We♥KB puts the spotlight on Kalgoorlie Boulder business owners and their business savvy.
Who is in the best position to succeed in this current business market? Is it the big corporations who find security in spreading right across the country? Is it the mid-level businesses that have a few locations across the State? I argue that it’s the small, local businesses right here in the Goldfields that through creative diversification will stand the test of time.
We heard at the Futures Forum last week from some amazing speakers including Demographer & Futurist Bernard Salt, and Renew Newcastle‘s Christopher Saunders. We learnt just how multicultural our community is in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, about the importance of working alongside to community to build ownership over a project, and the way lots of small operators can revitalise a whole town.
Demographer Bernard Salt’s insightful keynote address to the Futures Forum announced Kalgoorlie-Boulder as a strongly diverse area that “punches above its weight”.
Salt proclaimed the ‘Kingdom of Kalgoorlie’ as a new titling of the entire Goldfields-Esperance region, citing our local media, business industry and range of education as markers of a potential exceptionally successful community. As he explained, Australian communities with a bright future are those who build and project fluidity, resilience and positivity.
Supported by State and local government, the Futures Forum was designed to engage the entire community in contributing to the growth plan. Basically the aim is to ensure we’ve got a strong economic future ahead of us when we run out of ways to make money and jobs at the Super Pit.
We have so many local examples of successful local businesses here in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, and the ones that are really interesting to us are the ones that are diversifying their offerings.
Noble – the society recently made the move up Hannan Street to a premises that’s a perfect fit, also adding on a new formal menswear section. This great local business hosted a huge opening night last week, (complete with dreamy doughnuts & cider) setting the standard in modern cool in KB.
The Goldfields Arts Centre are going great guns, offering dinner & show packages, and also pumping life into the centre with their highly successful One Stop Shop events that bring together local makers, small business and food stalls in a festival-style atmosphere.
Along Egan Street, Fossick Handmade have utilised existing space by transforming it into small offices, a venue hire space for workshops, and an extra art workshop space out the back. This has meant the spaces in the building are used more frequently, and by more people. They even hosted an album launch a few weeks ago!
Here at We Love KB we are all huge fans of ‘Creating Cities’ (please read immediately if you haven’t already), written by Creative Director of Renew Newcastle Marcus Westbury. So we were super excited to hear Renew’s General Manager Christopher Saunders speak at the Futures Forum, and get the opportunity to chat with him in person.
Christopher spoke about the great diversity of skill we have here in Kalgoorlie-Boulder. “I think that when you come from a heavily industry-based community you’ve got extraordinary skills within that community,” he said.
“Even if you’ve been working all of your life in the mines and doing whatever you do, you’ve got people who are skilled. Given the opportunity to put those skills into something that they want to do – I’m sure they do it in their sheds – but given the opportunity to put their product out for other people to appreciate is – it’s part of the narrative of a place.”
Christopher said he would love to see makers who don’t necessarily see themselves as artists step up and showcase their work.
“I’m sure these people are scattered all over the country doing things in sheds,” he said. “Let’s tease that out a little bit.”
Over in Boulder, organisations are beginning to work more closely with local people. This year’s Heart of Gold Festival program features a heavily local-focused schedule, with only one major Australian headline performance (Trash Test Dummies). The organisation that runs the festival, artgold inc. used local designers for the program, featuring local business and activities throughout. Many of the activities are small workshops hosted by local artists and businesses.
Simply Gorgeous Home & Giftware, also on Burt Street, now sell sweet homemade treats in the shop alongside their huge existing range. Also in this vein, InBloom Floral Design & Gifts on Hannan Street now also take special orders for custom cupcakes to send out with their gorgeous bouquets.
We think efforts like these to diversify product range really level-up local business, and we’re so proud of the work all artists and business owners in KB are doing to succeed!
The Growing Kalgoorlie-Boulder project is still open for submissions for your ‘game-changer’ idea. More information is available on the website www.haveyoursay.landcorp.com.au/kalgoorlie