ONE Mount Gambier woman is determined to ride out the global pandemic in style, recently taking the plunge and launching a shopfront for her business in Mount Gambier.
This month marked a dream come true for nationally-known fashionista and professional stylist Kellie Nobes, who settled into a Gray Street shopfront.
Ms Nobes established her enterprise What. Kel.Wore in 2016, travelling across Australia to consult with some of the nation’s most prominent fashion icons.
However, Ms Nobes said the fallout from COVID-19 in Australia threw a huge spanner in the works and, for the first time in her life, she found herself officially unemployed.
“I was probably at the peak of my business and the most successful I have been in the past three to four years,” Ms Nobes said.
“Like many businesses, I was left without a job, but it also forced me to take time and sit down to assess where I wanted to go.”
Ms Nobes said opening her own styling suite had always been a goal, focussed not only on self-image, but also self-care.
“I just wanted to create a personal environment for clients which I think is something which I lacked beforehand,” she said.
“I am a bit of a spiritual person, I kept stumbling across this property and it kind of just all fell into place.
“I am very blessed the last few years have been very successful for me so it just pushed me into the direction of well, if I do not do it now, then I will not ever.”
However, launching a business during a global pandemic has come with some risks.
“I just had to think, if I was going to do this, then I had to make sure I was going to work hard at it,” she said.
“I say yes and figure the rest out later, which is what I am doing.”
Ms Nobes said since opening her storefront she had identified further business opportunities, broadening into bridal styling and wedding planning.
“I am no longer limited to just styling the bride. I can help with literally everything, source vendors, styling the bridal party, gifts for the parents, decorations and any aspects,” she said.
“I also want to create awareness for people to support local when they can and show people what actually is available.
“I hope when these events do start to begin, they will treat themselves and have a session, have their makeup done or go and buy an outfit locally.”
Thanking the community for its continued support, Ms Nobes said she was grateful for the opportunities she had been given.
“I will always have that sense of loyalty to my home town, but I would love to expand and continue to put Mount Gambier on the map,” she said.
“We have so many creatives and amazing businesses and I would like to use my platform to showcase it to the nation.”
Ms Nobes will be stocking Limestone Coast products from Ashlee Lauren Designs, Little KJ and a range of other purchasable gifts.