Nicole O'Donnell at her new store on Wandal Rd, which will be The Drifter and Gypsy Collective.
Nicole O'Donnell at her new store on Wandal Rd, which will be The Drifter and Gypsy Collective.

New business to open in booming Wandal precinct

THE Butcher, the baker and, now, the candlestick maker, are all in the Wandal shopping precinct, as a new business opens in the area.

Nicole O’Donnell has leased the former Antonios Pizza restaurant space and will be opening her candle business, The Drifter and The Gypsy Collective.

Nicole has been making candles for 12 years, first influenced by her sister who was making them.

It started out as a hobby and at the time, Nicole’s children were young and she could do it before and after school and they would come along to markets on weekends.

Bit by bit, the business grew and she found herself attenting markets and festivals from Townsville to Agnes Water.

The product range has expanded to hand-poured natural, no preservative soy candles, diffusers, essential oils, bath teas, room sprays and other goods.

The Drifter and The Gypsy crystal candles.
The Drifter and The Gypsy crystal candles.

She also does a lot of wholesale orders, making huge batches of candles and goods for businesses.

“It’s just a hobby that paid for itself and it’s now evolved into making its own money,” she said.

Nicole lives 40kms out of town and found herself constantly driving around town and to the coast dropping off orders.

After driving past the vacant Wandal store on a daily basis, she had the idea of having a permanent storefront.

“It was just time for me to start a nice bricks and mortar place,” she said.

“I thought now was a good time to do it, everything fell into place, the area, the shop.”

The shopfront at 13 Wandal Rd, is the perfect location for Nicole.

“For me it is handy, this side of town, good traffic flow, nice family-oriented area,” she said.

The shop has undergone a fresh lick of paint and Nicole aims to open the doors on October 17.

The business includes Nicole’s candles and homewares and jewellery, leatherwork and soaps from other local handmade stockists.

There are also plans to host candle workshops in the next school holidays and incorporate other workshops from other local handmade business.

The hand poured natural soy candles
The hand poured natural soy candles

Nicole has a strong client base in Rockhampton, Yeppoon and Emu Park and has already had good feedback for the store.

“It’s coming together really well and I have lots of support from other small business owners in Rocky,” she said.

After being in business for more than decade, opening a physical shopfront was always a pipedream for Nicole – and now after years of hard work it has come true.

“It’s always something you hope to do, it’s been a goal for a few years now,” she said.

THE DRIFTER AND THE GYPSY COLLECTIVE

Grand opening Saturday October 17, 9am to 3pm

13 Wandal Rd, Wandal

Candle shop with other handmade goods, homewares and accessories

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