Beautiful things: Australian Country Living owner Tanya Mullins at her Orion Town Centre shop.
Beautiful things: Australian Country Living owner Tanya Mullins at her Orion Town Centre shop.

Gifts with a local flavour

IF YOU are looking for a range of giftware, then Australian Country Living is providing a solution to one of life's greatest challenges.

Husband and wife duo Tanya and Greg Mullins are co-owners of the Orion Town Centre-based business in Springfield Central.

“We started the business four years ago in March,” Ms Mullins said, adding that it suits her personality and fulfils a dream to have her own business where she can sell beautiful things.

Most recently the couple opened a second store in this franchise, based in Toowoomba at the Wilsonton Shopping Centre.

The Australian Country Living store at Orion Town Centre is located opposite Valley Girl and is just down from Woolworths. The store is close to the Town Square and has a very open plan that takes away the clutter of such stores.

The touch of roofing iron and the exposed beams give that touch of Australiana. This gift store has taken the warmth of older Australian retail displaying, along with the friendly customer service which all adds up to a winning combination.

“I have worked hard at arranging a group of suppliers so I carry a unique range of products,” Ms Mullins said.

“The people I deal with do not supply other similar businesses in the nearby area. I try to get variety and a unique range of giftware for my clients.”

What is interesting is that the franchise provides a list of suppliers, but the owners of each store buy for their store.

“What sells here may not sell well in my Toowoomba store, and it is important that I can choose what I want for either outlet,” Ms Mullins said.

Cast your eye around the store and you can find a range of items that are well-priced and affordable.

There are picture frames, jewellery holders and boxes, fragrances and diffusers. There is a range of products to celebrate age birthdays, something to welcome a new baby or to say congratulations.

You will find tea cups, saucers, glasses, clocks and mirrors.

One fascinating item is the “nappy cake”. This is a wonderfully presented gift with three nappies rolled up.

So for the practical or for someone who has everything, Australian Country Living will have something in store.

Keeping up with what is available is a task in itself, but Ms Mullins does get to gift fairs to meet new suppliers and check out what is on offer.

“I think one of the big things is for people to continue to shop locally and explore all that is available in the local area,” she said. “Christmas was good, but to ensure that we keep the great range of stores we have to all make sure we support local business.”

This has become an even more important message since the flood, as retailers and suppliers work to build up businesses.

“The first part of the year is hard anyway, so keeping it local just helps to keep the local economy going,” she said.

Australian Country Living is open from 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, until 9pm Thursday, 9am to 5pm on Saturday and 10am until 2pm on Sunday.

Details: 3818 2970.

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