore to be endured rather than an exciting treasure hunt. It was a decade later that she started to see the beauty in the thrift stores – admittedly, her taste was a little suspect as it was the discovery of a silk dressing gown that could (and would) be worn as a coat that had her pouncing with delight (Boy George, you had a big influence there...).

Fast forward another couple of years though and the real beauties of previous years started to catch her attention and so her true love affair with vintage began.

It wasn't just clothing and shoes that got her attention though... movies, architecture, furniture, jewellery, bakelite, music and dancing... if it was from the 1920s to the late-1950s it was definitely up for inspection. Previous jobs that have made an appearance in Denise's life include a stint at a weekly music newspaper in Sydney where she got to make full use of her dislike for incorrectly placed apostrophes, and also a long tenure at a record company where, as well as feeding her music addiction, she also met and worked with some lovely people – yes really!

In her spare time, Denise teaches a dance called Balboa, which originated on the west coast of the USA in the 1920s. Enjoying a worldwide resurgence, Balboa is danced pretty much all over the world – many major cities have “dance camps” or exchanges for Balboa dancers – and Denise is excited to be involved with teaching a dance that can lead to travel and new friendships. Her love of the dance has also seen her and her dance partner named Australian Balboa Champions three years running.

Crimson Gardenia is the culmination of many years of work and hope and excitement and Denise is ecstatic to see it finally off the ground!

Seamus – shop dog and overlord

Known in a former life as Kiltanon Seamus, Crimson Gardenia's shop dog and general overlord had a mildly (very mildly) successful racing career before becoming part of the Greyhound Adoption Program in Victoria. At the time, Denise was fostering greyhounds for GAP which involves taking these racing machines into your home for 3 weeks and teaching them how to become pets... you know, standard things like showing them stairs, carpet, windows, TVs, hair dryers – things they may never have met when they were racing dogs.

To cut a long story short, Seamus was foster dog number 10 and he decided he was staying permanently... Denise really didn't have much of a say in the matter.

Contrary to what you might think, Greyhounds are pretty much couch potatoes so it would be a lie to say he likes long walks. More accurately he enjoys being inside the office, flat on his side, watching the world go by with a squeaky toy under his head. His only tricks are sitting – actually a major achievement for a greyhound, as most of them can't do it – shaking hands, barking when prompted and giving a pretty good high five.