Quirky store owners confident Hervey Bay will support them
AN IBIS isn't normally synonymous with quality homewares but in Hervey Bay that's all going to change.
The Ibis Next Door spread its wings last Friday after co-owners Deanne McGrouther and Julie Reid discovered they had a shared passion for eclectic items.
The new homewares store on the Esplanade at Urangan specialises in unusual hand-made products from Australian companies.
Mrs McGrouther said the business name started as a joke and then it stuck.
"People are going to say, 'Let's go down to the bin chicken store'," she said with a laugh.
"I think it (The Ibis Next Door) reflects what we've got."
The store is located in the retail complex next to Salt Cafe which had previously struggled to attract long-term tenants, however Mrs McGrouther has confidence the changing market will support boutique stores.
"I think it's a lovely area and there's lovely little boutique shops here that are popping up and Hervey Bay seems to have turned around," she said.
"20 years ago we were a backpacker market and now I think it has changed, now it's whale watching and that's a different market. "Customers that come in are raving about Oaks Resort and saying how wonderful it is.
"If they're happy, they'll want to buy something."
Among their wares are handbags made from locally painted canvas and edible bugs.
"I'm a bug person and bugs to me are the future, so we've found a supplier (of edible bugs) down in Melbourne," Mrs McGrouther said.
"We have a lovely business we support in Gayndah.
"One lady paints canvasses and the other lady cuts them up and makes handbags.
"We heard about them from word-of-mouth and their handbags are beautiful."
Visit the store from 8am-3pm, every day except Tuesday, at shop 1, 569 Charlton Esplanade, Urangan.