At the age of 16, Broadhurst won a singing contest and began performing throughout Queensland. By the time she was in her 20s, she was performing in India, Southeast Asia and China.
In 1926 she opened the Broadhurst Academy in Shanghai, offering lessons in dance, music and journalism. When she tired of this, she moved to moved to London, married Percy Walker Gladstone Kann, a stockbroker, and in the early 1930s opened a dress salon under the name of Madame Pellier.
Her marriage to Kann was brief, and in 1939 she married her second husband, Leonard Lloyd Lewis, a diesel engineer, with whom she had one son. In 1949, the Lewis family moved to Australia, settling in Sydney, at which time she passed herself off as a member of the British aristocracy. She took up painting and had solo exhibits in the 1950s.
At the same time, she became involved in charity and fundraising activities, but by the early 1960s, Lewis moved away from the family, leaving Florence to run a small car dealership. In 1959 she had opened a small studio behind the car dealership where she designed and manufactured wallpaper for local customers.
By 1969 she had expanded her operations and had developed processes that allowed her designs to be mass-produced. She began exporting to North America, England, Hawaii, Kuwait, Peru, Norway and Paris, and by 1972 she was enjoying international acclaim. Her line included over 800 designs in 80 different colorways, many of which are considered iconic. (On a personal note, Broadhurst's designs were so popular in the United States that I remember almost all the designs I've shown below. I actually lived in an apartment with Bamboo Lattice wallpaper.)
In 1977, at the age of 78, Broadhurst was brutally murdered in her studio. The killer was never found.
From florencebroadhurst.com.au, adb.anu.edu.au and smh.com.au
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