We don't really need 'International Womens Day' to realise we have to celebrate women all the time! We believe women get better with age and despite what the media has told us (that women need to shy away from life when they get older, that women in their twenties are the most beautiful, that once you are over a 'certain age' you should disappear) Ohhhh no no no we are vibrant, we know ourselves, we enjoy our family and our friends, we enjoy fashion and style and we love to have a laugh. Women hold a wisdom and an understanding that goes beyond mere 'looks'. In this blog series we will be catching up with women from all walks of life and we will take a little moment to cherish and enjoy women who inspire us. Let's take a sneak peek into their lives and have a quick chat about what they have encountered on their journey on this crazy ride we call life..... For Part One of our series titled 'Like a Fine Wine' we chat to Maggie Forgach. Maggie was Donna's (owner and business boss of Donna Donna) first choice when asked who should be the first interviewed for our exciting new blog series. You may have come across Maggie if you are a Donna Donna shopper in Port Macquarie. Maggie works in our store and is one of the smiling, helpful, gorgeous sales assistants and style advisors. The longest legs I ever did see! Hi Maggie! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some of our questions about your life. Firstly, can I just say having gone through your photos - you have style! Love those gorgeous swimmers and the flares are spot on. Ok to the questions.
  1. We believe women are like a fine wine, they get better with age. Do you agree? If so have you an example of someone you know who inspires you as they have grown older?
Maggie with the girls in store at Port Macquarie.

I do agree completely, however, the spectrum of ageing inspiration for me stretches from the absolute pride in watching my 3 amazing daughters grow, especially now they are becoming mothers themselves in their 30's and 40's, up to my phenomenal mum who was the most brave, stylish and kind-hearted woman I have ever known!

Maggie's Daughters. Maggie's Mum.

My mum, Patricia left her family and home country of NZ in her early 20's, then being 1948, braving a whole new country and culture to become a tutor-sister and train young Fijian woman into becoming nurses.

Maggie's mum in her nursing uniform.

Being born during the depression, life was tough at the best of times however this didn't stop my mum; with courage she up and moved to what was essentially a big island with very little infrastructure and even fewer creature comforts. Examples of this are no hot water, limited electricity and no international phone lines. She maintained this post until she married my father and had me more than 6 years later. She helped build a life and home for our family in Fiji until 1976!

Always with a stylish hat or colourful scarf my mum embodied this bravery and willingness to put others before herself for her entire life, her dignity and style inspires my every day.

Always Glamorous!

2. Can you tell us a little of your life prior to working for DD?

My life up until a year ago in a nutshell!! Ok! Well, as per the last question, I was lucky enough to grow up in Fiji! Island life in the 60’s & 70’s was special, surrounded by big smiles and coral reefs!

A young Maggie in the middle there.

At the grand age of 22 this wide-eyed island girl packed up her hairdressing scissors and admin skills and joined the illustrious cruise-ship industry!

I travelled the high-seas for the next 5-6 years until the arrival of my first daughter. With her, I settled in the UK and she was joined 2 years later by my second daughter.

Even though I loved the UK, by the time the girls were 1 and 3 I was ready to move back to the southern hemisphere, back to the sun, my mum and the rest of my family, who by that time had settled in Australia.

The following few years saw me start my career in the sports retail industry, marry my amazing husband and add 2 more members to our family, another girl and finally a boy (there’s 15 years between the oldest and youngest).

With our growing family in tow and seeking a bit more space, we moved to a little country town called Silverdale. Located at the foothill of the Blue Mountains, there we brought up our kids and I opened my passion project; a family-run sport shop. This was a very busy time and most of it dedicated to raising my family and running my business but, in hindsight my self-care and weight did suffer, as I’m sure it does with many mums!

It sure does. One of the hardest things I've had to do is try to balance work and mum life. Eating, exercise and other health and well-being exercises fall by the wayside as you prioritise your children and run around with a business! Not to mention the housework and the general day to day running of things.

In what seemed like a lifetime but also the blink of an eye all my little people were fleeing the nest and starting their own adventures and after 16 wonderful years I closed my business for the final time. It was time for something new and a bit of self-love!

Having spent consecutive Christmas’s and NY’s with family here in Port Macquarie, it was almost a no-brainer when we were trying to decide on the location of our sea-change!!

We found the most perfect little house, just throwing distance from the beach but big enough to accommodate my returning kin when they needed a getaway! Aptly named Bure #3, a little nod to my Fijian days, this Islander girl was finally back near the ocean!

It was time to focus on my health both physically and mentally and I was finally in a place where there were no obstacles! Before I started walking and swimming (I only missed 4 days in 2020) I could barely walk 50m without having to stop and catch my breath! Now I walk at least 3km every day and swim as many laps of my rockpool as the tide and time will allow! Through, what I consider these simple pleasures and a bit of re-education where food was concerned I’ve managed to lose upwards of 20kg!

For the first time in 30+ years I could walk past a shop and happily try on and fit the clothes I admired in the window! Well, for me there was no better window than Donna Donna! With my love of her clothing, my new lease on life and my drive to stay busy I walked into the store and let Donna know I’d love to be part of the team!! The rest, as they say is history!

Maggie in-store at Donna Donna Port Macquarie.

I’ve never been happier! We’ve found our forever home! With my supportive husband we are relishing the opportunity to embrace the Port community and its embrace in return and are lucky enough to have an almost revolving door of family and friends visiting!

Maggie and 'supportive husband' ;) Have you a favourite quote or life mantra that you'd like to share? Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take........but by the moments that take our breath away. What about style tips? Wear whatever you feel comfortable in and try everything.... at our stage (not our age) there are no rules. What gets you up in the morning? Excites or inspires you each day (can totally be coffee hah! that's definitely a motivation for me!). My swim and walk on Shelly Beach. Everyday I commit to living with meaning. Thank you Maggie for sharing the vitality, your life and the exciting future you hold. It's lovely to hear the happiness you have for life. If anyone is Port Macquarie check in to Donna Donna's store and say hi!
March 07, 2021 — Testq Test