This mother/daughter team of Senga Morgan and Jessie Evans has hit upon something just perfect for Lennox Head’s main street. Their Colourful Life retro and vintage wares store contains a bright, eclectic collection of vintage goods, plus some new items and clothing created by Senga in the vintage style.
For those of us who have been around longer than 30 years, entering this shop will be like walking down memory lane, full of fondly recalled, outmoded gadgets and styles. Take for example the old pump-action fly sprayer, the Bakelite telephone, the hair dryer in a bag, or the plastic pocket transistor radio. These clutter the shelves and floorspace at A Colourful Life, along with a range of truly chic homewares, including lamps, cushions, stools, and chairs, many of which have been renovated by Senga, who takes a lot of pride and care in bringing everything she touches back to its original classic condition.
Having spent a lifetime restoring furniture and houses (yes, five of them!), A Colourful Life is the ideal creative outlet for this talented and artistic restorer. Senga is also a great seamstress, now stitching a new range of cute toddler’s dresses, based on original vintage designs.
Meanwhile daughter Jessie also has a keen eye for design, and in addition to taking care of the shop and all the marketing, merchandising, and the online store, she is also part way through an interior design graduate diploma. She confesses she’s absolutely obsessed with a number of vintage blogs, and her sense of style and eye for design is the perfect complement to her mother’s hands-on restoration work.
The two get on really well and admit they hardly ever fight. They share common tastes and opinions about the vintage industry, and have agreed that, as far as possible, all the old gadgets they stock in their store will be in excellent working condition. So, the telephones, lamps and most other electrical goods are completely restored and rewired, so that they will work today and long into the future.
‘We love to see the older things brought back to life,’ says Senga, ‘because old usually means quality.’
‘Everything. Furniture, clothes, fabrics from the 60s are all still in such good condition today. The fabrics are so vibrant compared to the fabrics we find now,’ says Jess.
The girls started their business in January this year, in the alleyway next door to the opportunity shop, but in July decided to move to the main street location—a decision that has paid off many times over.
‘It was a great decision,’ says Jess, who spends the most time in the shop. ‘I feel more connected with the town now, and business is much better.’
‘We’re actually finding that our bad days here are better than our best days in the old location,’ says Senga.