How new business owner is being resilient after tough start
SINCE purchasing her Casino fashion boutique eight months ago, Georgie King has had a tough start.
Only one week after reopening her clothing store Arum, devastating bushfires broke out across the Richmond Valley region, and just as things started to get back on track, the coronavirus pandemic effectively shut down commerce across the country.
"It's been very hard," she said.
"The first week the bushfires started and then it went downhill from there."
However despite a rough start, the 27-year-old said she is looking towards future success.
The opportunity arose for Ms King to purchase the Walker Street store after she had been working in-store for the past seven years under the then-owner Margie George.
"Working so closely with the previous owner gave me a lot of insider knowledge of customer service and the general running's of a business - it's what inspired me to have this as a career," she said.
"I really admired Margie and she made me want to follow in the same footsteps."
She said she would encourage all young people to "have a crack" at chasing their dream of owning their own business.
"Little, small local businesses are very important," she said.
"Just get out there and have a go, but I would definitely recommend speaking to people first.
"It's good to talk to people who know business, and talk through what the steps are and how to go about it."
Ms King said she was thrilled to be able to purchase her own business despite her age, and credits the local Westlawn Casino branch for helping her achieve her dream.
"They made me feel like my business, as small as it was, was the most important business in town," she said.
"They really wanted me to succeed and that really shows as they drop into my store from time to time to see how everything is going."
Since taking over Arum in October, Ms King has introduced other labels and taken the store to the next level by offering online purchasing.
She said since being online, sales growth has increased, which has allowed her to focus on increasing her digital footprint, reaching new customers and continuing to increase sales.
Arum is currently offering a stocktake sale, with 30 per cent off across the store, excluding new arrivals.
"A lot of stock was ordered for Beef Week, which was cancelled because of COVID, so I'm really trying to get that moving," she said.