The inspiration behind the success, Pax Zoutenbier with his dad Gary.
The inspiration behind the success, Pax Zoutenbier with his dad Gary.

Get your mini miner fashion here!

MINI-ME miners are taking over Clermont, thanks to the creativity of local resident Shauna Zoutenbier.

The 26-year-old mother of two faced the same problem all mothers do - keeping children's clothes clean while they muck about in the yard.

"My son, Pax, was basically obsessed with looking like his dad, Gary," Shauna said.

"He just always wanted to look like him.

"They would go out in the yard, do some work, and Pax was always getting his clothes dirty and always wanting to change."

After months of the constant whirring of the washing machine, Shauna took a look at the mines around her hometown of Clermont, and the idea was born.

A quick trip to buy some fabric and reflective panels, a few stiches here and there, and Pax was a happy three-year-old boy working alongside his father in identical high-visibility work shirts inspired by Rio Tinto's Clermont Mine.

"Once I came up with the idea, (Gary's) mum got a pattern that looked a little similar and we made some alterations to make it look exactly like it," she said.

"Then I took Pax downtown and I had a swarm of mums asking me where I got it from and where they could get some."

Along with the orange and navy and yellow and navy, pastel pink and blue shirts with the trademark reflective panels were added to the Cuties by Zootys range to encourage young girls to join the fashion trend.

The shirts are available in sizes 00-12, and after a successful market stall at the Emerald Ag-Grow field days, the orders for the shirts have been pouring in.

"I wanted something that was not in the market already and have a design copyright over them as well," Shauna said.

"I'm always looking for the next best thing."

With the support of friends and family behind her, and at least one employee on the books, Shauna has dedicated her time to growing the business.


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