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Business in Docklands October 2010

28 Sep 2010


Celebrity hairdresser and stylist to the stars, Priscilla has brought her knowledge and expertise to Docklands all the way from the UK and Europe to change the way Australians see hairdressing.

With 16 years experience in hairdressing and styling, Priscilla has loved being able to open her first hair salon in Docklands’ Siddeley St.

“I’ve worked in salons in Southbank in the past and I love the clientele around the area. Everyone is so down to earth and friendly,” Priscilla (pictured below) said.

Having migrated from Italy to Australia as a child, Priscilla journeyed back to the motherland, as well as London, to train as a hairdresser.

“I based myself in London where I trained and worked for five years in some of London’s best salons working with a wide range of celebrities,” Priscilla said.

During her time in Europe, Priscilla travelled to Italy to work with her uncle where she worked with some of Italy’s most famous.

“Training overseas I’ve learnt so many techniques that aren’t taught here, for instance, different ways to cut different types of hair, and its that type of skill that I would like to bring to Australia,” she said.

Priscilla said she was also offering the full “my home is your home” European experience when it comes to the service.

“I want people to walk in here and feel as though they are coming into my house. Every client who walks in will receive 100 per cent service and they will not leave here without perfect hair,” Priscilla said.

Bringing back the service of yesteryear, Priscilla aims to make your trip to the hairdresser the ultimate pampering experience, with champagne on offer to add that extra touch of glam.

“Having your hair styled or cut should make you feel special. So many great salons change once they build up their popularity and their service goes out the window, but that’s how we’re different.”

With an amazing passion for hair, Priscilla attends Australian training sessions to keep herself up-to-date with the local techniques and also travels to Europe or London once a year to brush up on her skills.

“Europe and London seem to be a few steps ahead of us so it’s great to be able to go over there once a year and train there.”

“The most important thing in business is how you educate yourself. You have to continue to better yourself because you are your best asset,” she said.


International vehicle leasing and fleet management company, LeasePlan, moved into its South Wharf building in July and the company is eager to get involved in the local community.

Starting out in this country in 1988 in a townhouse with four people, LeasePlan Australia has grown to become the nation’s leading vehicle leasing and management provider.

But although LeasePlan Australia is a business focused on vehicles, when it comes to the community, it’s all about the kids.

LeasePlan national marketing communications manager Paul Scully said moving to Docklands presented not only the opportunity for business growth with businesses within Docklands, but also the opportunity to work with them for a cause.

“Carn the Kids is our charity program that started in 2003 and was actually born out of a meeting with Bob Skilton at the Royal Children’s Hospital,” Mr Scully said.

LeasePlan new business manager, Vin Camilleri said the conversation with legendary footballer Bob Skilton got staff thinking and it was the staff who came up with the Carn the Kids program.

“It was the staff who said if we are going to do something let’s do it for the kids and not just one group of kids that have a particular misfortune, but anyone who is misfortunate,” Mr Camilleri said.

Carn the Kids was started at a very opportunistic time, when LeasePlan had signed on to sponsor the Western Bulldogs and it was this sponsorship that presented the program with a purpose.

“We decided that Carn the Kids would focus on giving kids who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity a chance to experience a fun day at a football match and from there it’s grown to anything entertaining, like theatre,” Mr Camilleri said

The Carn the Kids program has grown rapidly since its inception with about 17,000 kids and carers enjoying a day out in the last 15 years.

“Carn the Kids is our organisation and we’re passionate about it so of course we would love to get more Docklands businesses involved, just as Etihad has been,” Mr Camilleri said.

LeasePlan, offers three different types of leasing to large and small businesses and modifies the lease depending on the size of the business to offer the best possible option.

“We have an operating lease with a monthly payment and with that we take on all of the risk that comes with the car so if it drops in value for any reason that’s our problem,” Mr Scully said.

He said LeasePlan was also the only company in Australia to use a open calculation method on the operating leases which meant that the rental was monitored.

“If for whatever reasons the value of the car drops, we will actually lower your lease payments on the car so you pay less and are risk-free,” Mr Scully said.

LeasePlan is located on level seven of the South Wharf Tower.

For more information on Leaseplan please visit


Sam and Fey Kucukkaya have been married for 34 years and have owned small businesses for just as long, and it seems their business, Sam and Fey’s Alterations, is just as strong as their marriage.

Having first opened their tailoring and dry cleaning business in Dandenong Plaza, Sam and Fey decided it was time for change earlier this year.

“We closed our shop in Dandenong because we were looking for a change, and because we had a good reputation Lend Lease, who had our shop in Dandenong, asked us to come and check out Docklands,” Fey said.

The Kucukkayas said they loved Docklands, the shop and its location underneath the Myer building so they decided to move in and have been welcomed with open arms.

“It’s been quite funny, the other day just after we opened two of our customers from Dandenong, who work at ANZ, saw us and were so excited that they were able to bring all their clothes to us again,” Sam said.

The gorgeously-modest couple who seem to be adored by even their new Docklands clients shouldn’t be surprised by their fans however, as their fan-base has reached far and wide for years.

Fey said that when they had their shop in Dandenong she got a call from her sister to tell her that she had been recommended by the service desk at DFO Moorabbin.

“My sister was shopping and thought she would get some clothes taken up while she was there. But when she asked where to go they apologised for not having a tailor but said they would tell her the best place to go and it was us,” Fey said.

But a reputation like this doesn’t come easy with the couple spending most of their lives tailoring clothes.

Fey said Sam began tailoring clothes when he was nine years old in his dad’s manufacturing factory in Turkey and when she married Sam she had to learn too.

Sam said his father was a great tailor and a fantastic teacher, with many of his siblings also taking up the family trade.

“Dad was so good it was hard to believe. He was able to just look at a man and make a suit to measure,” he said.

Sam’s dad obviously taught him well.

For all your clothing alternation and dry-cleaning needs, visit Sam and Fey at Shop 8, 800 Collins St, Docklands and be charmed by their work and personalities.

Sam and Fey offer same-day alterations, as well as dry cleaning, if dropped off before 9.30am and picked up after 4.30pm.


When banker Josephine Tan opened her first Bank of Queensland (BOQ) franchise in Exhibition St in 2005, she was already making plans to open up her next in Docklands.

Having worked in banks for 24 years, Josephine decided to open up her first bank branch just over five-and-a –half years ago after receiving the wake-up call of a lifetime.

Josephine (pictured with her staff - centre) was the branch manager for the biggest HSBC branch in Victoria and was hosting a grand prix breakfast when her wake-up call came in the form of an absent boss.

“I found out my boss had suffered a heart attack and she was only 41.  Thankfully she was ok, but it told me I needed to get out, de-stress and take control,” Josephine said.

After discovering the BOQ model, Josephine did a business plan and in that plan she decided owning a franchise in Docklands would be a top priority.

“I’ve always seen Docklands as an area of great growth and I want to be a part of that. I tell all my friends to get in and invest in Docklands now because in five years time you won’t be able to afford to.”

Having successfully set up her first franchise, Josephine decided it was time for a new challenge and opened her Harbour Town branch last month.

Josephine said she decided on the BOQ franchise as it was the only banking model where you could own a branch as your own small business.

“All other banks are owned by big companies, but BOQ is the only bank where the owners of the branch are also its managers. Like with any small business, this makes you more accountable.”

Josephine’s relationship with her clients is clear when walking into her new branch with boxes and vases of flowers in every corner, sent from clients.

“I love forming relationships with my clients and the BOQ model is a great model for my clients as they know in 10 or 20 years time, I’ll still be here,” she said.

Josephine’s infectious personality has also made her a much-loved and admired employer, with three of her staff from HSBC still working for her today.

“Three of my best staff followed me when I left HSBC and they share in the success that I have had and it’s really like a family business as we’ve all grown in skill and life together,” she said.

So if you’re looking for a bank with a difference, check out Josephine’s BOQ branch in Docklands’ Harbour Town.


When Better Learning owner Desmond Jeremiah started selling toys 11 years ago with just $200 in his pocket, he never imagined he’d successfully own three stores across Melbourne today.

Having opened his Docklands shop on the second level of Harbour Town in November last year, the kind-hearted Desmond (pictured left) didn’t waste much time before opening his third store in South Yarra last month.

Starting his business at a market in Bentleigh, Desmond decided to sell wooden toys on the advice of a friend and, one year later, he was opening his first shop.

“A woman who worked in a childcare centre in Brighton decided that she would buy some toys from me and from then on we started to supply to childcare centres and kindergartens,” Desmond said

Opening his first store in Edithvale, Desmond began developing and learning various models of education so that he could supply products that were not only fun but educational.

“I learnt about the Steiner, Montessori and Reggio models of education and taught myself the complete Montessori system and now we’re the only toy-shop in Victoria that sells toys for all three systems,” Mr Jeremiah said.

Desmond’s passion for education can be seen in all his products and can be pinpointed to one very special person in his life.

“Mum was a teacher and she started her own school with just two students and when I left India 20 years ago she had 700 students and the school’s still going today,” he said.

Going back to India each year to visit his family, Desmond also spends his time there working with AIDS and child sex-slave victims.

“I’m passionate about helping people and would love in the future to be set up enough to be able to spend my time working there more often.”

Along with three retail outlets, Better Learning continues to supply childcare centres and kindergartens, including some within the local area, with educational toys.

Desmond’s passion for educational and quality products, along with his warm and friendly personality make his toy shops stand out from the rest.


New Energy Physiotherapy on Merchant St Docklands has welcomed a new physiotherapist Adrian Pranata.

Graduating from the University of Melbourne in 2009, Adrian joins the New Energy team with a passion for delivering a superior quality of therapy, and has particular interests in sports and spinal injury rehabilitation.

Adrian’s clinical experience includes the Austin Hospital, Heidelberg Repatration Hospital, Royal Talbot, The Royal Children’s Hospital, as well as working in physiotherapy practices in Endeavour Hills, Narre Warren, Singapore and Cambodia.

Adrian joins John Bradshaw and the team at New Energy, working at both the Docklands and Queen Victoria building clinics.  New Energy continues to offer a high level of customised service to each client, working closely with local doctors and surgeons to optimise client recoveries.

Adrian said: “I’m very excited to be working in a fully equipped clinic that is so professional, with all the latest technology and electronic client management systems.”

“John is one of the most impressive physiotherapists I’ve met. He has a unique ability to diagnose and treat clients quickly and effectively. I also love the Docklands energy and diversity.  It’s so new and vibrant and it’s a great place to be working.”

Adrian, born in Jakarta Indonesia, is fluent in Indonesian and is learning Mandarin, so book in for both your treatment and conversation! 

Principal physiotherapist John Bradshaw said: “I am already very impressed with Adrian’s assessment skills and his treatment delivery.  I’m sure our clients will gain great value from Adrian’s work.”

John and Adrian are available every day at the clinic, and on Saturday morning by appointment, and look forward to working with you. You can find them at

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