A SMALL, home-based dress-hire business that started in Shell Cove just over a year ago is continuing to grow and sending fashion around the region, the state, Australia and the world, for women to wear on special occasions.
Michelle Taylor's concept for Get Dressed Dress Hire was to provide women something different and stylish for a fraction of the price instead of buying something new each time they had such a need.
Mrs Taylor started off with a handful of dresses, but the range steadily increased, as did her client base.
"The business is going really well," she said.
"I've now got almost 100 dresses in the collection. I've sent dresses to the USA and England, but most of my clients are in Wollongong as well as in Sydney and Melbourne. I also often post dresses to Perth and Brisbane.
"I've dressed for the red carpet, charity balls, formals, lots of weddings and christenings and have new designers coming on board all the time. I've started working with bloggers, models, milliners and hair and make-up artists to grow the business."
Mrs Taylor said the small home-based business was about to launch a new website.
The dresses range in sizes from 6 to 14.
ON any given night there are about 1500 people homeless in the Illawarra - men, women, children and youths.
Most are staying indoors, somewhere, somehow, often overcrowded. Others are sleeping out in parks, under bridges, on trains and in cars.
Adrian D'Amico recently set himself a mission to feed every one of them this winter by raising $50,000. He has teamed up with Shaz Harrison-Shaw, of Need A Feed, and a representative from Wollongong Emergency Community Housing and Homeless Hub.
To date he has collected close to $3000 at gofundme.com/h75vnc.
House built of love
TRADIES came together at Kiama Bowling Club on Tuesday night to discuss the next stage of renovating a home for a Kiama Downs boy named Dexter.
They want to build a disability-friendly home for the four-year-old who has severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy, a vision impairment and has beaten hepatoblastoma liver cancer.
The project is being managed by Melissa Tierny, Carol Laverty, Rob Starcic, of Coastal Windows and Doors, and Lorenzo Nizza, of Smith and Sons. Work will start on August 1.
Sensory dance floor
BEAU Thatcher and Sean O'Neill, of Ables Nightclub at the Grand Hotel, are introducing the Vibratronic Dance Floor that assists deaf and blind people to dance to music.
Ables is supported by Life Without Barriers, Greenacres Disability Services, the Flagstaff Group, Interchange Illawarra, the Disability Trust and W Nightlife.
It is a new monthly event for people of all abilities to have fun in a safe and enjoyable place. Everyone is welcome to attend.
A video is at ables.com.au/videos.php or ring 4229 7475.
SPONSORSHIP opportunities are now open for Hackagong 2015, under a new management group called WITS (Wollongong Information Technology Society).
Illawarra's ICT cluster ICTI has met with the WITS executive team. A group of ICT students is presently actively engaged in organising the annual event.
BENNY Coles and his Super Wrestling Heroes are not only getting work around Australia, they also have a new television commercial, launched last month on Network TEN.
Coles said he would like to thank everyone who had helped the team get to this point.
ILLAWARRA Forum's Kerri Webster is working with students from four Illawarra schools designing marketing campaigns for careers in the aged care and community services industry.
After receiving pitch proposals, the Illawarra Forum awarded grants to groups at Dapto High School, Bulli High School, Alesco Learning Centre Illawarra and Kiama Youth Services at Kiama High.
An industry panel will judge the campaigns next week.
FINALISTS in the 2015 Illawarra and South Coast Local Business Awards have been selected. Judging will begin shortly.
A list of finalists will be posted at thebusinessawards.com.au.
Blue Mile Dash
THE Illawarra business community has strongly supported the Blue Mile Dash for brain cancer research and awareness on Friday.
Registration is near North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club at 12.45pm, Savvy Fitness will help the warmup, then the run starts at 1.35pm.
Afterwards a networking event is being held at the Lagoon Seafood Restaurant.
Schools' fiscal fun
HORIZON Credit Union is running a program in 10 Illawarra and South Coast primary schools to help educate children in financial literacy.
The programs are being run with the help of the National Theatre for Children.
June 17 - South Coast Women in Building and Construction business forum morning tea at Pioneer Sands, Towradgi. The topic is long service in the building industry.
June 17 to 19 - Wollongong Eisteddfod junior vocal choirs at Wollongong Town Hall and vocal sections at Wesley Church Hall.
June 18 - The Vinnies' 2015 Annual CEO Sleepout in Wollongong.
-African Drum Circle with Jeremy Prangnell from African Drum Creations at Whole Heart and Hands, 3/127 Terralong Street, Kiama.
June 19 - The Blue Mile Dash raises money for brain cancer research.
-The Illawarra Innovative Industry Network (i3net) breakfast.
-TAFE Illawarra tourism students present projects from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.
-Illawarra ITeC workshop on How To Make Your Business Stand Out From The Crowd, with Lisa Burling, of LBPR, from 9.30am.
June 20 - Par-tee Virtual Golf grand opening day at 65 Princes Highway, Albion Park Rail. The entertainment venue has six TruGolf simulators, a cafe and a licensed bar.
June 21 - Banquet at the Beach at City Beach Function Centre.
-Australia's Biggest Morning Tea at the Clever Centre.
-Seacliff High Tea.