Here, we speak with Penny about her journey so far, how the locations of her stores influence the offering, and what she loves most about Marle.
Can you share a little bit about yourself, your background, and how you came to launch Alterior Motif?
I was born in Byron Bay but I grew up on the Sunshine Coast from 5 years of age, so the Sunshine Coast is my home. After travelling, I moved to Sydney in my early 20's for 5 years and worked in fashion, retail and then wholesale. The opportunity came up to move home and I purchased the business with a view to bring some exciting new brands to the coast.
Both of your stores are located in the Sunshine Coast of Australia (Noosa & Maroochydore). Can you share a little bit about these locations and how this influences your offering?
Maroochydore is my home town, and Noosa is one of my most favourite places in the world. Both are home to the most beautiful beaches.. Noosa is an iconic surf town with high end appeal and Maroochydore is a localised beach community that has become a buzzing little city with everything you could want and need. Being coastal towns with a tropical climate, we buy according to our lifestyle and weather. We choose a lot of natural fibres and easy wearing pieces.
Who is the Alterior Motif woman?
The Alterior Motif woman is inspired by nature and spends her life by the sea. She has a strong appreciation for fashion but quality is important to her. She surrounds herself with beauty of sight and mind.
What do you love most about Marle, and how do you think it serves the Australian customer?
Each piece feels special and luxurious, but is simple in form, making them core staples in my wardrobe. It is a standout in our business because of the quality, design and style. All these things resonate with our clientele and our coastal lifestyle, but it also translates easily into pared-back occasion wear if need be. Versatility is key.
How have customer purchasing habits changed during the pandemic and what shifts are you currently seeing?
We have definitely seen a shift towards more lounge and activewear, and online sales have definitely increased. People are starting to think more about purchasing consciously and being more appreciative of quality over quantity.
"The Alterior Motif woman is inspired by nature and spends her life by the sea. She has a strong appreciation for fashion but quality is important to her. She surrounds herself with beauty of sight and mind"
Do you have any personal favourites from Marle (past and current collections)? How do these pieces work with your lifestyle?
Yes! I have several pieces from Marle. My most worn Marle piece this winter would have to be my Mason Jumper which I have from quite a few seasons ago. It just washes and wears so well and only gets better with age. My other favourite style would be the Lydia Top which is a beautiful bell-sleeve, silk-blend top. I wear it with shorts in summer and with silk pants if I have something on that is more of an occasion.
What do you love about where you live?
The community.. I am surrounded by inspiring people from all different walks of life, and also people that I have grown up with who are now my neighbours and still my friends. Also the beaches…On any given day on the Sunshine Coast, you can find a deserted patch of beach somewhere.. and the landscape is beautiful, you have long stretches of sand but also cool coves and headlands dotted along the whole coastline.
For those looking to travel to the Sunshine Coast, what are your must-do recommendations for the area?
So many things, but my faves are doing the Noosa National Park walk around the headlands, also sitting on Alexandra Headland's bluff, having a vino and watching the sun go down and thinking about which fab restaurant we are going to head to for the evening. Spend some time exploring the whole coast, there are so many things to find in the little towns in between Noosa and Maroochydore! And definitely do a trip to the hinterland, Maleny, Montville and Eumundi.