Moving to Australia....

Moving to Australia....

So it is nearly 7 years since I packed up my pretty awesome life in the Caribbean and moved back home to Australia with my South African husband and my Australian-born (but we left when she was 7 weeks old) daughter.  

Here we are on our last sail on our boat down the coast of St.Maarten, before we sold her and used the money to buy a block of land in Australia.

She was 7 years old when we left the Caribbean, and was missing a few teeth.

I was 7 months pregnant with her sister Evie, as we landed in our NEW tiny little town in Australia where all of my family lived, and all of Justin's family had recently moved to, from South Africa and Britain.

All of a sudden there was family everywhere around us.... 2 sets of cousins, 3 Grannies, a Grampsie, 2 Aunties and 2 (strange) Uncles. Oops did I say that?  Times were changing from our singular family life in the Caribbean.

Soon there was a new sister too.

Now my husband and I never do things the easy way.... we set about starting our new life in our new country, by building a new house ourselves..... from scratch.  Well we didn't have a lot of money, and we didn't want to have a massive mortgage, and we had always dreamed of building our own home, but I don't think we quite realized how big a project we had started.

Here is way back in the beginning, about 6 months after we had arrived.

Now trying to hold down a full time job (my husband) and build a house in your spare time was not a speedy process.  This is probably a year later.

In the meantime, I was feeding a baby (felt like continuously) bringing up our daughter and trying to keep West Indies Wear going from afar.  At this stage I was still designing the annual St.Maarten Heineken Regatta collections too.  We were living in my mum's house - bless her!  Life out on the building site was rough - it was not easy.  Quite honestly I don't know how we did it.

In the middle of all of this, I found myself pregnant with my oops baby at 41.  I was already exhausted and pushed to the limit.  I didnt know how I could possibly cope with another baby.... but you just do what you gotta do.

It was like we were living in the "olden days" ha ha.  All the while I have been doing my trips back to USA to visit you all, show the line at trade shows, try to pretend I was a glamorous designer, and keep trying to build West Indies Wear as a brand.  Here I am showing the line with baby Jordan in my kanga-pouch.  Some of you might recall seeing the line at Surf Expo with me lurking around in the background with the baby, I even got busted nursing behind the rack once or twice.  What us mom's do !!

SO with all of these 7's in our life, and since it is coming up to 7 years since our arrival in our new life, it seems like the perfect time to bring West Indies Wear to Australia.  So next week I am off to do my first ever tradeshow in Australia.  It will be at Sydney Convention Centre, which is in the center of Sydney, and I have to drive into the center of Sydney.... that is the part I am most nervous about!  Here I am with some of the new banners.

I took a similar photo with my first trade show banner back in 2008.  

So wish me luck everyone !  Let's hope Australian boutique buyers like my pure cotton fabrics in pure island designs, as much as you guys do.

One love x


Back to blog


HI Roberta, please email me
Thanks so much x

Kim Van Loo

Hi Kim,
I have loved reading about your adventures. Best of luck in the new Australian home!

Two years ago, Feb. 2016, I bought a few items from your booth at WWIN in Lax Vegas. I love your simple designs.

I noticed you do not have a sales rep for Minnesota (land of 10,000 lakes) ((however today it is more like 10,000 snowbanks)).
What are the requirements to become a rep? I’m curious/interested. When you have time, please send a quick reply.

Thanks, Roberta

Roberta Whipple

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.