Work

Trottie Becke: Second generation small business acts like a chameleon

Julie and Alexis Cornish at Trottie Becke.

Being adaptable is the key to family business Trottie Becke in the former Ipswich mall.

Owner Alexis Cornish said the shop has been through many transformations since its inception in the 80s.

“My parents, Julie and Kevin, started the business and back then it was antiques and bric-a-brac. Then mum found a clothing company she adored, so the first style was medieval-gothic. That company became Tree of Life and these days it’s more Boho style,” Ms Cornish said.

“We keep changing, we are very versatile, we move with whatever is in fashion. We also have a large range of jewellery, bags and gifts so we have not focused in on just one thing.”

Ms Cornish also uses Facebook and Instagram to communicate with her customers so they know what new stock the store has in, even if they are not walking past regularly.

“Mum is really good with clothing and styling and I do our Facebook and Instagram so that is a great way to reach our customers and their friends,” Ms Cornish said.

With Trottie Becke dressing people for over 30 years, they find some of their customers still own dresses they bought in the store many years ago. 

“People have grown up coming into the store. They may have bought their formal dress or wedding dress from us and they will say to us ‘now I am bringing in my daughter to look for hers,” Ms Cornish said.

With all the changes to the mall area over the years, the Cornish family has decided to stay put.

“We thought why not stay? Our customers know us and they can find us easily. They do come out of their way to come and see us,” Ms Cornish said.

The shop recently moved from the entrance of the arcade on the eastern side of the mall to the other side next to Bendigo Bank as part of the mall redevelopment.

“We wanted to stay open for the Christmas rush, so in the end we only had four days to move,” Ms Cornish said.

“Moving to the other side, was the easiest and quickest option for us.

“Some of the cleaners helped Mum and I move our trolleys across the mall into the new shop.”

The small businesses based in the mall are like a big family.

“At the end of the day all the businesses know each other. We are all friends and we want everyone to succeed because the more of us here the better.”

How Trottie Becke got its name

“There was a little guy on a Dalton tea plate with a top hat and walking kane so we named the store after him,” Julie Cornish said.

They found out later he was a Charlies Dickens character from the book The Chimes. And that his name had been misspelled. It was actually Trotty Veck. The character was from the short novel published in 1844.

THE BIG 6

Ipswich City Council strategic objectives for the renewal of the Ipswich CBD

  1. Create an enduring and thriving civic heart for the City of Ipswich; a core open plaza framed by the city’s main library, water features, public art, malls, cafes, restaurants and convenience retail offerings, with strong connectivity to Riverlink, Top of Town, key future civic and cultural sites and the rest of the CBD, attracting both residents and tourists to the city centre.
  2. Provide a civic, cultural and entertainment precinct that supports and reinforces rather than compete with other more retail-focused centres such as Riverlink and Springfield.
  3. Ensure that existing major service providers and employers in the Ipswich CBD are secured and provided with growth opportunities for the future.
  4. Relocate council’s administration centre to the new civic heart; achieving two key objectives: bringing a significant worker population into the civic heart (supporting retail businesses); and enabling Queensland Health to expand its services beyond the current constrained hospital site and progressively redevelop the current council site (bringing health facilities, staff and clients closer to the CBD).
  5. Empower private sector investors and occupiers to renew and enliven the retail and entertainment sites around the civic heart (through the above projects, the mall reconstruction and external refurbishment of council owned properties).
  6. Set a resilient framework for other significant projects in the CBD including the performing arts centre and redevelopment of the state’s properties of Health Plaza and former transit centre.

Ipswich First

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