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The Cuckoo's Nest co-owner Susan Wardell (24), speaking from Invercargill yesterday, said she was ''heartbroken and relieved'' when she and co-owner Annika Metua (23) decided to close the boutique.
''It's taken heart and soul, sweat and tears for this long and, given we couldn't make the bank statements balance, it was time to call it quits.''
The boutique would close by the end of the month, she said.
The two Dunedin women opened the boutique in November 2011 to sell fair trade handcrafted women's clothing and jewellery produced in developing countries and bought at a fair price.
''Even with the most fantastic, quality handcrafted goods it's very hard to compete with the mass-produced. We've enjoyed our journey, and while we are sad to be closing, maybe the silver lining is that people will be reminded that how they choose to spend their money really can be powerful.''
The decision to shut the boutique was made on April 24, Fashion Revolution Day, which marked the one-year anniversary of the Bangladesh Rana Plaza textile factory disaster that killed 1130 garment factory workers, she said.
Mrs Wardell said she would focus on her postdoctoral study and starting a family, and Ms Metua on her study at a Rotorua hospital.