Coral Johnston began Corston in September 1989... and in 2013 designed and made her 2000th Bridal Gown.
Coral Johnston, born in New Zealand in 1965, really is the most unlikely couturier. She started her professional life undertaking a Science degree, majoring in psychology. To fund her way through the course she made one-off clothes for anyone who requested it.
After three years, she decided that Science and Psychology just wasn't for her, she had discovered she became too emotionally involved with the patient's problems during her placements and became rather distressed killing and dissecting small mammals, so decided that she would continue making clothes until she worked out her destiny.
Coral had "sewn" her first dress at the age of 6 on a treadle sewing machine in New Guinea, while her mother was in bed recovering from hepatitis, (unaware of her daughters activities) .....It was not only the "dress" that was stitched, it was also Coral's finger!...One would think this would be enough to stop any kind of interest in sewing forever, but not in Coral's case it turns out (just to clarify, Coral reports the "the dress looked more like a pillow case with cut out holes for a head and arms"....luckily her skills have progressed significantly from this crude beginning)
From a studio loft in Newcastle, Coral quickly outgrew the premises and decided to move to a street front shop premises with an in built design and production studio. As soon as she moved to street premises, the business took off. "I had to add 3 staff members within 6 months and had clients traveling to Newcastle from as far south as Jervis Bay and Canberra as they had heard about us." she says, this was the catalyst for opening a Sydney boutique, "I began to see that a quarter of my clients were traveling up from Sydney and it made sense to service the bridal industry there." In June 2004 she opened the doors to her first Edgecliff boutique. Fast forward 20 years from the creation of Corston and you will see this would be scientist/psychologist is now the proud Director of Corston Couture in Edgecliff . She and her team have made over 2000 couture dresses, from flamboyant designs and materials to the traditional Bridal Gown.
Corston Couture Gowns have been seen many magazines and publications, including Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Instyle, The Sydney Morning Herald, as featuring in a great number of bridal Magazines. She is passionate about sharing all the knowledge she has gained from her 20+ years in business and frequently writes for Blogs and Magazines, as well as mentoring young creative professionals who are starting out in Business.
She has also appeared on both Television and Radio, (in Australia and in the USA). Coral has a passion for women's social issues, in particular self esteem issues faced by teenage girls. She runs Self Esteem and Styling workshops for high school girls in her free time. She has also had a long term interest in a High Security Women's Refuge and has raised money for the Home's operation. She is currently serving on the Board of "Big C Support", a Sydney based Charity dedicated to financially supporting cancer patients. (The average cancer sufferer will be $47,000- out of pocket at the end of their treatment and this can be up to $300,000- for men with Brain Cancer)
Coral genuinely enjoys meeting new Brides, guiding them through all the choices and loves being challenged every time to really complement their tastes and styles. "It is great to be part of this thriving industry in N.S.W. and be involved in something that is constantly evolving".
A sign that she has her heart and soul tied to her business is the number of clients weddings she is invited to and how many of her clients choose to stay in contact after their wedding has come and gone and become wonderful friends.