The Old Smithy, a family business that has operated on Arrowtown’s main street for 42 years, closed on Tuesday.
After running the business for 17 years, owner Joanne Braden said it was “just about time to close the doors”.
“Arrowtown has been really good for me and business has been good for me and it’s a whole new chapter for me. ”
The business, originally purchased by Joanne’s parents, began by selling New Zealand antiques.
”They bought it in 1980 and it was The Old Smithy Antiques and Elegant Junk, and as tourists started arriving in New Zealand they slowly moved into selling paua and jade. [jewellery].”
After a few trips, Braden returned to Arrowtown and bought the business from her parents.
She says the highlight of her time running the store has been the repeat customers.
”Lots of lovely clients I’ve had in the past who come back every year, who I haven’t seen in the last couple of years, but I’ve been in contact with a lot of them and have told them let know what was going on.”
Although Braden dismisses the idea that The Old Smithy is an Arrowtown icon, the flood of good wishes, gratitude and sadness as the store closes begs to be different.
“I got messages from people who used to deal with my mum and dad, so that’s really cool. ”
Braden will soon be moving to the “Deep South”, but he is very excited for the next occupants of the premises.
“It’s been a journey and it just ended and everything fell into place. ”