- 6 April 2018
The first Braidwood Connect of 2018 was held on the 5th April, with almost 40 businesses attending the meet up at the Longbarn and String. With Braidwood Connect having taken a break over the busy Christmas period, businesses came out in force to listen a number of pitches from local businesses.
Colin McLean was MC for the night and began the evening by reflecting on the busy holiday period that brought a number of visitors to the town. He encouraged businesses to continue to work together during these busy times and refer visitors to other businesses in town.
Jane Kendall, owner of Longbarn and String with husband Gary, then welcomed guests to their store. Jane’s pitch focused on longevity, with her businesses recently celebrating 10 years of operation. She puts some of this success down to her business presence inside and outside of Braidwood. Longbarn and String have a presence in Sydney which provides them access to a different customer base, not only benefiting Longbarn and String, but also providing them with a chance to promote Braidwood.
Derek Duffy, from Braidwood Antiques, then spoke about Braidwood’s potential to become a major visitor destination, both in summer and winter. However, he stressed the importance of maintaining Braidwood’s image as a historic, small town. Derek also spoke about the importance of working together to promote their businesses and ensuring that businesses are open during the week when visitors come to Braidwood.
Finally, Bill Pulver, the new owner of the Mona Farm and Historic Home with his wife Belinda, took the stage. Bill was excited to attend his first ever Braidwood Connect and was impressed with the concept and structure of the meet ups. Bill’s goal is to bring more people in to Braidwood and offer Mona Farm as a venue to host business or social events. However, for this strategy to work, Bill stressed the importance of providing a place for people to stay the night. Bill and Belinda are planning to add more accommodation to Mona Farm. He also discussed some other exciting ideas, including a ‘Vivid-style’ event throughout Braidwood or even a moonlight cinema. He welcomed ideas from other businesses on how they can enhance Mona Farm and make it a true tourist destination.
After the formal proceedings, businesses were encouraged to network and enjoy some food and drinks. The night was an excellent start to Braidwood Connect 2018. It was encouraging to see so many businesses there and hear about their passion for Braidwood.
Special thanks to Longbarn and String who provided the food for the evening, and Queanbeyan-Palerang Council who supplied the drinks.
The next Braidwood Connect will be held on the 3rd May from 5.30pm with venue TBC.