Launching a new store can be frantic process for many small business owners.
Warracknabeal mother-of-five Johanna Clark knows this well, having launched a new shop front in Bendigo days before the state-wide lockdown was announced.
Ms Clark owns boutique clothing and jewellery business Pink Nade, which she founded three-years-ago in Warracknabeal.
After rebranding and renovating the business in the wake of 2020's lockdown, Ms Clark has managed to successfully grow the business through online marketing on the platform TikTok and delivery of locally hand-made goods.
Ms Clark opened her new Bendigo Marketplace store on Wednesday, two days before Victoria was plunged into the 7-day circuit breaker lockdown.
As the news came through Ms Clark had to quickly postpone a launch party scheduled for the store on Friday.
She described the news as a "kick in the guts" and said the post-lockdown restrictions imposed undue stress on small business owners.
"There was so much work leading up to it and we had to shut down. Also financially, to pay rent at the shopping centre and wages. I didn't have enough of a go at it to build up momentum and money," she said.
"I honestly don't think it is fair to put the onus of checking IDs on business owners.
"I don't agree with having to check people's licenses for where they live. They may have not changed their license yet, they live in Bendigo but their license says they live in Melbourne. What am I supposed to do to turn them away?"
Ms Clark said the idea to expand into Bendigo came when she visited the city after a business conference in Sydney.
"I had always wanted to open a shop there but the time hadn't been right and there weren't any vacant stores," she said.
"This time I went into the marketplace and there was an empty shop. Because I had been at a trade show and I was on a bit of a business high so I thoughtI would ring centre management and we opened a shop three weeks later."
The Bendigo Pink Nade store sells mainly earrings, as opposed to the original clothing and jewellery store in Warracknabeal.
Ms Clark said the success of her business was due to its ability to pivot on short notice.
The Bendigo Pink Nade was a testing ground for a new make-your-own earring workshop she was trailing. When the call came in to shut up shop, Ms Clark said the business quickly moved the service online - with a viral TikTok alongside.
"Last year during COVID we had no choice but to pivot and stay really scrappy to do what we needed to do to stay open," she said.
"I have staff who rely on their income to support their family, so I couldn;t let the business fail so we had to do what was needed to keep the business going, and I think that has contributed to our success."
A social media superstar, Mrs Clark posts videos of her dancing and behind-the-scenes footage to market her business.
"We have a love-hate relationship with social media. We just try and think outside of the box with our marketing and not just do what has already been done," Mrs Clark said.
"So we do lots of dancing videos and lots of silly, funny things to get people talking about our business and our journey and it has gone along really well."
To see Mrs Clark's content, visit Pink Nade's Instagram page.
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