From a miner to a blind man
GYMPIE was built on gold mining so it stands to reason former miner and owner of Gympie Blinds Andrew Dunkley and his wife Michelle have Gympie gold in their veins.
"Andrew was made redundant at Gympie Eldorado Gold Mine. We were looking for a business to buy and came across Gympie Blinds. The rest is history,” Michelle said.
That was almost a decade ago now, but the business and its good name has been established in Gympie since 1977.
Over the past few years, product demand has shifted slightly and Michelle said the company was now installing more motorised blinds and awnings than in the past.
They have also branched out to stock Elfa shelving systems, a high-quality European Scandi-styled storage system.
Another new product line is called Veri Shades.
"Veri Shades have the feel of curtains with the versatility of blinds,” Michelle said.
"They were featured on The Block and are a great option for doors.”
All of the new product lines needed to be put on display, so to do just that, the couple has completed an expansion of the new showroom to accommodate these and other lines like their popular shutters.
"The showroom has been in the pipeline for quite a while and we're glad we've got it up and running,” Michelle said.
In addition to blinds, Gympie Blinds installs - and in some cases manufactures - awnings, security screens and vertical blinds.
Aside from Michelle and Andrew, Gympie Blinds has three full-time and a part-time employee.
Both members of the Rotary Club of Gympie and Cooloola, the couple grew up in Gympie and know what it takes to keep a small business flourishing in a rural community.
"The business never ceases to amaze us. It just keeps on growing. It's up about 17 per cent on last year. I like to think it's because we have good products and provide a good service.
"We must be doing something right,” Michelle said.