Silk Trader began in a suburban garage in Canberra.
Rosemary’s (the current owner) parents had been living in Thailand in the early 60’s where her father Lloyd was stationed with the Australian Embassy. They arrived home in 1963 in time to go to a Melbourne Cup lunch at the Canberra Club, where Rosemary’s mother Kirb won!
She took the winnings to the bank and borrowed more (not an easy thing for a mature woman with no business experience in the 60’s – she was an excellent sales woman) and was on the first plane back to Thailand to select stock.
Kirb set up Peuan Thai Pty Ltd (which translates to Thai friend), with the aim to finance trips back to Thailand to see friends.
The first shipment arrived in 1964 – clothes, jewelry, cotton, silk, bronze, celadon, cane, lacquer ware, teak .. a veritable Aladdin’s cave popped up in the garage. Enthusiastic clients made appointments for a glass of wine and to browse through the treasures.
It didn’t take long for the local government to say “enough of this hobby” and force Kirb into a commercial premises, where business boomed – so much so that by the late 60’s Lloyd joined the business. Returning from overseas in 1974 Rosemary joined the business “briefly, to help out in a busy time”- and the rest is history.
As the business expanded, retail outlets were setup in Brisbane & Sydney and in 1983 we came to Melbourne. Silk and cotton garments sold like hot cakes, as well as silk and cotton fabrics.
With the business shift into wholesale (still primarily ready made clothes) all stores were consolidated into the Melbourne location by 1985. The large number of boutiques closing in the early 90’s meant a review of business – and as you know we now specialise in silk fabric (or beautiful copies).
We launched our website 2001. Looking back at it today, we would have never predicted that we’d be processing dozens of online orders and sample requests daily. Don’t forget that you can see all of our current ranges, request samples and order at www.silktrader.com.au
When Peuan Thai opened there was very little awareness of Thailand, or businesses with the word Thai in their names, but by the mid eighties we were getting constant calls for restaurants and massage parlours – it was a dinner booking for 16 that was the final straw and we became “Silk Trader” in 1994.
Peuan Thai (meaning “Thai Friend”) started in a garage in Canberra and is the parent company of Silk Trader. At first it sold anything beautiful from Thailand – silk, cotton, ready made clothes, celadon, teak, lacquer ware, bronze, basket wear, jewellery…… the only provision was “beautiful”.
In the late 1960’s Lloyd joined the company and in 1974 their daughter, Rosemary, joined ‘temporarily’ – never to leave! Silk Trader has since added silk from India and China to the collection, as well as “silk look” polyesters.
In 1994 Peuan Thai changed it’s trading name to Silk Trader.
With over 50 years experience, Silk Trader is confident to say that it can supply quality and service, second to none, when the style and glamour of silk or superb “silk look” fabric is required.