Local Successes

Parkes Shire business owners share their stories.

Odds & Evie Story

Owners
Katie Shambrook and Jono Barnes

Business established
2010

Business description
Boutique store for women and children

Why did you choose to start your business in Parkes?
I have always been a proud Parkes local and had an interest in fashion. So after the birth of my first daughter Evie, I decided to start my business. Parkes is where I have always called home and where I have the support of my family and friends.

How has it grown and developed?
At first I was making clothes and selling them at markets as well as doing custom orders, but as the demand grew I was unable to keep up with the orders. It was then that I started to purchase clothes and continued to do the market circuit. While doing the markets, it dawned on me that there was a huge customer base out there so I started my online business. As this grew, my time and space at home were becoming less and less so I decided to open a shop front to accommodate the growth. I now have three part time staff who assist me in running both the shop and online business, which frees up time at home for me to spend with the family.

Where are the majority of your customers from?
Most customers who come through the doors are locals from Parkes or surrounding towns. The online business generates customers from all of Australia and the world. It always gives me great satisfaction when a client is able to walk through the door and tell me that they have been an online buyer but while travelling through Parkes ‘had to pop into the shop’.

What's your favourite part of your work day?
This might sound like a cliché but I do love every aspect of my business. From meeting with suppliers and bringing new fashions and ideas to my business, to being able to help a customer with each unique demand, and to seeing the smile on a customer’s face as they leave with their purchases.

What advice would you give to businesses wanting to set up in Parkes?
Parkes is a great place to start a business as it is centrally located within NSW on a major highway. Parkes has a great range of shops here, so any new shop or store would further add to the overall shopping experience Parkes can offer.

Parkes Stationery

Parkes Stationery and Office Furniture

Parkes Stationery & Office Furniture Story

Owners
Gregor and Marty Sammut-Paul took over Parkes Stationery and Office Furniture in July 2013.  Before venturing into this family owned business Gregor had been working in management with Officeworks and Marty was a registered psychologist.

They said that, “while we are part of a national buying group, we maintain strict independence in product choice, branding and pricing as well as being wholly and locally owned by our very supportive family. We have been very welcomed by the Parkes community.”

Business established
First established in the 1980s.

Business description
Our aim is to be the leading supplier to Parkes and surrounding regional areas for:

  • Office products
  • Stationery goods
  • Office furniture
  • Catering supplies
  • Cleaning goods
  • Bulk confectionery
  • Party supplies
  • Hire chairs and tables

Our customers include:

  • Businesses
  • Cafes, restaurants, clubs etc
  • Schools
  • Non business consumers

Why did you choose to start your business in Parkes?
We purchased this business in Parkes moving from the Glasshouse Mountains in Queensland, so our daughter could grow up closer to family.

How has it grown and developed?
When we took over the business we retained the two existing team members.  In the two and a half years since, we have worked hard to ensure the correct range of products and adequate stock levels are in store.  We are also working to ensure the store image, branding and presentation is dynamic and consistent.

We both work full time in the business and employ four full time equivalent, two part time, and three casual team members.  One of our valued full time team members won the prestigious Parkes Business Awards in 2015 for Customer Service.

Where are the majority of your customers from?
We have been strongly supported by the Parkes community, particularly the business community.  The surrounding shire towns have also been very supportive including Forbes, Manildra, Trundle and Condobolin.

In two and half years, we have developed the business to include the following:

  • Two deliveries a day to local Parkes businesses.
  • Weekly deliveries to Forbes, Condobolin and Manildra.
  • Increase of product range in the stationery, bulk confectionery, office furniture, catering, cleaning, chemical and washroom sections.
  • Hire chair and tables service.
  • Increasing our online presence and social media footprint to keep pace with ever increasing competition from major competitors.

We are huge advocates of the Buy Local Campaign and have supported many business as well as community events and groups. Our small business grounding has enabled us to quickly meet the needs of our Local customers while being large enough to source bulk products that our customers demand

What's your favourite part of your work day?
The favourite part of the day for us is welcoming and getting to know our customers.  We value our customers and are keen to exceed their expectations. We enjoy our interactions with customers, suppliers and fellow team members.

What advice would you give to businesses wanting to set up in Parkes?
We have found the Parkes business and non-business community to be extremely welcoming and loyal.  There is a firm commitment to buy locally and an understanding of the importance of this for Parkes and surrounding areas.  This has been led by the Parkes Shire Council and in line with their lean management commitment.