Advertising and the Media
As a business, Stone’s used advertising in all available forms, including print, radio, and in the 1960s, the new medium of television. Many advertisements were featured in the Ballarat Courier newspaper, and in the 1940s, Jessica selected and published a “Model of the Week” page.
The radio programme “Jessica’s Bridal Bouquet” began in the mid-1940s on the local station, 3BA, and was originally researched and presented by Nina Valentine. Described as “a pot-pourri (sic) of Charm – Interest – and Information,” it continued to run weekly until 1965. During that period, the show included “beautiful music arranged for your listening enjoyment by Jessica of Stone’s,” and highlighted key social events where women had worn bridal, debutante and evening gowns designed by Jessica. Advertisements for men’s and children’s wear were also included.
Television became broadly available to mainstream Australia in 1956, just in time for the Melbourne Olympic Games. Ballarat established the BTV6 station in 1962, and Jessica made her first appearance a year later. The “Focus on Fashion” segment with Jessica was co-hosted with presenter Val Sarah as part of the Wednesday Magazine women’s programme.
Each week, Jessica and Val would discuss current fashions with the assistance of models attired in outfits from Stone’s. In December 1964, they presented a look at “Fashion Through the Ages,” where the models wore reproduction garments dating from the 1860s to the late 1950s. The “Focus on Fashion” programme concluded in 1965 when Jessica retired from business.