The common thread between a vintage clothing store, the pop group Sheppard and the television series Mystery Road

In the heart of a mining town in Western Australia’s outback sits a vintage store with a secret weapon.

Sue Pugl, owner of Sassy Sues in Kalgoorlie, recognizes that it can be difficult to find unique retro clothing in the regions.

Sue Pugl has an eye for vintage fashion and a few friends in high places.(ABC Goldfields: Sean Tarek Goodwin)

Lucky for her, Sue’s nieces and nephew make up the Sheppard pop trio.

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The Brisbane-based group, whose song Geronimo hit 400 million streams on Spotify this month, are helping deliver vintage clothing to the store from their travels around the world.

Sheppard ARIA
A framed photo of siblings George, Amy and Emma Sheppard with their ARIA award sits in Sue’s office.(ABC Goldfields: Sean Tarek Goodwin)

A framed photo of the siblings can be found on Sue’s desk next to the cash register, where the ARIA award in their hands is only visible on closer inspection.

“I love bright colors and pink,” says Amy Sheppard, discussing op shopping secrets like a pro.

Amy Sheppard vintage shopping
Amy Sheppard vintage shopping in Brisbane.(Provided: Sue Pugl)

While the last two years of lockdown have confined Sheppard’s touring schedule to Australia, their aunt’s shop is decorated with pieces from Germany to New York, thanks to the group’s previous world tours.

A blonde woman smiles while inspecting a vintage garment
Emma Sheppard looks for colorful pieces that will spark her interest when shopping for vintage.(Provided: Sue Pugl)

A very family business

Sue says that while there are a lot of vintage items in the store, her mother Zora is the most valuable.

Zora Pugl, known as “Baba,” helps Sue around the store and sheds more than a tear as she talks about her daughter and grandchildren.

Zora Pugl at her granddaughter's wedding
“Baba” is immensely proud of her family.(ABC Goldfields: Elsa Silberstein)

The 83-year-old is no stranger to fashion either, recently wearing a designer dress to singer Amy’s wedding this year.

Kalgoorlie’s clothes on the big screen

Sheppard isn’t the only connection between show business and the outback vintage store.

Mystery Road: Origin
The third series of Mystery Road was filmed in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia.(Provided)

The crime drama Mystery Road: Origin, set in the ’90s, has just wrapped up filming in Kalgoorlie for its final season.

The production team used vintage clothing to dress the actors.

Inside the Sassy Sues boutique
Sue says she enjoys being surrounded by colorful clothes.(ABC Goldfields: Elsa Silberstein)

Sue says she’s glad the TV crew found her.

“We’ve worked a lot together, they just say ‘oh we need this’ and I’m trying to find it.”

Terri Lamera in Sassy Sues
Ms Lamera says clothing store Kalgoorlie has played an important role in dressing the cast this season.(ABC Goldfields: Elsa Silberstein)

Ms Lamera said she would usually have to look for a buyer in Sydney to send clothes for a period production.

Behind the scenes of the filming of Mystery Road
The Mystery Road costume designer says the remoteness can be a challenge when filming in the regions.(Provided)

“The biggest problem with regional funding and filming in the regions is that they don’t have a lot of stores, especially that stuff,” Ms. Lamera said.

“I hope this never goes away.”

Elizabeth J. Harless