Business is booming in Kalbar as new shops open their doors
AN empty shop front in Kalbar has lead to the incredible story of two strangers becoming friends and business partners.
Sarah Bottle and Jade-Maree Cook met through a realtor after they they both expressed interest in the vacant building at 73 Edward St. The premise became empty earlier this year when artist Suzy Buhle was forced to close her gallery due to ill health.
Despite not knowing one another, both decided to take a leap of faith and open up their own businesses but operate under the one roof as a dual business.
"We met up and we literally just got along beautifully, and the rest is history really," Sarah said.
"We spoke about what we wanted to do and realised we didn't want to do the same things, which was perfect.
"It really was serendipitous."
Sarah owns Elegance and Grace, selling homewares, gifts and knick-knacks, while Jade-Maree operates Empowered Soul and Limitless Beauty, offering shoppers an experience to have their nails done, receive a massage or get a tan.
While their businesses are vastly different, the pair are committed to providing a unique shopping experience for both locals and tourists to enjoy.
"I think it works because we work," Sarah said.
"We need to look after one another. For me to be viable, Jade's business needs to be doing well, so I need to be promoting her and what she does, and vice versa."
In the weeks since they opened their doors, Jade-Maree said they had received lots of support from other local businesses owners and shoppers.
"We have had people come in and say 'Kalbar needs more businesses' and 'it's so great to see more people open their doors here', which was great to hear," she said.
"People love the fresh space and they love coming in and having a look and a chat.
"We really have had a tribe of people coming in to see us since we opened."
Trading in a small town can be hard, but that is why they will lean on the support of other small business owners, while also pointing tourists in their direction too.
"It's important we all work together," Sarah said.
"We have flyers from Summer Land Camel Farm here in our shop so we can direct people over there, and they can also send people down to the main street of Kalbar.
"If we all help and promote one another, it will be very beneficial to the region.
"We want people to be supporting all local businesses so we all thrive."