A splash of colour and class has popped up on the corner of Bourbong Street with new fashion store Sorrento Boutique opening its doors.
For more than two decades owner Lorraine Gorza has played a significant role in small business within the Bundaberg CBD, with a history of 13 stores under her name including popular dress shop Summer Breeze.
The local woman opened Sorrento Boutique last week near The Metro Hotel to offer fashionistas another option when it came to finding the perfect outfit.
“I found over the years people would come into Summer Breeze looking for something a little more dressy so I decided to find brands that were a little dressier,” Lorraine said.
“I gave it a go in Summer Breeze and it was working, but I didn’t want to change what Summer Breeze is with its casual style.
“I had been looking at this little shop which had been vacant for so long – I actually kept looking and wondered why nobody had taken it as the racks were already here and that’s a pretty big cost to set up.
“I branched out and asked the owners who then gave me a lease to open Sorrento.”
Lorraine’s love of retail and fashion started in her teens but it was later in life when it really blossomed.
She said it was seven years ago, after her husband passed away, when she decided to step off the farming land and back to her dream career in retail, thus opening Summer Breeze.
“I already had shops in Bundaberg, and I was farming at the same time, I just couldn’t get it out of my system – I love retail,” she said.
“I used to work at David Jones when I was about 19, during the 70s and 80s.
“Then there was this beautiful shop called Arpel Australia which taught me all my merchandising and selling – everything I know; they actually ended up being Sports Girl and they were situated on the corner where the Korean restaurant (Ensoku) is now.
“It was a beautiful shop; they were old school which has taught me a lot.”
Lorraine said although online shopping had become popular over recent years, it was her experience that local shoppers still preferred to step into a physical store.
She said foot traffic along Bourbong Street had been terrific and customers continued to flow through the doors of both Sorrento Boutique and Summer Breeze.
“I’ve seen changes over the years, not always for the better now that online has taken over but not so much for Bundy,” she said.
“Summer Breeze can get quite busy down near Target, and in the few days we’ve been open here we’ve found this position can get quite busy…
“I know people say there is a lot of doom and gloom about the CBD, but I’ve been busy, and I love it.
“I have been in shopping centres, but I have found the atmosphere isn’t always there compared to the CBD.
“It’s fantastic and I would love to see all these little shops filled.”
Sorrento Boutique can be found on the corner of Barolin and Bourbong Street and is open Monday to Saturday.
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