If you see Wendy Lohmann wearing a stylish and unique outfit, it’s likely she made it herself.
Wendy, 55, has been sewing since she was 10 and loves sharing her passion with others.
Her mum, Merle Harris, always made her own clothes and clothes for her kids.
Wendy followed in Merle’s footsteps, making clothes for her own children James and Kate, now 22 and 24.
She established ‘Sewing with Wendy’ in 2011 to deliver classes and workshops, hosts social scrapbooking classes, and was even inspired to create a unique venue for groups to book their own sewing and crafting retreats at The Old Laravale School.
Wendy has always loved being involved in the community.
Through this community involvement she met husband, Mark, in December 1984 when she was fresh out of Year 12.
They were both in Rural Youth – a long-running Education Department program which had local groups in Beaudesert, Canungra, Woodhill and Tamrookum.
Wendy has also been involved with Beaudesert Camera Club and Beaudesert Soccer Club, is a founding member of the Scenic Sewers Group, Regional Organiser (Gold Coast) for the Australian Sewing Guild and Needle Work Steward for Beaudesert Show Society.
Sitting still for long doesn’t come naturally to Wendy.
She and Mark have renovated seven houses, including four house removals.
They have lived in all but one of those houses – the only exception being Willmann House, a 1907 Queenslander they relocated to their Old School Laravale property and transformed into a beautiful guest house for groups.
“We like old houses and their history and recycling and renovating appeals to us,” she said.
“We don’t sit still, and we’ve always done a lot of the work ourselves.”
Wendy was 13 when her family moved from suburbia to the old Beaudesert Shire.
Her dad Noel Harris was born here, and the family always maintained connections to Beaudesert through his sister.
“We went from suburban Oxley to a bushy 16 acres at Jimboomba and it was an adventure,” she said.
“We’d ride horses and a postie bike and had a few goats to keep the grass down.”
Working in Beaudesert over the years has bolstered Wendy’s connection to the place
She’s worked at the Commonwealth Bank, Beaudesert Medical Centre, John Wyatt Electrical and Target Country.
For 11 years, she and Mark had the old Dual Decorators shop they bought from Ralph and Pat Burnett in 2000, then they had Scenic Blinds when ‘Sewing with Wendy’ began.
Wendy said connections with people made Beaudesert special.
“Being in community groups and having worked in the places I’ve worked you get to know a lot of people, so you develop that sense of community, trust and friendship,” she said.
“And we’re a fairly close family. Mark and I will have been married 34 years this year, so I’ve been a Lohmann longer than I was a Harris.”