Business profile - Wooltrack Store, Lismore
28 High Street, Lismore
Ph: 5596 2012
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It’s been a bank, a book shop and for 17 years the Wooltrack Store in Lismore has continued to evolve as an outlet for quality, natural products.
The eclectic collection is shaped by proprietor Sandy Gibson’s careful selection of what will sell, and a meaningful customer experience.
“I know a lot of the stories regarding the products, which is a selling point,” she said. “When I relate the story, people have more of a connection.
“A lot of what I have… it’s more connecting with our rural lifestyle. That was always the vision.
“The way I run the shop has developed. Most of the people I buy from are happy to supply in small quantities.
“I don’t stock in all sizes. If people want something and I don’t have it, I order it and send it on.”
Sandy has adapted the business to changes in the market, reducing wools as the number of knitters in the community declined, and introducing a new range of reusable homewares and environmentally friendly hair, bodycare and cleaning products, supplied by local Ecostainable consultant Karen Saunders. “This is selling so well,” she said of the range. “It brings a lot of young ones in because they’re committed. People my age are starting to be interested.”
Where possible, Sandy supports local from the artists whose works line the walls.
“I’ve got bibs: Sandy Egan from Vite Vite uses lovely fabrics. We’ve got local history postcards that sell really well. I’ve got that lovely honey from Anna Carrucan (Buukaar Waaruung Honey). That sells really well.”
Fittingly, the Wooltrack Store sells ugg boots made in Melbourne and sheep skins are available, as well as wool socks, wool mix socks and wool/possum work socks.
When Sandy and her late husband, John, bought the building, they saw a need for more retail in the town. “There wasn’t a lot of retail happening back then. This was very different and very new,” she said.
“The shop is fun. It’s not like coming to work. It’s a nice space. Lots of people drop in for a chat. As well as the “terrific” locals who’s support she appreciates, the highway provides passing traffic, especially during holidays.