For Chinchilla woman Candice Mason, a new Western Downs-based ecommerce network set to start up next year will help provide opportunities to take her business to the next level.
Mrs Mason runs an online retail business called My Felt Lady, selling high quality merino felt, chiefly for craft purposes. The felt, which is imported from producers in the Netherlands, uses about 80 per cent Australian and New Zealand wool.
She started her business in 2014, initially under the name Rose Petal Collections, while she was a stay-at-home mum.
Originally from Quilpie where her parents Doug and Debbie Doneman ran the Quilpie Home Hardware and Tyre Service franchise, Mrs Mason used to work for transportation company Ansaldo STS as the product sales coordinator for Asia Pacific.
"Living in a small country town I really wanted to keep on top of the world of sales and I had this idea," she said.
With children Edward, 8, and Matilda, 7, now at school, the business has been able to thrive, with Mrs Mason changing its name to My Felt Lady in 2017.
"It's only been really been busy in the past three years... it's grown since I started going to craft shows and fairs," she said.
"I can be posting about 10 to 30 parcels most day with orders at this time of year."
Now she's looking forward to the chance to connect with more ecommerce entrepeneurs throughout the region.
Inspired by the success of Mrs Mason and other regional entrepeneurs, Business Navigator Western Downs is launching an ecommerce network in early 2020.
The Business Navigator Western Downs program is a partnership of Shell's QGC business and Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise. The new network will aim to provide extra opportunities for business owners, bringing ecommerce experts to the region to deliver workshops.
"Online retail is developing at a rapid pace and it's difficult to keep up," Business Navigator lead coach Ariane de Rooy said.
"The network will catch up every few months to trade technical and marketing tips, as well as keep each other motivated - online retail can be a lonely business."
Mrs Mason, who has been working with Business Navigator Western Downs on a new internationally focused ecommerce idea, said it would be good to connect with other ecommerce businesses facing similar challenges, such as postal delivery turnaround times.
"I'm really looking forward to it and being able to share our experiences. I'd love to help other businesses like myself get started."