Jacquie Myers and Lesley Dolling
Friends can change as swiftly as the weather, but a sister remains in our heart forever.
In the late 70’s, when there were fewer people around; surfers, artists and hippies abounded from the ocean sands to the rolling hinterland. Growing organic vegetables and living a carefree lifestyle was what prompted sisters, Jacquie Myers and Lesley Dolling, to travel north from Sydney. Not only are these sister’s best friends, but also business partners, having owned a successful café in the heart of Byron Bay before taking over Don’t Tell Mama in Bangalow, a long-established business selling natural fibre clothing and giftware.
While Lesley and her boyfriend (now husband) went travelling to India, Jacquie found herself running a small business in Byron Bay with a friend called Suppertime Blues, a pumping little vegetarian café selling the most delicious range of wholesome and nourishing foods. The café boomed, and when Lesley returned she was soon roped in to join in the whirlwind.
“We loved being a part of Byron in the early 80’s. The town was smaller, intimate and everyone knew each other. It was one of the best times of our lives. We really got to know a lot of the long-term locals by owning the café, many who we still bump into today”.
The sisters sold the business in the mid 80’s, as they moved onto their next life phase of raising their families in Byron hinterland, owning farms a couple of kilometers apart for over 20 years. After years of dreaming about going into business, they eventually saw that “Don’t Tell Mama” was for sale. The long time established business had lots of potential and, so with shared vision and support of their families, the girls jumped at the opportunity to dive in together and embark on a new adventure.
“Don’t Tell Mama was the perfect fit for us, we pride ourselves on stocking an array of natural fibres like hemp, bamboo, silks and linen; and a great range of homewares sourced both locally and internationally. Customers are becoming more aware of the qualities of hemp and the benefits on the environment – we are proud and excited to share in this movement with our customers,” said Lesley
Visit Bangalow’s ‘Don’t Tell Mama.’…but ssshhhh.
Q&A WITH LESLEY AND JACQUIE
WHO (PAST OR PRESENT) HAS IMPRESSED YOU
MOST WITH WHAT THEY’VE ACCOMPLISHED?
“We admire people that have positive and purposeful visions for the future and assist in making the world a better place to live.”
WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN NORTHERN RIVERS TO CHILL?
“We’re so blessed there’s so many beautiful places, but nothing beats long beach walks along Broken.”
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING PLACE YOU HAVE EVER BEEN?
“Cappadocia in Turkey, the fairy chimneys were amazing, and the salt plains in Bolivia in South America.”