Darlinghurst nursery blooms despite bleak climate
- Dominic Dietrich
- Thursday, 10 May 2012
A revamped shop in Darlinghurst is bucking the area’s retail fears with optimism.
The new owner Daisy’s Oasis Plant Nursery on Burton St, Daisy Constantine said she is confident about its future.
“It’s not as busy as it once was but I still believe that if someone wants to go out and buy a gift, a plant, or whatever, the convenience of it is there. It’s around the corner.”
She said convenience, affordability and quality products are key to a shop’s success.
She also said customersenjoy a personal touch.
“I do find people have got time to talk down there, they want information, they want a little bit of knowledge which I’m happy to give.”
In the 1980s, Ms Constantine’s father transformed the space into a plant shop.
It was sold five years later but kept its verdant identity.
The property has been managed by several owners until Ms Constantine reclaimed it seven weeks ago.
The nursery sells both indoor and outdoor plants.
Improvements to the premises include a fresh lick of paint, a new name, mirrors and sparkling chandeliers.
The owner also provides free plant decor consultations with offices.
Former 2010 Business Partnership president, Andrew Duckmanton, said the Darlinghurst area has plenty of reasons for optimism.
“I think that ours is probably the next area to really kick off,” he said.
The closure of stores in Paddington, he reckoned, are likely to lead shop owners to set up in the Darlinghurst area.
However, he also said local small business face difficulties.
“Nobody knows whether to go there or not, they don’t know whether they’re good places to go. So of course they become vacant,” he explained.
“Nobody is saying: ‘the villages are really, really important. They are the best thing in the world’.”
He blamed local council and the NSW government for failing to create
an identity for the area.
“It’s not about the negatives, the taxes, the petrol prices, it’s got nothing to do with it,” he said, adding that the Internet explains only 8 per cent of sales.
Mr Duckmanton also said local businesses need to support each other to create more vibrant strips.
Ms Constantine did not downplay the economy’s current problems, noting the closure of shops on Oxford St.
“Everyone’s purse strings are tight right now, but that’s everywhere it’s not just my little industry. The local coffee shops are feeling it.”
“My siblings – all of them are in retail – and they have found it quieter, even the growers I deal with directly, they have found it quieter.”
“But that’s what we’re going through right now,” she said.
“I still believe in retail. I still believe people like to buy lovely things.”
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