Candice Mason knows how valuable an e-commerce business can be to a regional family; her husband works in the energy industry and during recent economic downturns, her business kept the household going.

Ms Mason is the founder and owner of online retailer, My Felt Lady, selling high quality merino felt, used for craft, fascinators, hats and bags. Operating from Chinchilla, My Felt Lady now has customers from across Australia, as well as the United States, United Kingdom, France and even the Middle East — all keen to buy 100 per-cent merino wool felt.

“The felt is popular among crafts enthusiasts due its biodegradable, child safe and flame retardant characteristics. After three years, there’s not much I don’t know about felt, so recently I’ve focussed on the business side with the team at Business Navigator Western Downs. We’re working on my growth strategy, margins, pricing and customer base,” Ms Mason said.

Inspired by the success and the opportunity e-commerce presents for regional entrepreneurs like Ms Mason, Business Navigator Western Downs is launching an Ecommerce Network in early 2020, lead by coach Ariane de Rooy.

“Online retail is developing at a rapid pace and it’s difficult to keep up. We plan to bring e-commerce experts to deliver knowledge workshops to ensure our business owners are competitive with the rest of the world. The network will catch up every few months to trade technical and marketing tips, as well as keep each other motivated – online retail can be a lonely business,” Ms Rooy said.

Business Navigator Western Downs is a partnership of Shell’s QGC business and Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise.

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