Boutique owner took closure decision before lockdown

A POPULAR fashion outlet in Omagh is shutting up shop and moving all business online.
Rustic Runway on John Street in Omagh will not reopen after the lockdown as owner Ann-Louise Bresnahan Kerlin has decided to concentrate on online sales.
The popular boutique has been in business for around eight years selling affordable vintage clothing and one off pieces.
Ann-Louise now plans to launch a new website in the coming months and increase her online presence.
She said, “I decided to close my store as I wanted to primarily have a better work life balance and really try and reduce the stress of having to run a brick and mortar store in the current climate.
“I made my decision before lockdown on March 3.
“Rustic Runway has always had a strong online presence and sales have always been very good through various e-commerce platforms.
“However you can’t give all of your time to both of these things as they both require a lot of attention.
“I want to focus my energy entirely on selling online and where I think my shop will thrive.
“I plan to launch my website at around the end of June and really focus on unique pieces from my vintage collection as well as vintage jewellery and accessories. I have built up such a great clientele and I think I will be well supported branching out in this way,” said Ann-Louise.
The 37-year-old had planned to have a closing down sale and to say goodbye to her customers face to face but unfortunately, the current restrictions have prevented her from doing this.
Ann-Louise, who has now started clearing out the store, believes that the virus is the biggest challenge facing small businesses at the minute.
She continued, “There are a lot of small businesses and freelancers out there who are not getting enough support from the government.
“Those people will find it extremely hard to keep afloat without the proper financial assistance. Things are changing and I think it’s important for businesses to try and change with what’s going on.
“You have to always be able to adapt with the current climate in order to survive.”
So while Rustic Runway’s door has closed on John Street, Ann-Louise is excited to take the next steps in her business.
She added, “I am excited for what is to come from Rustic Runway and can’t believe the support I have had from so many people.
“I would really like to thank my amazing customers for supporting me all these years as without them there would be no Rustic Runway Vintage.”

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