TAMBORINE MOUNTAIN STORIES give you an insight into many of the local businesses and characters you will find when you Escape to Tamborine Mountain.
CHRISTMAS ON TAMBORINE
IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE… CHRISTMAS ON TAMBORINE
Step into Maggie’s store on Tamborine Mountain’s Gallery Walk at any time of the year and you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s December 25th already. But “Christmas on Tamborine” has come all the same— that’s the store, not the holiday! But no matter the date, Maggie is more than happy to share her love of the festive season (and the touching story behind how she brought it to the mountain) with us today.
by Kyle Hitchmough
How long have you owned Christmas on Tamborine?
The store’s only been open a few weeks. After I retired from my previous career, I decided I wanted to create a happy place, so we set up this little nook! It’s a happy place for me and the feedback from members of the public seems to be it’s happy for them too. People say it makes them feel like they’ve been hugged. It’s small, but it’s like an acorn, they start small and then they grow into something big. In the little space next door to us, we’re hoping to be getting Christmas trees. We’ve got a beautiful reindeer that will welcome people, too! If the mountain likes us, we might just settle here!
What was your inspiration to open a store like this?
I’ve been in law enforcement all my life, as a policewoman in England for 16 years and then moving here and working in Australian Border Force for 13 years. In the late ‘80s, they didn’t really recognise PTSD and there was no form of counselling to help with dealing with the traumas that were part of the job. My way of dealing with it was watching Christmas movies and listening to Christmas songs. That was my happy place. When I retired, I decided it was time to create my happy place and share it with other people. That’s my story! I love that so many people come in here and leave smiling. We have lots of fun chatting and laughing. The most important things in life are health and happiness.
How do you find selling seasonal holiday merchandise works for the business outside of Christmastime?
The mountain is so quirky! And individual. If people like my shop, then maybe in the future I’ll put in other seasonal products too. There are tourists that visit the mountain all year round. We found that they like to see something with “Australia”, or “Tamborine Mountain” written on it, so that’s what we’ve created, we now have some Christmas on Tamborine shatterproof baubles for the tourists to enjoy and remember the mountain.
What would you say is your most popular or bestselling item?
Every day is different! Today, people like the Christmas-themed wine tumblers, yesterday everybody loved elves… Over the weekend I sold four life-sized Santas! As I’ve been told by locals up here, the mountain works its magic.
Where do you source your stock from?
Now that would be telling! You see, Santa and his little elves help me an awful lot.
What goes into the average day here for you?
When I walk in to the shop, I feel it’s a happy place. I turn the Christmas songs on, spray a little bit of Christmas room spray around and I’m ready for the day and the beautiful people who come to enjoy it! I’m comfortable here and I like to think other people can be comfortable too. I want them to enjoy the experience as much as I do!
Have you noticed any particular trends in your clientele?
All I can say is that the majority of my customers are women, who like to share their stories and their love of Christmas too. However, all are welcome to experience the little bit of magic I’ve tried to create.
What’s your opinion on the Tamborine Mountain area and community?
I’d like to think that if the shop and I are accepted, we’ll become part of the Tamborine community. I’d like to move up here, I love it here! It reminds me of back home in England, especially the little bit of chill in the morning. Other shop owners on Gallery Walk have popped in to say hi and are very welcoming, which is just lovely.
What do you think Christmas on Tamborine really provides to the area?
It’s a bit different from anything else on Gallery Walk. People are beginning to hear about my shop and are coming up for a visit, so not only will they be visiting my shop but while they’re here, they’ll be dropping into other shops as well, bringing more trade to the mountain.
What do you enjoy most about doing this?
Every day feels like a positive, talking to people and seeing people’s reactions… oh, and I’ve already had some letters to Santa in the Santa letterbox outside. I don’t have direct contact with him, I go via his elves because he’s very busy, but I will be forwarding the letters to him nearer to Christmas.
What’s been your most memorable moment in your time here so far?
I had a little old lady in here two days ago, she was 93. She was so excited and happy to be in the store, she said it brought back so many memories. She picked up a tiny gold Christmas tree ornament and asked how much it was. I said she could have it. She went off almost skipping.
Is there anything else you’d like to go on the record?
Christmas brings out lots of emotions for people. The smells, the sounds, what you see, what you touch… all the senses are triggered. I’d like to think that I’ve hit all the senses and created a little bit of magic here on the mountain to share.
Christmas on Tamborine 2/134 LONG RD, TAMBORINE MOUNTAIN, QLD 4270