The Essence Succeeds in launching new business
The Essence of our Merimbula opened in December 2020 as a collective retail store project undertaken by Merimbula Chamber of Commerce. The goal was to help micro businesses and start ups get their products in to a retail shop front, with out the high cost and risk of investing in to their own store.
The store located in the heart of town and currently features six vendors including
Kicky Swim – Childrens Clothing and Swimwear Beastly Indulgence – Dog Accessories Eden Ecos – Eco products As you are Lifestyle – Womens Clothing Blue Willow Vintage – Upcycled furniture, vintage homewares, furniture paint and accessories. Kookaburra Art – Resin art by Chris Beresford
The Chamber took out a 12 month lease on the shop, fitted it out and provided all of the services, and vendors pay their share of the total cost, a small commission on sales and helped staff the shop.
Despite a turbulent year of trade, with Covid lockdowns, the store and the vendors all survived and with 2 vendors taking on extra space when it become available.
Now. just 15 months after opening, one of the vendors is leaving to open their own store. Jo Rangott from As you are Lifestyle is going to be moving in to the store next door and expanding here range of Womens Clothing and beauty products. “I am very excited, and a little bit nervous, but the Essence has been a great opportunity for me and my business. I moved here from Canberra at the end of 2020 and was looking to start a business, but wasn’t ready to take on a lease and invest without knowing if my products would sell. It has been great to test the market and refine my range and now I have a better understanding of what locals want. I am going to create an exciting new store, unlike anything currently on offer in Merimbula.”
President of the Chamber of Commerce Nigel Ayling said, “It’s great to see our first vendor leave the store and go out on their own. This is what the store is all about, giving micro businesses a leg up and helping reduce the risk about going out on their own.”
Of course with one vendor leaving, that creates an opportunity for another vendor to come in and give their products a try so the chamber is now calling for Expressions of Interest from other businesses.
“This is a perfect opportunity for a cottage business, artist, maker or market stall holder to take their business to the next level, to have a presence in a main street shop, and to gather the skills and information they need to see if their products can make it in a retail environment” said Mr Ayling
For more information and to submit an expression of interest, please visit our website.