Roma startup business goes international within two weeks
THEY say when one door shuts, another one soon opens.
That was the case for Tammy Duckworth, owner of Tam's Nail FX in Roma for the past 11 years, who was forced to close the doors to her nail salon at the end of March.
Less than two weeks later her new business venture Bella Bands is sending orders of head bands overseas and getting inquiries from major chainstores.
Ms Duckworth said she has been blown away by her new business' overnight success, which included gaining more than 5000 Facebook followers, receiving orders from Byron Bay boutiques and piquing the interest of Subway head office.
"Two weeks ago, I was absolutely gutted when I heard the announcement," she said.
Under stage two of lockdown restrictions, the federal Government announced that all beauty therapy, tanning, nail and waxing salons across the country had to close their doors.
"I am a single mum with a mortgage, my rates were due and every other expense came crashing down," she said.
"In order to survive, I had to put my big girl pants on."
And that's exactly what she did - Ms Duckworth said since she was little, she's always worn headbands.
"At the salon, customers kept asking where I got my headbands from," she said.
"So while I was in isolation, I thought why not make some and try sell them."
She advertised Bella Bands on her Facebook page and Roma's Buy, Swap and Sell.
"People just kept supporting me," she said.
"The next thing I knew, I had over 5000 Facebook followers in less than a week and a half.
"I've sent headbands over to the US, UK and NZ.
"Yesterday, Subway head office emailed me asking if they sent their fabric, would I make headbands for their staff.
"Boutiques in Byron Bay and the Margaret River have asked for them.
"And in WA, a ward of 16 nurses bought them."
Ms Duckworth has been overwhelmed by the support she has received not just locally, but across the nation.
"I've been posting orders all over Australia," she said.
"I think the notion of 'buying from the bush' has been a big help.
"People's kindness is unbelievable - I really need to thank the community for their support."
Ms Duckworth's daughters Abby, Jemma and Michaela have been up until 2.30am most morning taking orders, while she can focus on sewing.
She said for other business owners out there, wondering how to makes ends meet during the pandemic - "just put your thinking cap on and give something a go."
"We all need to support one another during this tough time."
Bella Bands will be launching a kids line next week - different sizes will be available.
A competition is running until midday tomorrow, Friday April 10. In order to win a range of headbands, you have to Like and Share Bella Bands on Facebook.