Enduring Icon Shines On


Iconic Perth store O’Briens Clothing Co has has a special story that’s uncommon in today’s fast and ever changing world, with three generations running the family business in succession over 60 years. Don O’Brien opened the doors as O’Briens Drapery back in 1955 in Manning. Back then the area was predominately state housing and war service housing, topped off with gravel roads and a lot more bush.

In 1975 Don’s son Michael joined the business and continued to take it from strength to strength with wife Kim. The couple’s recipe for success comes down to lots of hard work, excellent customer service and many laughs, often shared with their fantastic staff.

“We’ve shared lots of laughs with our staff over the years. We try to include them in as many decisions as we can, making them a part of the O’Briens family. We couldn’t do it without their loyalty and integrity, some of whom, like Lesley were with us for over 25 years!” explained Kim.

“It is pretty remarkable that a little shop in the suburbs can survive this long in the market. It is a family business and I think that shines through in the way we deal with customers,” added Michael.

“At one stage we had 3 reps on the road. Times change and we changed with it. But Mick still prides himself on doing everything in his power to help a customer with every request, even if it means going elsewhere to buy what that customer requires. He doesn’t like to let anyone down,” Kim said.

3 generations at O’Briens: Daneka and Quinten Lynch holding Addison and Louis Lynch, Kim and Michael O’Brien

3 generations at O’Briens: Daneka and Quinten Lynch holding Addison and Louis Lynch, Kim and Michael O’Brien

A couple of years ago, Michael and Kim went into partnership with daughter Daneka Lynch. Daneka and husband Quinten Lynch (the ex-Eagles footballer), have transformed the store, giving it a fresh new look to reflect the new era.

“We’ve got customers who’ve been with us since day one and we’ll always be here for them, but there are also younger families moving in to the area who want the latest fashions, so it’s important we cater for them too. Renewal is essential for every company and every brand, whether it’s Coca Cola or Apple. We’re proud of our traditions, providing quality garments and superb service, we’re just bringing it all into the 21st century,” said Daneka.

All the tried and true labels remain and new labels such as Mela Purdie, Luxe Deluxe and Vivid have been introduced. O’Briens is the largest stockist of Verge in Western Australia.

“We also carry a large range of shoes and beautiful accessories such as bags and Kagi jewellery,” Daneka said. “We are definitely a one-stop shop.”

“It’s nice to know the business is in safe hands… and I can get to work on making sure the grandchildren are trained up as the fourth generation!” laughed Michael.

“To celebrate the 60th birthday our major suppliers have come to the party bearing gifts that we are raffling off and drawing on Saturday afternoon,” Kim added. “Just spend $100 or more and you will go into the draw for over $8000 worth of prizes. You could be lucky enough to win a Verge or Mela Purdie $1000 wardrobe, gorgeous Kagi pendants or many other fantastic gifts. It’s a lovely way for us and our suppliers to thank our customers for 60 years of loyal shopping at O’Briens!”

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