The story of Doree Embroidery Service began way back in 1934 when Alfred James Macdonald (Mac) commenced trading as Doree Quick Mending Service.
Established during the Great Depression, this new business offered all sorts of garment services, including embroidery, in a time when people tended to repair their clothes rather than buy new ones.
Business was steady until the war years when Brisbane saw the influx of great numbers of servicemen, both American and Australian, who were in need of Mac’s services.
In those days, embroidery was done by skilled machinists using manually operated machines. At its peak the new business employed up to 70 machinists stitching embroidery.
Following Mac’s death in 1956 his wife took over the running of the business as well as raising three small children. Many generations of Brisbanites remember Pam as the nice old lady serving them atop the rickety stairs at our old shop in Edward St (now Queen’s Plaza).
In 1967 Mac’s son George joined the firm which concentrated on clothing alterations but which retained a small embroidery section.
In 1980 Doree purchased a 6-head mechanical embroidery machine which George and his wife Dianne operated at night from home. We then purchased one of Queensland’s first computerised machines in 1983. Although it was only a 2-head, its flexibility and quality was a quantum leap from what we had been accustomed to. Our customers also liked it and business soon prospered.
Doree Embroidery moved into new premises at Wooloongabba in 1985, before further expansion forced moves in 1990 and finally to our current location at East Brisbane in 1994.
Today we have over 150 embroidery heads and employ more than 30 people who each day produce thousands of pieces in many applications.
The third generation of Macdonald’s has also started at Doree, with John joining the business in 2004.
Doree Quick Mending continues to operate from the Tattersalls Arcade in the Queen St Mall in much the same format as when it began over 75 years ago.