SNEAK PEEK: Rocky’s most unique store open for business
AFTER months of hard work, Rockhampton’s most unique, and adorable, shopfront is finally set to open its doors.
Located next to Birdies Espresso, The Cat’s Meow Gifts will officially open for business tomorrow following months of COVID-19 related setbacks.
A variety of cat-related goods are available from the store including cushion covers, rugs, T-shirts, stationery, tableware, jewellery, homeware, garden, wall art, bags and purses.
Owner Tracey Austin said the much-anticipated launch had been a long time in the making.
“Stock has finally arrived and its filling out our store really well, there’s been a lot of working with a lot of wholesalers overseas and in Australia to get it here on time”
“We’ve done a lot of researching on merchandising and our internet presence as well.
“I’m trying to develop a web page which is a massive learning curve.”
Works on the shopfront were first undertaken by the pair in June after Mrs Austin resigned from the Queensland Police Service in a bid to reconnect with her love for customer service.
Her passion for cats, especially the couple’s own named Otto and Cleo, further inspired the new venture.
“Before the police force, I had a hair salon and I just really enjoyed connecting with people on that type of level, it’s completely different. I really missed that.”
“Yes, it’s COVID-19 and a lot of people shop online, but I think too that when you live in regional areas and people come into town to do their shopping, they like to make a day of it.”
Along with help of handyman husband Richard, the pair have well and truly created something magical out of their labour of love.
“I like to decorate and make things look nice. I’m old fashioned, I like physical shops and I like the whole sensory experience where there’s something for the eyes,” Mrs Austin said.
As like many business owners during the global pandemic, she faced her share of challenges.
“Working with Australian wholesales has proved pretty difficult as well because they’re suffering a lot of the same issues. They just can’t get their usual resources.”
Mr and Mrs Austin, however, are for now admiring the efforts of their hard work and preparing for what is hoped to be a busy opening day.
“I just want people to enjoy the experience, it’s something different. It’s not something that’s been done in Rockhampton before.”
“Even if you don’t necessarily have or love a cat, most people know a cat lover.”
The Cat’s Meow Gift shop can be found at 68 Denham St, Rockhampton City.