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Antiques – Old Wares & Tools is the characterful orange shop you have no doubt noticed on the outskirts of Maleny, heading towards Montville. We invited owner Fay Ryan to be our Let’s Talk Business profile for February.

1. What made you move to the hinterland?

I moved from Yungaburra on the Atherton Tablelands west of Cairns to Maleny in 2019. Our farm had sold, my husband had passed away and I believed it was time I moved closer to daughters who lived in Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra. I loved the climate and country feel of Yungaburra, and was seeking a similar lifestyle. Maleny seemed to tick all the boxes at that time, and still does now four years later.

2. What did you do before running this business?

Before opening the antique shop here on the Maleny-Montville Road, I had antique shops in North Queensland. I retired from life as a high school teacher in 1986 and opened my first antique shop at Mission Beach that same year.

In 1987 we combined it with Helen Wiltshire's Bingil Bay Gallery and formed Mission Beach Gallery and Antiques. In 1992 we opened another art gallery in Lake Street Cairns with David Stacey as our principal artist.

In 1997 we moved to Yungaburra and re-located the antique shop into a large barn on a corner of our cattle property, where it continued till 2019.

3. What does a 'typical' day entail for you?

A typical day for me starts at 5am. This is when I like to garden - before it gets too hot. And what a great place it is to garden! One of the tradesmen working on my courtyard told me that the soil here is so good you can plant a brick and grow a house! I almost believe him as I have seen shrubs here grow twice as tall as I have seen them anywhere else.

When it is too hot outside, I move down to the shed and work on items for the shop - sanding, cleaning and sometimes painting. By the time I open the shop at 10am, I am ready to sit and relax.

4. What do you enjoy the most about your business?

One of the things I enjoy most about my business is the chance it gives me to meet and talk to people. About 90 per cent of folk who come into the shop are visitors to the area, and without exception, they all love it, as do all of the locals I have met.

The other thing I really like about this business is the chance it gives me to travel and see other people's collections. I regularly drive to Yungaburra and Mission Beach to see family and friends, but always manage to pick up some interesting items on the way. A recent trip to Dubbo also resulted in some great little finds.

5. Do you have a favourite quote which inspires you?

I guess my favourite quote would have to be the one that the Furphy Foundry in Shepparton put on their famous water cart which says:

      "Good, better, best

      Never let it rest

      Till your good is better

      And your better best.”

Antiques – Old Wares & Tools is located at 924 Maleny-Montville Road, Balmoral Ridge Ph: 0409 273181


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