Debbie More (left) and Joanne Millar are all smiles at the reopening of their store Millar and More in Bangalow last Thursday.
Debbie More (left) and Joanne Millar are all smiles at the reopening of their store Millar and More in Bangalow last Thursday.

Shop partners start again

A fire in Bangalow may have destroyed their shop and all its contents, but it couldn’t destroy the determination and sheer grit of Joanne Millar and Debbie More.


Just two weeks after the fire, the women – partners in Millar and More – a homewares boutique, have reopened their store upstairs in the former Bank of NSW building next door to Choux Choux Bakery in Byron Street.


The premises are part of Joanne’s home and the women worked around the clock to reopen before Christmas.


“We are exhausted,” Joanne said.


“But, we are also elated and we managed to open with one day to go before Christmas.”


Just a few short hours after the devastating fire on December 8, which not only destroyed their business, but The Urban Cafe as well, Joanne and Debbie and two other staff members, Sarah Allely and Daniella Comer, had decided to reopen as soon as they could.


“We had stock within two days and we have been working seven days to get the business back up and running,” Joanne said.


“There were just two things that we were able to salvage from the fire and they were our order and layby books.


“These two books were indispensable to us and really helped us get the shop reopened.


“We have been running on adrenaline ever since and that has propelled us forward.”


 Debbie said it had been a real team effort to get the shop reopened in record time.


“We would like to thank our partners, our stockists who delivered stock to us in record time, and also the community which has rallied around us and given us so much support,” she said.
 

Joanne said she would especially like to thank their landlord, John Singh, who ‘was the best landlord on the planet’.


“While we didn’t have business interruption insurance and this has cost us a lot financially, we are looking forward, not back,” she said.


“We feel lucky in so many ways and, anyway, to dwell on the past would just be self-indulgent.”


Debbie said she wanted to thank Joanne for giving up ‘half her house’ so the business could go on.


“If it wasn’t for the house we would not have been able to reopen as there are no vacant shops in Bangalow,” she said.


A demolition order has been issued for the buildings destroyed in the fire.


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