Stage 2 Studio is the brainchild of two long-term friends and colleagues, Annette Wheeler and Rita Power, and gives free rein to their shared passion for fashion, history and fun.

For over 10 years, Annette ran the highly successful fashion boutique, ‘Simply Us’ in Latrobe. The friends began this enterprise together, with Rita later moving on to become a resident maker at the Makers’ Workshop in Burnie and consolidate her role as a textile artist.

Together, they bring many years of varied experience to the Stage 2 Studio enterprise.  Annette, a wonderfully creative seamstress, worked in the movie industry and then had her own business in Sydney, designing and creating wedding gowns and theatrical costumes.  A talented and adventurous sewer, she knows all the intricacies of fabric and the amazing things that can be produced with skill and innovation. The saying: ‘Everything old is new again” fits Annette like a glove.  She recreates fashions of yesteryear with a present-day flair, ensuring that her beautiful garments are both comfortable and practical. 

Before beginning her love affair with all things textile, Rita was for many years immersed in every and all aspects of theatre.  A performer from an early age, appearing on stage and radio in the UK, she honed her skills in community and professional theatre in New South Wales and far north Queensland.  In Townsville, she co-founded an award-winning drama company, The Outback Players.  Acting, directing, teaching … the theatre is in her blood and every project is a production in the best sense of the word.  This, combined with a passion for colour, texture and embellishment, feeds into the friends’ shared vision.

Stage 2 Studio is the creative outlet for the combined skills of two vibrant women, who are constantly looking for new ideas and techniques that will translate into beautiful, wearable garments.

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