Businesswoman Christianne Govaerts doubts her new venture in Mosgiel will make her wealthy but it “makes me rich in many other ways”.
Ms Govaerts opened her new shop, “Christianne’s”, in Gordon Rd on September 21.
Everything for sale in her shop is recycled.
People brought in used items and were given a shop credit in return.
The credit was recorded in a book and the customer could use it to buy goods from the shop.
“The credit lasts as long as they do.”
A customer exchanged rolls of handprinted Japanese wallpaper – which now hang on walls and a counter in the front of the shop – for credit to buy clothing.
Ms Govaerts was a forensic psychiatry nurse until her neck was broken.
The details of the injury were personal but it had permanently paralysed part of the left side of her body, she said.
“What doesn’t destroy you only makes you stronger.”
She knew she would not be able to return to her job, and as she recovered, began thinking of a career change.
She read about the “unbelievable” amount of rubbish being dumped, which spurred her to open a shop in Port Chalmers to sell recycled goods a few years ago.
She decided to move the shop to Mosgiel because her parents lived in the suburb and it was easier to visit them.
Mosgiel had become a destination for op shoppers, she said.
“Mosgiel is really, really going ahead and there are beautiful people living here.”‘
When the Taieri Times visited the shop last week, a Mosgiel woman entered the store to say she would not be buying the $15 sterling silver ring she had asked to be held for her.
“I really, really like it but I can’t afford it,” the woman said.
Ms Govaerts gave the woman the ring and told her to give her $5 if she ever had it spare.
The woman put on the ring and left the shop smiling.
When asked how difficult it was to make a profit when she gave goods away, Ms Govaerts’ was philosophical.
“This business will never make me rich but it makes me rich in a lot of other ways and wasn’t she happy? – isn’t that payment enough?”