Business: Mink and Me, Coonamble

Mink and Me started with a dream to provide beautiful homewares and gifts to the residents of Coonamble and North West NSW. 

First established in 2015, owner Lucy Watson said the business started after a random conversation with her beautician.

“Before I knew it, I was moving into one room of the So Spoilt beauty salon,” she said.

Mink and Me outgrew that space after nine months and moved to a more prominent location along the Castlereagh Highway. 

Last year, a larger premises was sought and the boutique has evolved from its original purpose to include The Hub coffee shop, beautician, hair salon, yoga studio, massage room and online store.    

Mink and Me has a great selection of gifts, homewares and clothing, along with Bills Beans coffee and a delicious range of sweet and savoury treats.

Ms Watson spends a lot of time sourcing products from near and far, with an emphasis on supporting local talent. The art of more than a dozen artists is stocked on the shelves along with indoor plants, rugs, antique furniture and Spanish sandals.

Mink and Me customers are mainly from the Coonamble and North West region although the power of social media and word of mouth as promotional tools is allowing the business to accommodate a wider customer range, which now includes travelling professionals, passersby and online traffic.

With two full-time employees (including the owner) and casual staff at busy times, the business relies heavily on its social media presence and boasts more than 10,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram. This helps to promote new arrivals, existing items in the shop and event support. For those who have never been to the store, social media gives them a very good idea about the range that’s available and upcoming events.

Poor seasonal conditions are definitely a threat to the business which is being addressed by the online component, established in a bid to ‘drought proof’ Mink and Me and appeal to a broader customer base. By adapting to these unpredictable changes, the company is utilising one of their core strengths in social media promotion, attracting a broader customer base from across the region and Australia-wide. 

Future opportunities lie in Mink and Me’s ability to adapt, its appeal to the broader market as well as addressing local need.

There are great quality gifts for every taste at affordable prices, somewhere nice and comfortable to meet friends and family for a coffee and the option to buy clothing without the need travel to larger regional centres.  

“We have been very lucky that we have been very well supported by locals and customers further afield, and we put this down to addressing these core objectives,” Ms Watson said.

“We would like to think of ourselves as forward thinkers and we are always trying to do something new and take on any new opportunities created or presented. Being in retail has certainly been a steep learning curve but we believe by adapting and constantly trying new things, we are staying true to our original objectives.”

Future opportunities include further development of the outdoor entertaining area to create more functional space to cater for events, as well as hosting more creative workshops, expand the coffee area and develop their own range of clothing and gifts.

Mink and Me is located at 2 Namoi St, Coonamble. Opening hours are: weekdays, 8am to 5pm, weekends 8am to 2pm. The Hub is open for breakfast from 7am weekdays and on weekends from 8am.