TALKING to Kerry Towers-Dubery you get the feeling she keeps her feet firmly on the ground, but when it comes to selling kites at the E Shed Markets she soars into life.
“I’m known as the kite lady,” she says, pointing to the fleet of kites hanging on the wall.
The serious models have a wing span of 1.2 metres and are colourful, but kids love the smaller ones that come in a variety of shapes including frogs, octopus, birds, dolphins, butterflies and smiley faces.
“Even a two-year-old can use it,” Ms Towers-Daubery says.
The markets are closed and all is quiet around us as she waxes lyrical about single and dual-line kites.
“Dual line increases coordination,” she says.
But small kids and the uncoordinated are better off with single lines to avoid snarling and the inevitable frustration.
“In which case it’s a bottle of champagne and a pair of scissors,” Ms Towers-Dubery says, with a pragmatic smile.
Travellers are keen on the small diamond kites, “because they can fit into a backpack.”
Listening to bad advice a couple of years ago, she rolled up her kites and other paraphernalia and headed to markets elsewhere.
But now she’s back where it all started.
“I love it here and should never have left,” she says. “I’m back and staying as long as I can.”
A former school teacher, Ms Towers-Dubery has worked with kids at risk in the prison system and also ran workshops on child rearing, advocating for more play time.
“Kite flying is something the whole family can do together,” she says.
Like businesses everywhere, many at the E Shed have closed, but the Kite Lady reckons things are on the up, with plans to reintroduce a fruit and veg section at the markets.
“I have never had a day I didn’t sell something…it’s what I came back for…everything is going well,” Ms Towers-Dubery says.
Her shop also sells a range of books, stationery, toys and a selection of kitchen items.
After losing a young family member to cancer, Ms Towers-Dubery decided to donate some of her weekly takings to Ronald McDonald House.
Located on Victoria Quay near the Fremantle Maritime Museum, the E Shed Market is open Friday-Sunday, 9am–5pm.
by JENNY D’ANGER