Business / News / 22nd October 2020
NEW BIZ: Organic haircare shop opens in Coona
Despite the uncertainty of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a positive shift in the local economy, with a number of new businesses opening in vacant shopfronts. For Jacqueline Owers who has unveiled JH Organic Haircare Produce in Coonabarabran’s main street, there was no time like the present. The Coonabarabran Times caught up with Jacqueline to find out more about her new venture...
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I am a mother of four children, married and living on a property about an hour from Coonabarabran. We are a farming family and primary producer of cattle. I am a qualified hairdresser and representative for cystic fibrosis fund-raising. I enjoy cooking, gardening and spending time in my kitchen making organic haircare products.
Where did the idea to open a store in Coonabarabran originate?
I previously had a hair salon at the Gwabegar Community Centre, but due to COVID-19, when all communitycentresclosed, I moved my business back home. Having a child with a terminal illness - cystic fibrosis - I wasn’t able to have clients at home, especially during the pandemic. The health of my son and family is very important. I needed a plan and I wasn’t going to let the COVID-19 virus stand in my way of producing, manufacturing, marketing and retailing my range of organic haircare products.
Finding a retail space to lease wasn’t easy due to my rural location, so I ventured intoCoonabarabran. It’s a very lovely, friendly town as I’ve always enjoyed the easy access of shops and businesses. When I saw the space at 56 John Street was available I just knew it would be perfect for me and JH Organic Haircare Produce.
What services do you provide/what do you sell?
JH Organic Haircare Produce is a sole trader small business, providing 100 per cent organic Australian haircare products. The store is elegant with a rustic, industrial look and feel. My record player of classical and easy listening old time dance music has been getting a workout! It’s sure to get you swaying to the tunes and tapping those toes in store while you browse.
I have a beautiful selection of shampoo and conditioner bars, which is the new “boom’ in the haircare market. A selection of creamy shampoo and conditioner - chamomile, green tea, coconut and honey, just to name a few. I am always putting my hand up for any challenge for any hair type, and can also customise a product. I also have a lovely selection of bathroom necessities.
As a representative for cystic fibrosis (CF) fund- raising I have in store a stand representing ‘Bradleys Market Stall’. My son Bradley is now 16 and we have been fund-raising for CF as a family since 2007 when Bradley was just three-years-old. We have raised over $50,000 for CF organisations within Australia. We have attended many market stall events including the Coonabarabran markets. This is why JH Organic Haircare Produce proudly supports CF fund-raising - it’s very close to my heart.
How has business been over the past month?
The business officially opened on Monday, 21 September, at a slow pace. I suppose it takes time for the community to become aware of a new business. As a COVID-safe business, the shop space is limited to three customers in store at one time and 1.5 metre distancing. It’s important that everyone follows the rules to keep us all safe. As I haven’t been open long, the influx of tourists has been slow, but business has picked up with tourists and locals within the past week and it has been great to meet many new people.
Were you anxious opening a business amid COVID-19?
I think everyone with a business during COVID-19 is anxious, especially when opening a new venture. My main worry was the limit of in-store customers allowed at one time. There is a lot of footpath traffic that can’t come in when I’ve already got three customers in store.
How does it make you feel to be one of several new and unique businesses opening in town?
I am proud to be a part of the community. It just shows that not even COVID-19 slows us down. To have several businesses, including mine, open within Coonabarabran is just remarkable. Each of us, like you said, is ‘unique’ and we all have something different to bring and share within the community.