Burracoppin business has it in the bag

28 Apr, 2012 02:00 AM
Narelle Millington (left) and Kate Downsborough.
Narelle Millington (left) and Kate Downsborough.

WHAT better way to celebrate being 40 and fabulous than to go shopping?

Kate Downsborough and Narelle Millington did just that, but took it one step further and turned their love of shopping into a new business.

Love lured both ladies to Burracoppin, where they now live on farms with their husbands and children.

They have been friends for 15 years and share an innate passion for style and shopping.

In December last year, light-hearted banter about wanting to start a business together became a reality and Neka Accessories was created.

Kate and Narelle offer a range of affordable, but stylish handbags, wallets, travel accessories and scarves.

"We've both always wanted a shop but we didn't want to be tied down," Narelle said.

"But we both turned 40 this year and decided that we should just give it a go."

After hunting around for the right handbag designer, both stumbled on WA company Sassy Duck.

"We were both looking around online and it was actually really hard," Kate said.

"But then individually we both found Sassy Duck and loved them instantly, Narelle called me to tell me what she'd found and I was looking at the same site.

"They have such an extensive range and it's perfect for what we were after, because we were cautious about not offering anything that was available in local stores."

Neka officially debuted at the Merredin Show in March and was very well received, with 50 handbags sold as well as many other items.

They are happy to travel to ladies days, shows, in-home parties and can also source bags and accessories for people chasing something in particular, as well as corporate gifts.

"Our main thing was we wanted to keep them affordable, so that everyone had the opportunity to buy something special," Narelle said.

"But we also only take one bag in each style to each show, so there is no doubling up."

With a range of more than 60 handbags alone, there is sure to be something to suit every taste.

Both ladies agree one of the biggest challenges has been the realisation that everyone does have different tastes, which is why their range is so large.

"I have a business degree so I have all that fundamental knowledge, but it's actually been quite hard to understand our market and what they want," Kate said.

"Not everyone likes what we like, so that's been a big learning curve.

"But we're just really happy to be able to bring the things we love to the country, for everyone to enjoy."

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neka accesories
30/01/2013 9:00:13 AM, on Farm Weekly



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