PACKING UP: Bling Bling party and costume store owner Ren Roby fills boxes with her merchandise as she packs up her Rockhampton store.
PACKING UP: Bling Bling party and costume store owner Ren Roby fills boxes with her merchandise as she packs up her Rockhampton store. Austin King Rokakblingbling

Big dry-cleaning bill after Marcia drenches Bling Bling

WHEN you speak to Bling Bling costume and party store owner Ren Roby, the twinkle in her eye suddenly turns into a teardrop.

Ren, who owns Bling Bling Yeppoon, made the heartbreaking decision to close her Rockhampton store so she could focus on getting her store on the Capricorn Coast up and running again, following Cyclone Marcia last month.

Part of getting on track included a dry-cleaning bill of up to $70,000 to remove the mould on the costumes in her Yeppoon shop. She said she couldn't afford that.

Her Yeppoon store was damaged when the roof from Yeppoon Surf Lifesaving Club slammed into her building at Sands Arcade, in James St.

There was substantial damage to the building.

Since the cyclone hit, Ren hasn't been able to open her shop.

Ergon Energy disconnected power to her Yeppoon shop because it was unsafe.

This has left her devastated, after several years in business.

"I basically haven't had a wage or income since the cyclone hit," she said.

Her next step at this stage is unclear.

Ren hopes that category C funding for small businesses will provide her with the support she needs to get back on track.

On Saturday, she was packing all the merchandise from her Rockhampton shop (in Archer St) into boxes so they can be put into storage.

"Everything has got to be cleaned... I can't even begin to think of the clean-up but we're going to have to rebuild from scratch," she said. "I'm trying to gather myself together."

Ren said she still had several bills to pay.

"They were meant to be paid with money coming in from the store," the businesswoman said.

Help out

If you would like to support Ren, contact her on 0448 886 158.

Alternatively, you might catch Ren at her Yeppoon building in James St.



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