Rewarded for having a go

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An example of the merchandise inside the Numurkah gift shop, Adventure Awaits. Owner Adele Dyson also operates four e-commerce sites alongside the business. Photo by Adventure Awaits

A Myrtleford school leaver and Numurkah gift shop owner have been recognised by the Australian Rural Business Awards.

Both award winners went against public opinion and advice to set up their small-town businesses.

Myrtleford resident Amy Rodger purchased Elkemi — a local street, skate and swim store — a year after completing Year 12.

“Despite the social norms and careers counsellors and teachers telling her to study at university, Amy decided to take the risk and to invest in the opportunity of owning her own business,” the Australian Rural Business Awards said.

Miss Rodger won the Young Rural Business of the Year Award.

Numurkah resident Adele Dyson has carved out a space for herself on Numurkah’s main street, despite being told a gift shop wouldn’t work in a small town.

Her shop — Adventure Awaits — moved from her garage to a shopfront across from Numurkah Home Timber and Hardware seven years ago and has been trading ever since.

Over those seven years Ms Dyson has created multiple e-commerce (online) stores, manufactured her own products, managed side businesses and now employs a team of 10.

Ms Dyson received the Excellence in E-Commerce Award, but she was also the runner-up for the Bricks and Mortar (Retailers) Award and came third in the Australian Made Small Business of the Year Award.

“We are so chuffed to be nominated in three categories,” Ms Dyson said.

“The awards demonstrate that our little business really is a ‘triple threat’ across e-commerce, in-store and with a strong focus on Australian-made.”

This is the first-ever batch of Australian Rural Business Award winners.