Business / 23rd June 2020
TAKE FIVE: with Rhonda Jewiss from Prezzies
Tell me about your business:
Prezzies is a gift shop where we sell small pieces of homewares, Goondiwindi Cotton clothing, candles, leather bags and wallets - all the things you may need for a gift. Prezzies has been operating for 31 years. My sister, Leonie Jenkins and I started together, now my niece, Donna Harper is my ‘Girl Friday’ and looks after the online side of the business.
How has your business been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
We have managed to come through this pandemic not too bad. We have to be more aware of the distance laws - and the cleaning is non-stop!
Now that travel restrictions have eased across the state, have you noticed more out- of-town visitors into the shop?
Yes! At the long weekend it was like a switch was turned on. We were very busy and have seen a great deal of visitors. They have been busting to get back in their caravans and on the road - a lot were saying it was their first visit to this part and the country, and how much they loved it.
Have sales started to pick up?
We are going into school holidays, so this is always a good time of year for the shop, and our sales have been steady.
What have been the big sellers?
Always candles, and things to give you a little treat. People have been at home and thinking, “I’d like a change” - so homewares, like a rug, throw and things that make it snug on these cold nights.
You’ve been in business for a number of years and weathered through a number of droughts - how did this one compare?
Yes, 31 years is a long time in retail. The COVID-19 pandemic has not been a patch in comparison to the drought. The mood of the town and the people who were affected was very heavy, and to see the mood and the smiles after the rain was unbelievable, made you think, “Yes, we will get through this, we will be okay”.
Prezzies has become an iconic business in the region - what is the secret to your success?
I’d say the secret to success is to love what you do, because it is not always easy.
How can local people help local businesses, now and into the future?
Local people can help by looking to see if they can get what they need in town. I know that is not always possible, but take a look, you will be surprised at what we have here in Coona.