Hot-footing across town

Emerald businesswoman Amber Williams kept her store afloat after the floods with some inventive thinking.
Emerald businesswoman Amber Williams kept her store afloat after the floods with some inventive thinking.

AMBER Williams was expecting her second child and running a successful shoe store in Emerald when flooding rains began on December 26, 2010.

Days later, like all the other businesses in the Centro Market Plaza complex, her shop Stilettoes Shoes was suddenly a metre deep in muddy water.

"Everything had to be removed," Amber said.

"The whole store was gutted."

The store closed that day and didn't open again until May 27.

Amber was determined to keep the store afloat during that period.

Her resourcefulness and innovation meant she was able to keep operating against the odds.

Amber started a website where she sold her stock online. This was followed up with a handful of shoe parties where she sold shoes at people's homes.

Also, to capitalise on 700 outstanding vouchers she had given her customers, Amber also got in her car and drove her stock to customers' homes.

"This kept us afloat and was enough to cover wages and costs," she said.

Unable to find vacant retail space, Amber decided to try Facebook to find a business willing to sell her shoes and Blossoms in Emerald agreed.

"When you rely on your weekly cash flow, you need to do something if you have bills to pay, you just don't have a choice," she said.

"Losing a business isn't as bad as losing your home but if you lose your business your home might follow," she said.

"You can't just walk away and give up. Life's too short to wear ugly shoes."

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