We are all about colour, fun,and living by the mantra, “Big Love. Big Life.”
Boom Shankar is all about spreading the message; The more we love, the bigger our life. Everything we do at boom is about connecting with people. Connecting through fashion, connecting through our charity initiatives, and connecting with everyone we meet in this big, beautiful world of ours.
Dui Cameron is the designer and driving force behind Boom Shankar.
The brand story is closely entwined with her own. From humble beginnings, Boom Shankar was built from a love of colour, dressing to make you happy, and the teamwork of a whole lot of special people along the way. In our case, it truly does take a village, as what we do wouldn’t be possible without our incredibly talented makers and craftspeople in India, and our design, retail, customer service and marketing team in Australia, and, most importantly, our beautiful customers… that’s YOU! And boy oh boy, do we love you!
“The most important thing in life is our connection to other people. I love the little moments of connections, embracing the land that you are in, the people, the places, the culture.” - Dui
A history of Boom, right from the very beginning.
So, you want to get to know us a little more? Let’s take things back to the very beginning!
If there is one way to describe Boom Shankar, it’s humble beginnings. Dui was born in Kempsey, an outback town in rural New South Wales, where her father Bob was the local milkman. It’s a small town that made a big name for itself as the birthplace of Slim Dusty (who was actually born in the same hospital as Dui!), the home of the iconic Akubra, and of course, it’s where it all started for Dui, back when Boom Shankar was not even a twinkle in her eye.
From as young as 2 years old, Dui was living in a world of colour amongst this earthy outback landscape, obsessed with drawing and dress-ups, and opting for rainbow socks and tutus rather than the more traditional country attire. The sight of Dui as a youngster running around town in her bright and colourful outfits meant she always stood out, but it also meant she felt like she didn’t fit in. That’s where our story begins.
Dui was driven to seek out new experiences and see the world beyond Kempsey. She started small, travelling to markets in Brisbane and Sydney, selling birthday cards for people’s pets that she would draw herself, or cards containing lovingly hand-pressed flowers, bright and beautiful. This is also when Dui began to dabble in the fashion world. Always one with an eye for colour and quirky styles, Dui loved searching through op shops for doilies and petticoats to re-work into tops and other items to sell at her market stalls.
Soon enough, Dui was ready to begin exploring outside of Australia, she purchased an around the world ticket, and set off to Southeast Asia. It was the time of her life, and she never wanted it to end. To get by Dui would create and sell jewellery simply to make money and keep travelling.
In 1996, after more than two years of journeying through Thailand, Japan and Nepal, Dui’s feet touch the ground in Dehli, India.
“It was a feeling of being home as soon as I arrived in Dehli.”
Dui’s heart felt at home in the surrounds of the chaotic and bustling streets of the Paharganj, filled with years of history and frequented by locals and expats alike. Living in India, Dui fell in love with the characters she would meet, many of whom remain friends to this day. These connections are the reason why India is so special to Dui, and plays such a big part in the Boom Shankar story.
Dui marvelled at her Indian friends’ love of family and community and the joy they found in the everyday. Then, one day while enjoying a chat with a group of girlfriends in Dehli, she had a thought - that joyful and loving spirit she so admired seemed to be embodied in the colour and movement of her friends’ beautiful saris. An idea was born. Dui began sourcing secondhand wedding saris and transforming them into one-off pieces she sold at Anjuna flea markets in Goa. They were a hit, and Dui was stoked! Boom Shankar was officially up and running.
Not only had Dui created something that was an unorthodox yet enchanting blend of the traditional and the contemporary, she had found her place in the community she loved so much. Dui continued living in Goa, creating and selling her colourful fashion at the local markets for the next five years. Of course, Dui being Dui (always the life of the party!), she formed big, beautiful friendships with so many people in India, who welcomed her with open arms, warmth and happiness.
While Dui felt at home in India, there was a niggling feeling at the back of her heart. She missed her mum and dad, and her friends down under. Dui returned home, deciding that her future would be spent between both India and Australia. She arrived with a suitcase full of colourful Indian fabrics that were reimagined into new fashions and sold at the famous Eumundi markets on the sunshine coast.
Over the last two decades, Boom Shankar has evolved into a prominent Australian fashion label. Dui and her team design each piece in Australia, she then spends the next four to six months in India working closely with all the skilled craftspeople who create and assemble each season’s range.
Nestled between two worlds of the beautiful picturesque beaches of the Sunshine Coast, Australia, and the enchanting desert of Rajasthan, India, Dui is inspired by colour, people and places. Dui feels blessed to be able to work and spend time with friends and family in both India and Australia. After more than 25 years, she enjoys long-term relationships with many of her Indian colleagues and friends, having been drawn into their lives and that of their children (including lots of fabulous weddings!).
Despite Boom Shankar’s growth, Dui’s approach remains anchored in the same principles that motivated her early success: a sense of fun and adventure, a love of colour and design, a great respect for people, and giving back to the communities that give us so much.
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