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I have spent my entire working life living and breathing sewing machines. Leaving school just shy of 16 years old in 1981, I took on an apprenticeship as a sewing machine mechanic with Stubbies Clothing Company at my mother's insistence. Thanks Mum—I can honestly say I love sewing machines. Who’d have thought it possible?
I opened my first retail sewing machine sales and service centre in 1986 and have been running my own business ever since. I can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s been a fabulous adventure, and I’ve had the privilege of sharing it with my wife, Cynthia and our children, Kristie and Daniel, who both have important roles at Echidna today. Add to that my 2 brothers, Doug and Brett, my sister Leanne and my niece Brittany, and we are still very much a family business.
I’m so proud of what we have achieved and equally proud of our team of over 30 staff who, along with our customers, are the heart and soul of Echidna.
'Just do the right thing' is all I ask of my team and that’s your peace of mind when dealing with Echidna.
Erik, General Manager
We work hard at Echidna to stay ahead of the curve, and it's my job to keep those plans moving forward. I manage our 30+ staff around Australia and keep our complex systems running smoothly—everything from our website and marketing to customer service operations and product purchasing. Originally qualified as an electronics engineer, I also help design new products for Echidna and develop our internal software. Our constant innovations mean every day is a new challenge!
Kristie, Operations Manager
As Gary’s daughter I have grown up in the sewing industry and it was only natural that I started working at Echidna after I finished school. Since then I have learnt many different aspects of the business. These include graphic design and marketing, sales and admin. With my ongoing role as Operations Manager and the expanding amount of company and industry knowledge I now have, I look forward to assisting in the growth of Echidna nationwide.
Brett, Sales & Finance Manager
I've been in the sewing industry since 1990. Working alongside my brothers (Gary & Doug) we have seen the industry develop and grow into what we see today, offering advanced technology with machines like the Luminaire and Stellaire and many more. As our Sales and Finance Manager I can help you own one of the latest Brother machines and help if you are wanting to trade in your current machine. So please don't hesitate to call me any time if you have questions.
Alec, Sales & Technical Support
After just a short amount of time in the industry, I have grown into a more senior role at Echidna, taking on a new and rewarding challenge. Although I have managed a store before, every day I walk through our showroom doors I learn something new, whether it be new embroidery techniques or sales advice. I first started off with Echidna as a technician, but over time my passion has moved towards sales and customer support. I am here to assist with any machine purchases or enquiries and would be honoured to help you fulfil your sewing and embroidery dreams.
Rachael, Sales & Support Specialist
My love for all things sewing began in high school, stitching all my own clothes. Some years later, I discovered a patchwork & quilting shop in a small town in New Zealand and fell in love with the romance of hand quilting. After moving to Brisbane, I owned a Patchwork & Quilting Store and was one of Echidna’s early wholesale customers. Not long after, I realised a love for sewing education and inspiring my customers to create beautiful things. Since then I have had several years industry experience where I honed my sewing, quilting and embroidery knowledge and skills. Joining the Echidna family has enabled me to continue my passion for sewing & embroidery education and supporting you on your creative journey no matter where you are.
Rhonda, Sales & Support Specialist
I began dressmaking over 20 years ago for my family before branching out into professional dressmaking. I've previously travelled around Australia and New Zealand hosting workshops and demonstrations for Floriani Embroidery and worked for a number of sewing stores, including my own sewing business. My machine experience extends to brands such as Brother, Janome, Bernina, Husqvarna and Pfaff and I am very passionate about embroidery!
Lex, Accounts Manager
I joined Echidna in 2016 with a Diploma of Accounting and over 16 years of bookkeeping and office management experience. Taking over the Echidna accounts, but with no previous sewing experience, Echidna was very encouraging, and welcomed me to their complex and creative industry. I look forward to assisting with the growth of Echidna for many years to come as it's a pleasure to work for such a friendly and supportive team.
Hayley, International Purchasing
In February 2011 I began working at Echidna with little sewing and embroidery knowledge or experience. With a background in fitness and also retail, I have really enjoyed getting to know a more creative industry and have even tried my hand at some small projects of my own. At Echidna my administration role involves international purchasing and logistics, order data entry and also customer service. One of my favourite things about Echidna is that my fellow staff members really uphold the family business feel and make it a friendly, enjoyable place to come to.
Nicole, Graphic & Marketing Specialist
With a background in digital commerce and marketing, I joined Echidna with minimal sewing experience or influence but a genuine love for arts and crafts. My role covers all aspects of marketing from planning our marketing strategies, putting together emails and graphics surrounding our campaigns, as well as ensure we have strategies in place to provide a seamless experience for our online customers. I was simply blown away by the community of embroiderers that surround Echidna and love learning more about sewing and embroidery everyday.
Brittany, Digital Engagement
I was lucky enough to grow up close to the sewing and embroidery industry. As Gary's niece, there was no doubt that I would experience the kid's sewing classes at Echidna, and that is where I first learnt to sew. My role at Echidna involves digital marketing, design, content and managing our social media platforms. The Echidna atmosphere provides ample support and enthusiasm and I am more than grateful for the community we have surrounding us.
Kaylah, Sales & Administration
I've been family friends with the Walker family since primary school and had been in the background helping Echidna behind the scenes of their conventions. A few years later and I'm now working in the Echidna Capalaba office directing calls to the right people while slowly developing my sewing and embroidery knowledge. Being a mother of 3, I was more than ready to jump back into the work lifestyle, and it's been a breeze to do so at Echidna.
Jenny, Customer Service & Support
I come from a family of sewers and have been sewing since age 7. It's incredible how technology has changed since I first sewed on a Singer machine where I had to use my hand as the pedal! I bought my first embroidery machine over 10 years ago before upgrading to a Brother 6-needle and starting a small embroidery business to help fund my 'hobby'. Working at Echidna Sewing really is my dream job.
Holly, Customer Service & Support
With 10 years of industrial embroidery & digitizing experience, working at Echidna was a perfect match. I am a passionate digitizer and enjoy the entire process from creating a new logo or design, all the way to stitching the perfect sample. Although I have no sewing knowledge or experience, the Echidna team are encouraging, supportive and are always willing to help me with learning more about this incredible craft.
Luca, Customer Service & Support
As the youngest member of the Echidna team, I work in our showroom on weekends to support customers and class attendees. I'm studying sewing and fashion at school and hope to continue on in the sewing/embroidery/fashion industry when I leave.
Dan, Service Manager
I am a qualified Electrical Fitter and Mechanic and have been working at Echidna for over 4 years as a Service Technician. This includes machine servicing and repairs, warranty repairs, dealing with manufacturers, customer technical support and spare parts orders. If you are having difficulties with your machine I'm always available to assist in getting it running smoothly either by phone or bringing it into the Capalaba showroom.
Derek, Service Technician
I’m a professional in my chosen field and am passionate about helping both the new users and veterans of embroidery achieve the finest results they can with their equipment. This art is truly a science and I enjoy the time spent with my customers providing an inspirational and informative understanding of how best to improve their craft. I am knowledgeable about the technical details of embroidery equipment and how best to use and maintain it with the end result of the best possible finish the customer can achieve firmly in mind. I manage the service centre here at Echidna, and I look forward to helping you in every way that I can.
Marc, Service Technician
Before moving to Australia, I spent 13 years in the British Army, growing my skills in mechanical and electronic system repairs, and becoming an instructor in ICT. I have been trained by the leading manufacturers on both mechanical and electronic sewing, embroidery and overlocker machines. I have recently brought my years of experience in service and repair on all brands of sewing, embroidery and overlocker machines to Echidna.
Doug, Warehouse Manager
I have been in the industry for over 30 years working with Gary (my brother) when he first started back in 1988. As the Warehouse Manager I oversee the Echidna warehouse and dispatch, customer service enquiries, unloading and loading trucks, space management and inventory management. We pride ourselves on the service to our customers and our warehouse team is an integral part of our service culture and service delivery.
Andrew, Warehouse & Dispatch Storeperson
I have been working at Echidna since 2013 as Warehouse and Dispatch Storeman, managing the incoming and outgoing orders, transport and logistics, stock control, storage control and general warehouse duties.
Kay, Store Manager
I bought my first sewing machine when I was 17 and fell in love with dressmaking! Over the years I've worked in craft shops, taught embroidery and also taught 5D software. I love teaching and helping customers and there are always things to learn and share. Our classes are usually small and it is nice to have the time to chat, and help answer others' sewing and embroidery questions.
Monica, Sales & Customer Service
I've been sewing since I was 5 years old making Barbie doll dresses at my mother's feet while she was sewing. After 30 years teaching Home Economics I decided to follow my heart into the patchwork/dressmaking/embroidery industry. I have worked in stores for the more than 10 years and love all aspects of sewing, particularly making children's clothes. I love to help people develop their skills and I also learn something from them at the same time.
Michelle, Sales & Customer Service
My love of sewing came from watching my Gran sew dresses for my Barbie on her Singer Treadle Sewing Machine. Years later, as well as a few machines later, I’m proud to be a part of the Echidna team passing on my knowledge to others eager to learn just as I was as a child. I started with Echidna in 2012 and for many years I was the voice at the end of the phone. I was also able to be in the showroom in both Capalaba and Mooloolaba teaching various sewing and embroidery techniques, Embrilliance and my favorite machine, the ScanNCut. With a background in Costume design and construction and my degree from NIDA, I always try to incorporate many features of my ScanNCut into my designs that have graced many Brisbane stages. I’m very excited for my next chapter with Echidna with running the Support Centre here at the Sunshine Coast.
Renee, Store Manager
I've been in the industry for more than 25 years and love sewing, craft, quilting and home décor. I enjoy passing on my knowledge to our customers and it's very rewarding to be able to answer their questions or concerns and help them on their sewing journey. I've really enjoyed seeing sewing technology evolve over the years and I feel very lucky to help give our customers the best experience possible.
Fotini, Sales & Customer Service
My career in the industry began over 25 years ago working as a sales consultant for Janome. Since then I have worked in various dealer stores in Melbourne selling Brother, Babylock, Janome, Pfaff and Husqvarna machines. I've always been a creative person who enjoys sewing, quilting, machine embroidery and patchwork in particular. What I love most about my job is meeting people, learning new skills and sharing my creative talents and knowledge with customers.
Christine, Sales & Customer Service
I have been sewing ever since my mother taught me as a young girl. Dressmaking is my 'thing' and I love to make my own unique clothes! I have been running my own sewing school for the last 10 years, and worked at Spotlight for 11 years. I love machine embroidery and like to embellish my garments with interesting designs. I also like to digitise and have used Generations, Embrilliance and Hatch software.
Jackie, Store Manager
Arts and crafts have been a part of my life since I was 12 and I learnt to crochet. I have always loved being involved in the arts and creating. I started my passion for quilting and sewing when my first daughter arrived on the scene in 1997. I have helped to run craft groups, taught classes and involved myself in the sharing of my knowledge with others. Since 2007 I have been in the sewing industry with knowledge gained on many different makes and models of machines. It gives me great pleasure to help and assist people in their creative pursuits.
Theresa, Sales & Support Centre Manager
I support our Townsville and North Queensland customers 3 days per week from our Townsville Sales & Support Centre.
Leanne, Sales & Support Centre Assistant
I support our Townsville and North Queensland customers.
Mandy, New Zealand Manager
Hi I’m Mandy (I run the NZ Machine Embroidery Addicts group so that’s a totally appropriate introduction right?)
My passion for embroidery is something I’ve nurtured over the last few years but my love for inspiring and encouraging others is something I’ve been doing my whole life. Meeting Gary and purchasing my 10 needle Brother embroidery machine at a craft show some years ago further fuelled my love of the industry.
After studying Psychology and Criminology at university, most of my career has been focused around helping people and solving problems which I think compliments my role with Echidna in New Zealand.
Having worked in both the corporate and public sectors, I started my embroidery digitizing business – Veronica and Me Designs - after the birth of my first daughter Veronica. (Yes, she is named after Veronica Mars – my ultimate TV obsession!) It began as a venture with flexible hours to work from home while spending time with my children, but it also introduced to me to the incredible world of machine embroidery, being a small business owner and all the really interesting and exceptional people I’ve met along the way.
I truly believe every person and situation in life teaches you something and we are all on a lifelong journey of learning. My role with Echidna completely fuels my passion for embroidery and my mission for everyone to love embroidery – whether they are purchasing a completed item or enjoying the art of embroidery themselves.
I live in Auckland with my amazing husband Bruce and our two gorgeous daughters and I can’t wait to meet you!
Toowoomba & Surrounds
Ingrid, Sales & Support Agent
I have been fascinated by machine embroidery since I purchased my first Brother Galaxie Machine in 1997. With a Certificate III in computerised embroidery and Certificate IV in Training & Assessing I've had 4 years experience working in and running a busy embroidery room for a workwear company. I'm now fortunate enough to spend time embroidering in my own home embroidery room. My other loves/hobbies are photography and computers.