This is the good life

JANINE Dean describes herself as "born and bred in Sydney's Northern Beaches".

Her recollections of her city life when she was young are fond, saying, "I loved it! I loved the shopping and all the things you can do in a big city. It was a lot of fun back then."

Janine married her partner, Alan when she was young and they had three children.

"Alan was from the country and I guess he always thought it would be good to go back to that life," says Janine.


"But we stayed in the city for years, then eventually we moved to the Hawkesbury, just out of Sydney," explains Janine.

"We really liked it, but Alan was commuting to and from the city every day for work. In total he was driving three hours a day, and when you add that up, that's a lot of time! Not surprisingly, he started to question it and he started to suggest that maybe we could move somewhere else.

I personally love the fact that it is a bit sleepy here, I wouldn't change any part of it. I see the beach on the drive to work every day, and dolphins if I'm lucky.

"Alan suggested we might like Yamba and Ballina. I had no idea where they were, I thought they were towns on the South Coast!" laughs Janine.

"So we came up here to check it out. We went to Shelly Beach for holidays for about two years, and we loved it. In those days there was only one set of traffic lights, and we loved that it was a quieter, more peaceful life to the one we had been living.

"We started looking around the area and quickly fell in love with Lennox Head. To start off, we rented, and then funnily enough, we ended up buying the house two doors down the road," explains Janine.

"The kids went to the local Catholic school and we started renovating our home - and we're still working on it!" laughs Janine. "I don't think it will ever be finished.

"I worked for a few businesses in the area, doing all sorts of work, but mainly retail around the region from Ballina to Byron. At first Alan found it hard to find work, but now he works for himself which is great. He has a communications business, helping people getting their internet and phone systems sorted out.

"For a while there, we were thinking about having a food business, but we found it hard to find the right premises for food. Then we found the perfect retail space seven years ago and I set my business, Sublime, a fashion and accessories shop in Ballina and I've never looked back. I have always loved fashion and I really enjoy meeting people, so it's perfect for me," says Janine.

"The business is really run by the whole family, we all work very hard, and it's now bigger and better than it's ever been. We now have customers from all over the country, thanks to social media.

"We have won three awards through the Chamber of Commerce. We've won for customer service, a people's choice award and best business of the year. I'm a very social person so the business suits my personality. I'm very visual; I've dabbled in art and beauty, but it's fashion that I really love!

"I really enjoy everything about being a woman, I especially love the way women talk and communicate with each other. I have made a lot of great friends through the business.

"A lot of people confide in me and they trust me. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, I really believe that, but you have to believe in yourself.

"I also love Ballina; it's a big country town by the sea. Even though I was born in the city, I now really feel like I belong here.

"I personally love the fact that it is a bit sleepy here, I wouldn't change any part of it. I see the beach on the drive to work every day, and dolphins if I'm lucky.

"You wouldn't get that if you lived in a city!"


  • Get rid of your high heels, and get a pair of Salt Water Sandals.
  • Don't forget why you moved here - for us it was for the slower pace of life.
  • Get around the region, there's so much beauty around here, there are the beaches, Lake Ainsworth and the markets are great.
  • Work to live, don't live to work, go for a balanced life, that's why we choose to live here!

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