Two Arrowtown women are breathing new life into a historic
building on the town's main street - to the delight of women
in the town.
Amy Bennetts and Sam Gent, who have almost 40 years' beauty
therapy experience between them, opened Oddfellows Beauty
Lodge - Beauty, Spa, Wellness on Monday, taking the name of
their business from the name of their newly occupied
Ms Bennetts and Mrs Gent took over the lease of the building,
first established in 1877 and now owned by Gus Watson,
several weeks ago.
Originally, the building was home to a chemist, a doctor and
an undertaker. At the time, miners paid a subscription which
meant they could use the three services. If the first two
failed, the third option was the likely next port of call.
It has also served as the Arrowtown doctor's surgery and the
Arrowtown Borough Council chambers, but more recently had
been home to infrastructure consultancy business Rationale
However, when Rationale took up a lease in the new Arrowtown
precinct, the two women felt the time was right to establish
a beauty therapy business in the town's centre.
Mrs Gent, who has recently moved back to Arrowtown, said she
spoke to Ms Bennetts after Christmas about the possibility of
going into business.
''It's actually happened really, really fast,'' Ms Bennetts
''I've always wanted to do my own thing ... I'm really
''I think we had one person [we told] who gave me a big hug
and I swear she had tears in her eyes she was so excited.''
Mrs Gent said Arrowtown was ''ready for something like
''I think there's a market for it ... hopefully we'll be
bringing in some specialists, like podiatry, naturopaths and
special things every now and then, like Reiki.''
The women also hoped to encourage group treatments, called
''SAS time'', ideal for bridal parties or special girls'
The building had been given an interior refurbishment and one
of the most striking features was a wall which had been
stripped back to expose the original wallpaper.
The premises comprised three separate treatment rooms and a
large reception area. In addition, there were three private
car parks at the rear of the building.
The pair will sell a range of skincare from NZ Spa, Nimue and
Thalgo, also stocking Butter London nail polish and
lipsticks. They intend to make and sell their own Oddfellows
Beauty Lodge candle range.
Mrs Gent said ''locals deals'' would also be on offer.
''We want to look after the locals that pop in to get a good,
old-fashioned, simple experience.''