"In my next life I'll have my own boutique", Portland resident Kerrie Milton use to say.
But that all changed in September 2019 when she opened Belle Rose Emporium on Main Street in Lithgow.
With a love for fashion, clothes, shoes and handbags, Kerrie has worked in retail on and off for over 30 years.
"Anyone who knows me, knows I could sink the Titanic again with all my clothes," she laughed.
Her experience has come from working in different retail stores in Bathurst and Orange stores, as well as being manager for Millers Fashion Group for 15 years.
To work closer to home, Kerrie decided to take the plunge and open her own business in Lithgow.
"I thought it was something that Lithgow needed, we might not have a big population but if we open a variety of stores it will allow people not to leave town," she said.
Having grown up in the area, Kerrie said knowing her clients has helped her get a solid start with the business.
"It's about trust, I want people to trust that I'm telling them an outfit suits them or doesn't, I'm not just doing it to get a sale," said.
Kerrie said she was apprehensive about moving into Main Street with all the commentary about it being vacant.
"I could've gone into the shopping centre where there is more traffic and better parking but coming here I just had a good vibe and vision of what the store could look like," she said.
"The foot traffic has been really awesome, I think people forget we have a car park that offers free all day parking, you don't really have an excuse not to shop in the Main Street."
Kerrie said that if you provided a good service and product people would always find you no matter where you were located.
The shop supplies sizes ranging from 8 to 26 with brands including Room to Move, Four Girlz, Sister Sister, KiKi and more.
"I've tried to buy through all Australian owned companies, so nothing comes off shore," she said.
"Even if I don't have certain items I can order them in and they usually arrive the next day."
Kerrie said she was willing to trial other Australian brands to see what products sold best.
Kerrie said she hoped to be set up in Lithgow for the long term, before opening another Belle Rose Emporium for her children to run.
"I'm not sure how they feel about it, but that's the plan," she said.
Kerrie was also considering making the move online.
"Maybe in about 12 months time I will fully consider it, because I had to move away from Bathurst and Orange my friends and customers have been asking if I am online," she said.
Personally, Kerrie said she wasn't a fan of online shopping.
"I love that one on one and seeing a customer walk out happy, plus with online half the time the sizes don't fit properly," she said.
"At the moment I love the shop and that it looks so pretty in here so I'm not going anywhere."
Despite taking a big risk in opening her own business Kerrie is excited for the future.
"At the end of the day I can say I've tried, I tell my kids not to be scared so I have to take my own advice," she said.
"Retail is very hard, you see multi million dollar businesses go under and you think what hope do I have? But I'm just going to start small and build."
Kerrie said the support she had seen from community members was humbling.
"It made my decision to open a business here even better, it's nice they are supporting me because they don't have to, they don't have to support me," she said.
Kerrie will be hosting a VIP day on Saturday, November 9 where Room To Move representatives Sharon and Jessica will be on hand to talk to clients about the product.
"There will be a lucky door prize, grazing table, meet and greet and 50 per cent off selected racks," she said.
Kerrie said she wanted to thank her family and husband for their constant support during this journey.
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