The Echidna Team


 

Capalaba Office

 

Gary

Gary

 

Owner

 

With my industry roots dating back to 1981, I have spent my entire working life living and breathing sewing machines. I originally took on an apprenticeship as a sewing machine mechanic with Stubbies Clothing Company, which was at the time one of Australia's leading clothing manufacturers.

 

I opened my first retail sewing machines sales and service centre in 1986 with the support of my family. I have worked as the General Manager for Singer New Zealand as well as the Australia Eastern State Dealer Manager before opening Echidna Sewing in 1995.

 

I have seen many changes in the industry and played an important role in selling the Brother PR series multi-needle machine dating back to 2004. Today Echidna is commited to the Brother brand and is now by far the largest specialist retailer in Australia and also one of the largest in the world. 

 

Read more about Gary in the Echidna Story (PDF, 380kb).

 


Erik Photo

Erik

 

General Manager

 

I'm the first to admit that I'm no sewing expert! Originally qualified as an electronics engineer, I've also worked as a freelance software developer since I was in high school. I first started with Echidna coordinating our overseas product sourcing and logistics, which is a still a big part of my job – we have over 6,000 product lines requiring hundreds of shipments each year. 

 

As General Manager, I now oversee the day-to-day operations of our growing business, with over 20 staff spread along the eastern seaboard. The sewing industry is the last place an engineer might expect to end up. But it's an interesting, fast-paced industry that keeps me challenged every day.

 


Brett

 

Machine Sales and Finance Manager

 

I have been working in the industry for over 20 years starting as a shop manager at only eighteen for Singer Loganholme and Ipswich. I can still remember the first sewing machine that I sold, which was a Singer XL1 retailing at about $3000. Working alongside Gary (my brother) has seen the industry develop and grow into what it is today, offering advanced technology in both sewing and machine embroidery. Now I am the Machine sales and Finance Manager at Echidna Sewing and am here to help out with all your sales enquiries. 

 


Martin

Martyn

 

Product Manager - Sewing

 

I have been in the sewing industry all my life. In the past I've been a university lecturer in Fashion and Technology in NZ, business development and marketing manager for KwikSew Patterns (AU & NZ) and have also been heavily involved in retail sales and education for domestic sewing & embroidery machines.

 
Garment making, pattern making, quilting and embroidery have always been a part of my day-to-day life and I strive to engage in some sort of creativity for at least a couple of hours a day.
 
I am a member of both the Australian and American Sewing Guilds, often teach at the National Convention here in Australia and still write articles for magazines to encourage the art of sewing.
Joining Echidna and having a feast of technology at my fingertips is going to keep me busier than ever. I was around at the inception of the domestic embroidery machine and to watch its evolution over the past decades has been utterly fascinating.
 

Amanda

 

Training Manager

 
I have been working at Echidna Sewing Products for over 5 years. As Training Manager I organise a number of the classes, workshops, events, cuppa and chat days with Gary and you will also see me helping out in the Capalaba showroom. I thoroughly enjoy working at Echidna Sewing combining my passion of embroidery, quilting, papercraft and all things sewing related as I get to spend time creating projects and samples testing out our incredible sewing and embroidery machines. I especially love being able to teach our customers the wide range of things they can do with their machines and also what they can create using our excellent embroidery software.
 
If you have a question regarding your machine, it's features, software or simply how to use it I welcome you to contact me for any support or training.
 

Lex

Lex

 

Accounts Manager

 

Commenced with Echidna Mid January 2016 with a Diploma of Accounting, over 14 years of bookkeeping and Office Management experience to take over the Echidna Accounts.


With no sewing experience Echidna has been very welcoming and encouraging in assisting me to understand their complex and creative industry.


Looking forward to assisting with the growth of Echidna for many years to come as it's a pleasure to work for such a friendly and supportive team. 

 


Michelle

 

Customer Service and Support

 

My role at Echidna Sewing includes customer service, sales and support. You'll also see me on occasion helping at the counter at Cuppa and Chat days, as well as the alternate Saturday at our Capalaba showroom.

 

I have been sewing since my younger years and I have a Certificate in Apparel Production and I was one of the first in Queensland to receive a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts in Costume Construction from NIDA.

 

I am currently enjoying experimenting with Embroidery software available at Echidna sewing, learning about the differences between each program, their capabilities, features and uses. Therefore I can play an important role in helping you decide which program will best suit your needs.

 


Hayley

 

Sales and Administration Officer

 

In February 2011 I began working at Echidna with little sewing and embroidery knowledge or experience. With a background in fitness and also retail, I have really enjoyed getting to know a more creative industry and have even tried my hand at some small projects of my own.

 

At Echidna my role involves mostly administration duties including data entry and also customer service. I have also really enjoyed helping out and meeting our beautiful customers at the various travelling events that Echidna has held. One of my favourite things about Echidna is that my fellow staff members really uphold the family business feel of Echidna Sewing Products and make it a friendly, enjoyable place to come to.

 


Kristie

 

Sales and Administration Officer

 

I have been working for Echidna Sewing for over 8 years. I have a diploma in Desktop Publishing and Graphic Design. I have always taken an interest in computer design and art since I was young. I have worked in many different areas for Echidna, including administration, sales, technical support and graphics and marketing. Since returning from maternity leave for the birth of my twins I have continued a role in administration and will often be the voice on the other end of the phone.


The first embroidery machine I ever used was the Brother PR600 and it was amazing. I sat watching in awe as I stitched out my first ever design. I remember just thinking of the endless possibilities. I went home that night and searched my house for possible items to embroider on and make one of a kind.

 


Brittany

 

Sales and Administration Officer

 

I was lucky enough to grow up close to the Sewing and Embroidery industry and Echidna Sewing Products. I remember coming into Echidna for kid's sewing classes when I was young and it was the first time I learnt to sew. I started working at Echidna in July 2014 as a Sales and Administration Officer. I was very excited and nervous but I had a lot of support and felt very welcome by the staff at Echidna. I am very appreciative and grateful for the community that we have surrounding us at Echidna Sewing.

 


Jenny

 

Sales and Customer Service

 

I come from a family of sewers, one grandmother a tailoress and the other a milliner. Along with my grandmothers my mother taught me to sew when I was seven years old creating outfits for my dolls and then moving onto sewing outfits for myself and now my family. It's incredible how technology has changed over the years since I first remember sewing on a Singer Sewing machine, where I had to use my hand as the pedal.

 

I bought my first embroidery machine over nine years ago and then upgraded to a Brother 6 needle, where I started a small embroidery business Pro Embroidery to help fund my "hobby". Working at Echidna Sewing is a dream job allowing me to help other sewers and crafters, keep up-to-date with the latest technology, machines and techniques.

 


Gail

 

Sales and Customer Service

 

I first learnt how to sew as a teenager as it was a necessity for us growing up. I have always enjoyed sewing and being able to create my own garments for both myself and my family. I have taken a range of sewing classes and also studied Pattern making at the Moreton Institute of Tafe.

 

When machine embroidery was introduced I eagerly bought a sewing and embroidery machine as well as digitising software back in 1998, where I taught myself how to digitise my own embroidery designs. I then taught classes in embroidery and sewing through my own business 'Sew Embroiderable'. I have also worked at a number of local companies in the Redlands such as Pleasuresew and Bayside Stitchcraft Sewing and Patchwork Centre. I am now thoroughly enjoying working at Echidna Sewing, helping customers in the showroom decide what products would best suit their needs.

 


Erin

 

Digital Marketing Manager

 

I started in September 2014 to help Echidna Sewing launch into the hugely expanding digital market. In the upcoming future I will be working on the implemention of a new website, blog content, growing Echidna Sewing's social community and video content, plus much more!

 

I have a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Communication Design) and a Diploma of Multimedia, as well as ten years experience working as a Digital Designer. I've also created my own sewing blog where I've gone from not knowing a single thing about sewing to being able to create my own finished garments with the help of the online sewing community.

 


Doug

 

Warehouse Manager

 

I have been in the industry for over 20 years working with Gary (my brother) when he first started back in 1988. As the Warehouse Manager I oversee the Echidna warehouse and dispatch, customer service enquiries, unloading and loading trucks, space management and inventory management. We pride ourselves on the service to our customers and our Warehouse team is an integral part of our service culture and service delivery.

 


 

Andrew

 

Warehouse and Dispatch Storeman

 

I have been working at Echidna for over eighteen months as Warehouse and Dispatch Storeman, managing the incoming and outgoing orders, transport and logistics, stock control, storage control and general warehouse duties.

 

 


Derek

 

Service Technician Manager

 

I have been working as a sewing machine technician for over 20 years starting with Gary when he had the Wynnum Manly Sewing Machine Centre located at Wynumm. During this time I moved back to New Guinea where I was born and worked as a supervisor for a large logging company. On returning to Australia over 10 years ago I resumed working for Gary at the now Echidna Sewing Products store which had moved to Capalaba given the role Service Technician Manager. Over the years I have completed repairs on every kind of sewing, embroidery and overlocker machine as well as ironing presses which keeps the work both challenging and rewarding.



 

Daniel

 

Service Technicial

 

I am a qualified Electrical Fitter and Mechanic completing my trade with STOWE Australia. I have been working at Echidna for over a year as the Service Technician, which includes machine servicing and repairs, warranty repairs, dealing with manufacturers, customer technical support and spare parts orders. If you are having difficulties with your machine I'm always available to assist in getting it running smoothly either by phone or bringing it into the Capalaba showroom.

 


 

Sunshine Coast Store

 

Kay

Kay

 

Store Manager

 

I bought my first sewing machine when I was seventeen and fell in love with dressmaking, making items for myself and my family. When I moved to Dysart I joined the Dysart Craft Shop Co-Op which is renowned throughout Central Queensland. This is where my love of patchwork and quilting began. After ten years in Dysart we relocated to the Sunshine Coast where my love of machine embroidery and software took over my life, just ask my family. I became the Embroidery teacher, and also taught 5D software for several years.


Last October, I joined the team of Echidna Sewing Centre Mooloolaba as a casual employee, which has turned out to be one of the best decisions I've made. It was fantastic to make new friends and renew friendships with past customers. Echidna is a great company with lovely people and excellent products. I am very impressed with the Embrilliance Software, the ScanNCut Machine and the Dream Machine. The name says it all.


I've recently stepped into the position of Manager where my days are never dull. I love teaching and helping customers and there are always things to learn and share. Monica and I have introduced a wide range of small classes, ranging from dressmaking to embroidery, Software and ScanNCut. Our classes are only made up of two to three students, so the attention is personal. It is nice to have the time to chat, because sometimes that alone is enough to solve a problem. Just last week, one of our customers was heard to say, “It was so good that she had time to talk it through with us”.


We would love for you to come up and see us sometime! 

 


Monica

Monica

 

Sales and Customer Service

 

I have been sewing since I was five years old (Barbie doll dresses at my mother's feet as she was sewing for the family). The love for all things craft and textiles has grown over the years. I trained as a Home Economics teacher in the mid 70's and taught Home Ec for ten years before moving to primary school teaching, where I continued my passion for sewing and craft in the school with children of a younger age. Around this time I also discovered patchwork. Well that just brought together all my joys at once!


With a total of nearly thirty years school teaching under my belt I decided to retire and follow my heart into the patchwork/dressmaking/embroidery industry. I have worked in stores over the coast for the past eight years and have learnt a great deal and passed on my enthusiasm to others through contact in the shops and through the classes I have taught.


I love all aspects of sewing but have always loved making children's clothes. I can make them unique through use of my own designs and creativity and embellish them with machine embroidery as well as decorative effects available on your average sewing machine. The possibilities are endless!


Because of my teaching skills I feel I have a great affinity with children and I love to teach children to sew. I have taught children as young as eight years of age to use a sewing machine. At this age they are eager and enthusiastic to learn all they can as quickly as they can and I love seeing them complete projects and having pride in their achievements.


I love every minute I spend in this creative atmosphere and will continue helping others enjoy being creative. Come in and see me, I love to help people develop their skills and I also learn something from you at the same time. 

 


 

Townsville Store

 

Alec Photo

Alec

 

Store Manager

 

The moment I walked through the Echidna doors I was blown away with how far sewing and embroidery machines have come. From growing up and seeing my mum use her old Singer she kept in the cupboard, to the extraordinary technology that sewing and embroidery machine pose today.


I'm amazed at how much I still learning each and every day, whether it’s on fixing a sewing machine or different sewing techniques. I’ve been at Echidna for an only a short amount time but feel so thrilled to work in a place where you can accomplish so much. Whether you need your machine fixed or some friendly advice, come on down to Echidna Sewing and we will happily help.


Rhonda

 

North Queensland Education and Support

 

I have been in the sewing industry for over 20 years, which started out of necessity - dressmaking for myself, my family and then branching out into professional dressmaking. Prior to working at Echidna I travelled extensively around Australia and New Zealand demonstrating and doing workshops for Floriani Embroidery. I have also worked in a number of sewing stores and also owned my own sewing business Kawana Sewing Centre.

 

This has given me an extentive experience working with a range of different sewing and embroidery machines with a number of brands such as Brother, Janome, Bernina, Husqvarna and Pfaff. From the time machine embroidery was introduced I have been learning and teaching myself all about it, honing in on my skills and knowledge through workshops and classes. Embroidery is something I am very passionate about and found myself getting hooked! The beauty of it is that everyone can do it and you don't even have to know how to sew!

 

 

Melbourne Store

 

Renee Photo

Renee

 

Melbourne Store Manager

 

I have been working in the industry for over 25 years. I love all forms of sewing, craft, quilting and home décor. Working at Echidna has taught me so many new things and it allows me to pass on that knowledge to my customers. It's a very rewarding role to be able to help customers with questions, concerns and help them on their sewing journey.

 

One thing I've really enjoyed is watched the technology of sewing, embroidery and crafting evolving over the years to what it is now. We have so much available to us and that's what I enjoy teaching my customers. I feel very lucky to be working in such a fantastic industry and look forward to helping our customers get the best experience they can. 

 

 

Fotini

Fotini

 

Sales and Customer Service

 

I joined the Echidna Sewing Product team as a sales consultant in the Melbourne Store. My career in the industry began 24 years ago with a position as a sales consultant for Janome Sewing Machine Company. Since then I have worked in various dealer stores in Melbourne selling Brother, Babylock, Janome , Pfaff and Husqvarna.

 

I've always been a creative person who enjoys sewing, particularly patchwork, quilting and machine embroidery.

 

What I love most about my job is meeting people, learning new skills and sharing my creative talents and knowledge with customers.
 

 

Christine Photo

Christine
 

Sales and Customer Service

 

I have been involved in sewing ever since my mother taught me to sew as a young girl. Dressmaking is my 'thing' as I love to making my own clothes knowing that nobody else has the same!

 

I have been running my own sewing school for the last 10 years, teaching sewing and dressmaking to many enthusiastic customers, both young and old. Some of these students have been with me for over eight years because they enjoy it so much.

 

I've worked at Spotlight for 11.5 years and loved dealing with customers and helping them with their sewing questions. When I was asked to work at the Echidna Melbourne store I was very enthusiastic, having been an Echidna customer for many years, attending all of the Echidna conventions.

I love machine embroidery and like to embellish my garments with interesting designs. I also like to digitise and have used Generations, Embrilliance and Hatch software.

 

 

I thoroughly enjoy providing customers with excellent customer service and will always aim to help you with any questions you have, whatever it may be.

 

Leanne

 

Sales and Support

 

I have been in the Sewing and Embroidery industry for almost 20 years now working in a small sewing machine dealership, educator for one the sewing machine companies and also travelled extensively throughout the U.S teaching and attending conventions to further my knowledge. 

 

I love creating and producing items that are a little “outside the box” to inspire others to use their machines to their full potential. Over the years I have worked with over 20 different software programs and have a great understanding of digitising, working with it on a daily basis.


I am also an active member of the Australian Sewing Guild hoping to show the younger generations that sewing and embroidery are not only a great hobby but a very rewarding skill to have.