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Miss Gladys Sym Choon's is well known since the 80s amongst Adelaide's most trendy and style-conscious. Not that I consider myself one of them, but I have bought a number of outfits from there over the years, including a memorable and much loved pair of pointy black stiletto boots. Prior to that, however, I remember visiting the store in its previous incarnation as the China Gift Store, where I found all sorts of wondrous and exotic items such as delicate Chinese papercuts. Gladys was the first woman in SA to run a business in her own right at only 16. She travelled regularly to China to buy her stock, which included embroidered silks and lingerie, carved ebony and eggshell china, cloisonné and exquisitely hand-worked table linen. Her father bought four shops in Rundle Street East, one for each of his children. Dorothy leased hers, but George and Gordon ran similar businesses selling all sorts of things including matches and chewing gum, homemade pickles, nuts and ice cream. In the lead up to Guy Fawkes the people of Adelaide would queue to buy fireworks. Part of an ongoing series of South Australian Icons.
Local History
Rundle Street

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