Artist Jo Pether has a new neighbour in the Centreway Arcade, and it’s run by her 13-year-old daughter.
Bree Pether and her friend Naomi Molder, 13, were given the opportunity to move into a vacant space in the arcade to run a second-hand cloth business: the Hibiscus Boutique, for four Saturdays.
Pether said the girls initially started at the Esk Market at Invermay.
“Rather than being out on a Sunday in the cold with products that really aren’t suited to that market, we decided to give it a try here,” she said.
“If it works, we’re looking at a more permanent business.”
Ms Pether said while food had been the initial passion for the young entrepreneurs, there were concerns around food wastage and handling.
She said starting with used clothing was a solid stepping stone for the girls, as they had also been learning about sustainable clothing in school making it all the more relevant.
“At first they wanted to make cakes … with food-making it’s a whole different ball game,” Pether said.
In other news:
While adult supervision will be provided at the Hibiscus Boutique, Pether said it was a great opportunity to give Bree and Naomi a chance to build their business skills.
“I think they’ve got a different perception of what it’s like to work than what it’s actually like,” she said.
“It’s a struggle for me to have to take that step away from parenting and supervising and help them realise that when they walk in the door it’s work time.
“The point of this is that they’re fully supervised, but it’s a good learning experience for them and they learn a few lessons on the way.”
Pether started her art business Heartfelt Art in 2019, but her passion for portraiture has been around for a long time.
“I medically retired five years ago and then in September last year I opened the shop,” she said
“I’ve been drawing since I was younger than Bree, but it’s evolved since I started the business.
“I originally thought it would be more of a tourist market but then COVID happened.”
Pather is a portrait artist, working with a number of tools but always in colourful fashions.
“[I use] pretty much everything, but I love coloured pencils, they are a really underrated medium because I take them everywhere with me – all I need is two or three coloured pencils, a sheet of paper and I’m away,” she said.
“It’s a bit weird but I see the contrast and the complimenting colours so I rarely use black and white.”