With the COVID-19 lock downs starting to ease, George St in Bathurst is starting to become a vibrant hub once again. Many businesses have re-opened their doors and are starting to welcome customers again, while still following the strict protocols put in place by the state government. Others have taken advantage of the closure period and have been busy performing renovations and refreshing their businesses, to get ready for some amazing re-openings.
Venues such as the George Hotel, Country Coffee and the ever-popular Annie's Ice Creams have been a hive of activity over the past few weeks with a range of tradies creating some stunning new environments. Long-standing businesses like Marietta's Boutique on the other hand, have been pushing through the period of self-isolation, to ensure their customers are able to get the clothing they need.
Since 1978, Marietta's Boutique has been providing the ladies of Bathurst, Oberon and the Central West with a wide range of fashion, styles and brands. Owner, Marietta Khoury, said she credits the stores longevity and success with being able to adapt and change, while keeping a focus on what customers really wanted. "Over time we have changed styles that we have stocked along with different brands. While there has always been a focus on mature ladies fashion such as 'Sabin' we have started stocking labels including 'Kalisson' and 'Bagoraz' which appeals to a younger market," she said.
Marietta said that it has been amazing watching the changing looks throughout the years and is always happy to try new styles that people might be looking for. "We are currently stocking a number of 'Country Classics' pieces with a strong focus on rustic styled shirts". But loyal customers should not be worried by the changes, "We will still continue to stock or normal range of high quality blouses, dresses, slacks and skirts," she said.
While Marietta's did close for ten days during the worst of the outbreak, store volunteers Ellen Toole and Marie-Rose Stait, said that customer demand meant it was a pleasure to re-open the doors early. With customer traffic steady, Ellen said it was certainly starting to get busier. "Parents are always looking for school uniforms and with schools starting to go back across the region, people are grabbing jumpers and track-pants to keep their children warm".
However, it's not just families who are looking for warmer clothing. Marie-Rose said that coming into the cooler months, they were finding ladies fashion that was able to be layered, very popular. "People are certainly looking for coats, jumpers, sleeved shirts and warm pants," she said. "There are a lot of gorgeous new items to browse, and we are here ready to help".