We’re so excited to chat with our amazing stockist Kimberlee from Pretty Little Present, today on the blog. She has been on quite the journey with her beautiful gift shop and has a few stories to tell. So let’s dive in and learn what it’s like to have your own gift shop!
1. What inspired you to open Pretty Little Present?
Well, almost 15 years ago my other half, Anthony decided he would like to purchase a ‘bottle shop’. After a lot of research and looking at available small businesses he ended up purchasing a small, independent card shop! We got very lucky in our purchase and the owners, who created the business, were lovely people who in a very short amount of time worked with us to educate us on the running of the shop, the community we would be working with as we were not familiar with the area and we were still living elsewhere when we bought the shop. We also both had full time jobs in other areas! We were a little naive and thought this would be a more simple lifestyle for us. Eventually Anthony came to work in the shop and left his full time job. I followed shortly thereafter and I’ve never looked back.
2. Share with us what a day in your life looks like?
A day in my life at the moment is crazy! Because we have been building our new store and shutting down our old store I have been working every. single. day! We also have a 6 year old Son who does all the normal things like school, sport, after school activities and what seems like a party every weekend. So we just fit that all in too somehow and do the best we can. I think our family is mostly just your average family the only thing that is probably different is that all the paperwork side of the business is all consuming and it takes up all kinds of hours in the evenings. Most small business owners are in the same boat as us and know exactly what hours that involves. Luckily for me Anthony does the majority of our bookwork because I like my sleep and if I stayed up all night doing those hours I would be an absolute wreck!
3. What’s your favourite thing about having a gift store in Bowral?
My absolute favourite thing about our shop is the customers! Some of our customers have been with us since we bought the shop. They are loyal and kind. In a small town, you can really be lifted by that community spirit. It is a real thing and it’s so rewarding to be a part of that.
4. Which Little Branch products do your customers love the most?
The paper! The paper is amazing. In our new shop we have a paper ladder behind the counter. You can buy the paper and take it home or some people buy the paper and ask us to wrap the present in the paper for them. Some people cover their kids school books in the paper. Some people line their drawers with the paper. Someone once told me that were going to frame the paper. The designs are pretty and a true work of art.
5. Why do you think it’s important to send more heartfelt cards and gifts?
Good question. I personally love to send and also to receive a card in the mail. There is something warm and fuzzy that comes over you when you get home from work and open the letter box and there a ‘coloured envelope’ inside. Not the boring white bill-kind of envelope. Not junk mail. Someone cares about me enough to go into a shop, browse around and chose a card for me. Me! If everyone just picked one person and sent them a heartfelt card for absolutely no reason can you imagine how many people would smile. How it could just help make that person’s day just a little bit more special. Ahhh, the power of a card.
Now gifts are a different thing again. We call ourselves Pretty Little Present and we aim to provide just that. Inspirational giftware is really popular at the moment. Times are tough and giving your loved one a little something to brighten their day is a fun thing to do. It doesn’t break the bank and it makes both the giver and the receiver feel good. A gift is different to a card. It’s normally given, in person and it’s more personal than a bottle of wine as it lasts longer!
6. If you could receive a birthday card from anyone in the world, who would it be?
I would love to receive one last birthday card from my Grandmother. She lived in America and when we were kids and snail mail was the only option, one of her cards was pretty special. It took so long to get from America to Australia. Her hand writing was instantly recognisable, She always wrote a lovely message inside about how much she loved and missed me. Her writing started so straight but it always ended up crooked and by the end of the card it was completely and utterly slanted. I used to laugh at that. I miss those cards.