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‘Fashionably local’ helps small business


‘Fashionably local’ helps small business

A boutique owner backs personal shopping. WORDS: Caitlin Zerafa.

The woman behind a popular Sunshine Coast fashion boutique is encouraging the community to support local business after making the difficult decision to close one of her stores.

Michele O’Flanagan has closed Onyx Poppy Boutique at Sippy Downs. She says this is due to a variety of factors, including a shift to focus on her work/life balance and the continued challenges of competing with the convenience of online shopping.

Ms O’Flanagan says that after a health scare last year, she decided it was better to focus her energy into one store rather than two.

“My lease was due for renewal next month. I decided the rent increase would put more stress on performance for myself and staff,” she says.

“I reflected on my success over the past 4.5 years. I decided I needed more work/life balance to give myself time to reflect on health as it is wealth.

“Always being in fight mode to succeed over the hurdles we have all challenged takes its toll. I felt with better home/work balance, I can give my client base 110 per cent of my energy and passion in store.

“So, making smart business moves was important to me – reducing to one store – (and) being proud of the success. I have loved being in the local Chancellor Village area serving the community.”

With the focus on her Buderim store, Ms O’Flanagan is hoping residents will continue to shop locally.

“In retail, ladies buy online. They purchase at the barely worn markets. This puts pressure on boutiques owners as they can buy online rather than in store.

“I really want to urge people to buy and support local.  We are here from the heart to give back to our local customers. Without them, businesses will not survive.”

Find Onyx Poppy Boutique at 5/47 Burnett Street, Buderim. 

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