10 May 2023

Business is blooming for Whiskey and Wildflowers

| Samuel Davis
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Weipa sisters Amanda Scikluna and Chrissy van Pelt at the Whiskey and Wildflowers stall at the Savannah in the Round music festival.

A BUSINESS producing “Cape York proof” women’s wear is winning over customers across regional Queensland as it eyes off expansion opportunities.

Blending boho western designs and floral prints with a dollop of gritty cowgirl swagger, Weipa’s Whiskey and Wildflowers has grown “100 per cent” since starting in founder Amanda Scikluna’s garage in 2020.

Partnering with sister, Chrissy van Pelt, the business ventured south last week, selling more than 200 items across three days at Savannah in the Round music festival in Mareeba.

“There’s definitely a demand for our product,” Ms Scikluna said.

“The response has been fantastic. The ‘whiskey’ in the name represents the grit. It’s the toughness we all hold within ourselves. Then the ‘wildflowers’ are your soft, delicate side.

“The shirts have to be Cape York proof and the hats are big sellers because we’re Queenslanders.”

With sales increasing both online and at their store, the pair aim to open a second retail outlet in Cairns next year, Ms Scikluna said.

“We wanted to do it this year but being completely self-funded makes it harder,” she said.

“It was only supposed to be a side hustle. It wasn’t meant to be anything big but then it started to grow and people loved it.

“I was shooting from the hip and people kept coming to me asking for dresses and gifts for friends.”

Moving to Weipa with her family in 2016, Ms Scikluna said she’d grown to love the western Cape York community after initially feeling homesick.

“I hated it so much I cried when I first got here,” she said.

“It was hard being away from my parents.

“But once we started venturing into the Cape, that’s when I started to fall in love with the place. You go to watering holes, trek up the Old Telegraph Track.

“That’s when I fell in love with the place.”

“A lot of people come through Weipa and if they are new, they haven’t always made many connections or friendships.

“It’s why I always make a point of having a yarn to people in our shop.”

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