Cool Coconut Jewellery

Cool Coconut started it’s adventure at Bondi markets in Sydney 1999. It is now located in Mullumbimby. Cool Coconut is a small team of designers that are committed to running an ethical and sustainable business. Like Wayne and I, they believe that business should benefit all involved – from designers and manufacturers right through to retailers and consumers.

Cool Coconut work with the Gomez family in Mexico and have for many years been building a strong business relationship based on mutual trust, respect and friendship. The stunning San Marco Mexican Flowers collection is the result of this collaboration.

Red Heart with Flowers Silverback PendantThe tiny flowers are picked early in the morning, laid in resin in a sterling silver casing.

Cool coconut also make jewellery from wood and coconut shells. In 2012 Cool Coconut partnered with Go Green and funded the planting and nurturing of 1000 Pangantuon trees for use in their fashion collections, providing valuable rural incomes and renewing the natural wood used in their jewellery.

click image to enlarge.          Additional Product Image         Additional Product Image  <>   Red Fuscia Magenta Combination 5 Strand Coco Smarties Necklace

 Cool Coconut is a member of the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand.

Of course Cool Coconut jewellery is the perfect accessory to our plain coloured tunics. The necklaces and earrings are so light and gorgeous in colour and the prices are great to.



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So after 3 years of looking after little ‘greenroom baby’ it was time for a holiday in the ol’ mother country. What could possibly be better than Sweden in June.


Lupin (Lupine)         Nypon Ros (Rosehip Rose)      Poppy(Poppy)


I chilled, sun-baked and fed myself Swedish cakes and lollies…….


Student Examen (Celebrating end of gymnasium, ready for UNI)

…..hung blue & yellow gadgets around my niece’s neck…….


Gåseborg Skogen (Geesecastle Forrest)

…..walked in ‘friendly’ forests…….


Stenmur från Vikinga tiden (Stone wall from the Viking days)

…..experienced old remains….


Midsommar Mode (Midsummer Fashion)

……created flower wreaths….oldtown

Gamla Stan Stockholm (Old Town Stockholm)

…….walked in the city of my youth…..


……….found Wayne’s own cafe in Stockholm……….


Göta Kanal emot Söderköping (Gota Canal towards Southtown)

….walked along the canal of my childhood town…..


Husbåt i Göta Kanal (Houseboat in Gota Canal)


Första slussen i kanalen (First lock of the canal)


Söderköpings Ån (The Southtown Stream)


En perfect svensk sommardag (a perfect Swedish summer’s day)

….enjoyed the colours of the wild……


Svensk blomstersäng (Swedish flowerbed)

…….and the cultivated……


Sveriges äldsta bokhandel ( The oldest bookshop in Sweden)


……enjoyed the old history……….


50år Ung!

…..and felt young …..

3 weeks was a little too short so next time I will have to stay longer and drag Wayne with me. I am back in the greenroom and back to Australian winter.

Footnote. The charming Söderköping with cobblestone streets, a gorgeous stream and canal leading from the Baltic Sea into the heart of the town was for a short time in Sweden’s history looked upon as the capital city. In the 13th century it was a busy merchant town with plenty of kings and queens coronations and weddings.

Clash Match

I like colours, love colours ……. if wearing black will accessorize with colours. I match colours, I think it through ….. what goes with this and that. I also put less likely colours together and I think, get away with it most of the time.


My youngest does something completely different and she, without a doubt, gets away with it. Hannah puts together patterns that clash, odd bits with other odd bits.

While we were in Sweden, Hannah got stopped in her shop-browsing-tracks with her sister,  by a swedish blogger, Rebecca Berqvist. Rebecca was out chasing young ‘fashionistas’ for a fashion-blog competition. This is what my daughter looked like on the day and below is what Rebecca wrote.


Hannah French
En jätte härlig tjej från Australien som hade en skön backpacker-look med en krydda indie/bohem. Hennes kläder hade gjort sig bättre med en finare bakgrund men ville inte tvinga ut henne när hon var och shoppade med sin vännina som inte heller kunde prata svenska. Jag fastnade för hennes look för att hon blandade flera olika mönster och fick det att flyta ihop på ett fint sätt. (Märkte inte tatueringarna på tårna tills nu när jag gjorde om bilden, så tuff tjej!)

Translation for Hanna: A very lovely girl from Australia who had a nice backpacker-look with an indie/bohem flavor. Her clothes had done better with a fancy background but I did not want to force her out when she was shopping with her ​​friend who also could not speak Swedish. I fell for her look because she mixed several different patterns and got it to flow together in a nice way. (Did not notice the tattoos on her toes until now when I edited the image, so cool girl!)

Yes, mum did also notice the toe tattoo’s, which she had assumed were just daughter’s own scribbles. Hmm!

Rebecca then did a short interview, asking Hannah about the labels she was wearing. All op-shop stuff so no labels to mention …. except of course her Sseko Sandals from Greenroom Gallery.

Slow fashion for the individual


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At Greenroom Gallery we don’t claim to have the latest fashion from whatever city in the world, if we did we would have missed the point, our point of difference. We do so-called, ‘slow fashion’. We believe in finding your colours, the ones that make you look healthy and happy, the ones that don’t wear you. We want to offer comfortable clothes that you can dress up or down, timeless styles, simple feminine lines that flatter. We don’t do a lot of patterns for this reason. We keep it simple. You can build your wardrobe with basics that work.

This morning, a lovely customer of mine came in to get herself another pair of straight bamboo pants in black……..apparently she lives in them and need a second pair. This lady also got herself a bamboo tunic in burned orange and a modal swingtop in cobalt blue. Three basics that she will wear again and again.

We are individuals with our own taste and most of us know what we feel good in and when you feel good you usually look good. To dress for me is about being myself.

Do you dress to be yourself?

Echo Verde

At Greenroom Gallery we stock quite a few smaller labels and Echo Verde is becoming a favourite with their gorgeous knitted tops and cardigans. Echo Verde is a Canadian label that really fits well in with our own idea of ethical fashion. Jane who started the label in 2009 works closely with smaller family owned businesses in China. She keeps Echo Verde transparent to her customers and retailers. After a couple of decades in the fashion industry, Jane has a great understanding and commitment to doing things a better way.


The garments are of course made under fair work regulations according to Fair Labour Association which are as follows:  voluntary employment, no child labor, freedom of association, fair and equal treatment, nondiscrimination, compensation, reasonable hours of work, overtime, and health and safety.

Jane is also very particular with the fibres. The cotton is always organically grown as is the bamboo and hemp. The soy fibre always comes from waste and the processing is all recycled so no effluent is released. Echo Verde use a factory that has certified waste-water treatment and recycles one part of the manufacturing process. Bleaching is avoided and low dye is preferred.

Jane stays true to her vision in everything she does, not only with the garments but also with packaging and promotional material. The cute swing tags are completely biodegradable, cut from the bamboo stalk which is a waste from the cane furniture industry. The image is laser cut into the tag so no chemicals or inks are used. The garment labels are made from organic cotton and the printing is done with low impact inks. All packaging is biodegradable and made from recycled paper. The catalog is not printed but emailed on-line.

I am very pleased that I found Jane. I haven’t met her in person yet, hopefully one day I will.


10 months ago, I stumbled on a new cotton label on the net, Zenana. I made inquiries and that’s how I connected with lovely Penny. One very rainy evening Penny, who had been driving all the way from Sydney dropped in on her way to Grafton to show me the Zenana range.


Penny has a big heart for women of India that struggle with poverty, HIV/aids, unemployment and other needs. Having lived and worked in India for many years with her husband Harry, after moving back to Australia, Penny was moved to develop a business idea to try to help these women.

The concept of Zenana Women centres around the beautiful hand-done embroidery local to the city of Lucknow, India. It is high-quality, labour-intensive work. The traditional embroidery of the Indian city of Lucknow is featured in the designs. The women of Zenana are paid a fair wage for their beautiful work as they should be.


Our mission is to offer people in need the independence of employment and training in an industry that is familiar to the local community. This is not charity, but social enterprise. We are dedicated to empowering poor women – ours is a business run by women for women – and from this whole families will benefit.

Our Indian company offers the dignity of employment and fair pay, and all of its profits are dedicated to growing its capacity to employ, train and support the families of the women it has been established to assist.

knit emb

Penny showed me Indian silks, cottons and linens, including hand loom fabrics and hand-done prints, with embroidery in cotton and silk thread, and gorgeous evening wear in Georgette with beading and sequins. For me of course, it really was all about the organic cotton range and so I tried to focus on that.

Greenroom Gallery ended up with a small range of cotton tunics and tops with gorgeous embroidery. I also ordered two ‘Charlotte’s Dress’ as a trial. One sold very quickly and one is still here. This is the ‘Charlotte’s Dress’.


I am really pleased that I have the opportunity to work with Penny and support Zenana.

‘Zenana’ is an Urdu word for the women’s quarters of a segregated household. To us it represents the constraints in the lives of women, but also the freedom they have within those limitations.

28th of January



7 weeks ago, I had the microdiscectomy which was a success and the one thing that I truly enjoyed. However my expectations of recovery were lacking insight and little did I know that the trial wasn’t over yet.

We had new art to hang and so we did make it into Greenroom finally a week after my op.


Wayne and Marius organised art while I tried to help Emma with moving items around.


But most of the time I rested my body on the bed we brought along, keeping an eye on the workers.

1getthatpillowThat little afternoon outing seemed fine. I was on a lot of pain killers of course which can maybe give you a false sense of security. I had a few days rest but was getting anxious to get into the shop again.

Here is my first working day after the op, a few days before Christmas. I was jam-packed with drugs and determination. It’s all a blur now but I think Lindy and all customers were gracious to put up with my highly strung persona.


I did a second working shift with Emma the following day and then came crushing down. I stayed in bed after that and started using common sense as my last resort.

Christmas was my ice pack discovery. Brilliant !
In the lead up to New Years Eve, I was getting a lot of pain around my sacroilliac joint and ended up escorted to hospital via ambulance, also a first and not all together unpleasant experience. They couldn’t help me but I got stronger pills, a new MRI referral and the revisit to my neurosurgeon got put forward.

I was by now behaving very well 24/7. I did a few attempts to float in any pool I could get to and do my core exercises. With my new MRI in hand I finally made it back to Dr Siu. The comparison between the two MRI’s were amazing. This second one showed a very free clear nerve where on the previous one you could only see a grey blur of nucleus. Yes, the op was successful. I never doubted that Dr Siu would do a great job.  My problems are most likely related to the fact that I was bed bound for 2 months.

It is a shame that the waiting for operations can go for so long in this country but at least I was able to have one and for that I am very thankful.

So finally a week ago I made it into the shop which was a good feeling and I will try to get back to the usual schedule from this week so that Emma can get back to her own life again.


Here I am holding one of Queen B’s little angels in my hand. I have to say that my daughter Emma has been a little angel herself, coming to our rescue and so has Lindy, who is now packing up her house and getting ready to travel to places far, far away.

I have had a taste of pain, of frustration, of waiting and so forth. But I have people in my life that are facing challenges that makes my ordeal look like a ‘walk in the park’ and my prayers and thoughts are with them.

7th January



I have been very quiet for a while, haven’t had energy for the blog, the website and a cluster of normal day to day commitments. Pain can have that effect on you.

Here’s a pic taken a few days before my operation while I was still running an office from home. Here I am receiving a box with ONE SEED perfumes, that I stubbornly Christmas wrapped myself before forwarding it on to Greenroom Gallery.


And here is some of my stubbornly wrapped gifts. Because I had to stand up (used the ironing board as a table) while ‘walking’ my feet on the spot, I did end up in dreadful pain but for me it was still worth it.


After two months in bed, on the 10th of December I finally had my Operation-Disc-Day. Friends kept asking me if I was nervous but I was only excited. The last few weeks leading up to the op, my overall pain had increased and I was back on Endone ( some kind of morphine mix and apparently quite addictive) so for me it was going to be a day of new beginning. I had met with the neurosurgeon Dr Siu and decided I totally trusted him. From the moment I was able to lay down in a bed at Baringa hospital I was in 7th heaven. Got to chat with Dr Blaxland the anaesthetist  and had total trust in him as well. Wayne had to go to work but I was so well looked after. All the nurses and the assistants were lovely.  I had a minute to myself under the warm blankets before I was about to be rolled into the theater and a wave of gratitude came over me, I got all teary. I felt so thankful that I live in a country where you can get expert help, I felt so privileged. By the time I got into the buzzing theater where it was all happening, you couldn’t wipe the smile of my face. All these people in there, with Dr Siu in the lead were going to fix me. It was one of those moments in my life that I will never forget.
I loved every minute of it, it was exciting and promising and only positive. Of course before I knew it, I was waking up a little drowsy and a little silly in the head to say the least. Wayne and Emma where there waiting and I remembered that we laughed a lot. After they left I had a long night of random sleeps, TV watching, reading and blood pressure checks.

I got to go home the next day, my leg was instantly fine and I only had back pain from the op. My friend Linda, picked me up, I was high on Endone and life, so we went down to the Promenade and had a standing coffee with Emma.


But what goes up must come down and down I came.


I had no more Endone left at home so that had to come out of my system. It was a 5 day roller coaster ride, emotionally and physically. It was horrible.

to be continued…………………………..

23rd of November

I know it’s an American retail thing and here we are in Australia. But it’s the 25th of November and just maybe the 40 days in my wilderness ( as in bed ) has gone to my head.

We’re doing a sale today and today only for you who like black and sees the fantastic attributes of black.

Black is like your canvas really. It makes strong bright colours against it look fantastic and of course white and black is forever.
Black will flatter your body no matter what shape you are, create slimming shades and it will go with what ever accessories you have in your wardrobe.

We have some summer dresses in organic cotton in black, hemp dresses with a cross back and ruched front. Of course we have all our tunics and pants in modal and bamboo, there are socks and undies, tights and tops.

If you are in need or want of something black. Today is the day to visit Greenroom Gallery and tell Emma I said Hi!


You are so right it’s not the 25th it’s the 23rd, I just found out through a friend on facebook.
Like I said, I have been in the ‘wilderness’ too long.
The days float into each other and apparently my time goes faster then the rest of the worlds.


After confused customers have contacted me it’s quite clear in all fairness, that this sale has to continue until the 25th really has arrived.

This offer cannot be used in conjunction with LayBy or our special christmas giftvoucher we sent out to our newsletter subscribers


6th november 2012


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It’s been 25 days now.

I own a small business, it’s my baby, it’s 24/7.

I had 835 days of non-stop greenroom and then it stopped.

How did I get here, how did I herniate a disc. Well, the short answer is I lifted a table. The long one is, I did 10 years of running, 8 years of sitting creating teddy bears, 2 years of standing in shop, 18 months of zumba without stretching, 3 months of sitting in bed working (during winter) and then I lifted a table.

I heard something snap, fall out, get whacked or pop and I felt a pain suddenly throbbing in my lumbar spine. 10 days later escaped nucleus got too intimate with the nerve which brought pain to a brand new level all together.

After hospital visits, CT scan and stocking up on pharmaceutical, I realised that while I have to wait for the MRI and meeting Mr neurosurgeon, the world doesn’t fall apart.

I called a good friend, Lindy who enthusiastically stepped into my boutique shoes.

 I created an office with everything at arms length…..

The news got out and my friends jumped to this unexpected window of opportunity to fatten me in time for the festive season, bringing chocolates and cakes and all kinds of food with high GI.

This is me after the first week…….

I managed to untangle the hair nest, put my elevated foot down and plead, no more sweets please, can we just do coffee. Apart from coffee shared in my new office, I have also received all kinds of flowers, healthy dinners, domestic service, laughter, sweet texts, phone calls, funny emails, good advice, fat books, thin books, cards and a magic Moroccan green lipstick.

Yesterday a good friend gave me a lift to our local, heated pool. It was so lovely to float around weightless for a whole hour, loved it!

………I can walk upright but any longer than 15 minutes and the pain comes back…..

I have learned an awful lot about spines especially the lumber part. I now know what I have done wrong all these years. Thank you Sarah Key and good friends Sally & Dave who dropped Sarah’s book on my lap ‘Back Sufferers Bible’

Greenroom Gallery is still open Monday to  Saturday. Lindy has been amazing. She loves what we do and has been a great customer right from the beginning. Emma (our eldest) has come home to help us out and is learning quickly.
You can read about our new shop assistants here.

I am on a detour. I didn’t ask for it. I would prefer if I wasn’t on it but I decided from the start that I would not give up what I  can control which is my attitude so I am doing my best with that.

In 8 days I will know a bit more of what comes next.

And finally if you have a spine, I recommend you Sarah Key talking passionately about this amazing part of our body, how it works and what we can do to help.