“One day I would love to pass on this Territory icon to the next owner who I hope enjoys the business as much as I do.”
Located in the heart of Parap Shopping Village, lies a hidden gem that is Country Classics. Established in 1993, this territory owned and operated boutique is one of the longest running in Darwin and embraces originality, offering an alternative to high street fashion.
When Joy & Bill Passmore purchased the business in 2004 it was a complete career change for Joy coming from the public service sector. ‘I moved to Darwin in 1974 with my husband Bill to escape the southern winters and just before Cyclone Tracey.’ She couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. An impulse buy, it wasn’t long after getting the keys that Joy recalls thinking ‘wow, what have I gotten myself into,’ laughs Joy. She is extremely proud of her last decade in the business ‘Since 2004, we have grown so much in terms of business operations, profile and customer service’.
Country Classics has embraced change over the last decade, stocking exquisite and original ladies wear and menswear including must-have classic items such as desk-to-dinner dresses, race day apparel and endless colour and style combinations ranging from size 8 to 18. With an extensive range of Australian and International designers, at affordable prices, each piece is carefully handpicked to ensure everything they stock is suitable for the NT climate.
‘Having stepped into an already established business, there were many factors we had to consider, including what we envisioned the future to be like for Country Classics. Our success has really been about gradual change, understanding why our customers love Country Classics and nurturing that. I think many people take on successful existing businesses with a grand plan to develop and grow. But they change so much so quickly that they find that they don’t relate to their core market anymore.’
Priding themselves on a high level of customer service, unique and quality products, success for Country Classics has really been about well cared for customers. As an advocate for anything community focused, she supports an array of local charity events. Joy has been a past President and member of The Rotary Club of Darwin Sunrise for almost 10 years.
‘I love seeing a customer walk out of our store happy. I love the feedback from our diverse customer base ranging from locals to returning interstate visitors.’
So what’s next? She does envision one day retiring to spend more time with her children and grandchildren but for now Joy is as enthusiastic as ever about continuing to grow her business and doing what she loves.
08 89813377 • Shop 4/38 Parap Road
Parap Shopping village, NT 0820