INVERCARGILL’S Nicci Hannen has made her dreams come true by opening a store to meet the needs of dancers.
In November last year, she started her business, Dancewear Connection, selling quality dance clothing and accessories.
“I opened a dancewear shop to provide a space for all dancers from any school and any part of the region.’’
She wanted to provide a central location which was inclusive and would be beneficial to dance schools, teachers and dancers in the south.
Her store contains items such as leotards, skirts, ballet shoes, dance accessories and more.
As a mother of four daughters who loved dance, she knew the demand was high, but it had taken her about eight years to pluck up the courage to start the business.
“I knew people needed a space to come and be welcomed and to try on new things because, yes online is great, but if things don’t fit right the cost of postage back and forth is a hassle.”
Her main motivation was to make the store a personalised service for anyone who needed it and to know her customers on a face-to-face basis.
‘‘When people come in I ask them, ‘what would be useful for you to have here? What would you like to see in here?’.’’
Even though being a salesperson did not come naturally to her, encouraging and supporting people did, she said.
‘‘Where there is an opportunity to encourage, support or compliment people, that is my passion, I love it.
It’s hard for me to be a salesperson but it is easy for me to give a compliment.’’
She was grateful for the help of the people around her which included accountant David Payne, from HD Accounting.
‘‘It’s been a huge learning curve for me but David has gone way beyond the call of duty and he has given me fabulous business advice.’’
Her plans for the future involved continuing to build the store’s quality stock of shoes and accessories and constructing a pointe shoe fitting room for dancers.