Sometimes it's a case of the right opportunity at the wrong time. That was how it was for then 19-year-old couple James and Georgia Nielsen, who stumbled across an intriguing Hughenden business on the market 11 years ago. Flinders Rural, a cultivated western goods store, piqued their interest, but as is sometimes the way - the timing just wasn't right. "We were a little bit young. But when it came up for sale (this year), we thought...'it's a sign'," Mr Nielsen said. The now 30-year-old couple, with one-year-old son Noah in tow, saw the stars align and jumped at the opportunity - buying up the store and putting the keys into the locks in early July. "We're basically a western store, very similar to that Titley (&amp; Co.) an Donohues...you can pretty much walk into this building, buy a hat, jeans, a shirt, chook food, dog food, and a house," he laughed. "Well, not quite." While Flinders Rural has a loyal local customer base, the online side to the store has quickly gained traction, with parcels sent as far south as Melbourne and as far north as Darwin. "We are competitive, which is a big thing being where we are," Mr Nielsen said. "(Our social media) is growing steadily...you can really hone in on your target markets and utilise it that way. "It's essential for a small rural business to be able to utilise target marketing. "Next year will be a big year for us in the growth of the business and looking at taking more things on and growing the business...and covering more markets." After working on a property at Roma, they made the move to Townsville in 2011. Mrs Nielsen managed the Herveys Range Heritage Tea Rooms for 12 years while Mr Nielsen did contract mustering. Mr Nielsen grew up on the north-east coast of New South Wales, Moree, where his family owned a cotton crop. "Then I went to Longreach Ag (Pastoral) College, which is where I met Georgia, and followed her north. The rest is history," he said. "We always sort of liked Hughenden...(and) I think we were at that stage where we were really ready to do something for ourselves." The couple launched their own brand, Rodego Rodeo Co., before COVID. "It was just sort of me needing a bit of a creative outlet. We did caps, fishing shirts, and sunglass straps, and we sold out during COVID," Mr Nielsen said. "We couldn't get any more (product during COVID), so we sat on it, but now we've done a soft launch (of Rodego again through Flinders Rural)." And while the couple have gone "guns blazing" into their new business, they're still kept busy out of hours. "We breed a few horses for mustering and western performance. We have our own stallion for that, and we have a few head of cows," Mr Nielsen said. "We love the west, and (Hughenden) has really good accessibility (with cheap Rex flights into Townsville). You can really have that rural western lifestyle with the ease of accessibility and it is a great town. "There are really good people here, they have built (Hughenden Recreational Lake) since we've been away. It's a really good spot and there's a lot happening with the CopperString line. I think that will bring a lot of people to town. "Rural Australia is starting to go ahead." While COVID impacted many small businesses, Mr Nielsen said it's the small town support that helps keep mum and dad enterprises like his afloat during tough times. "You can talk to anyone that owns a business in town. You know them...it's a good community to be a part of."