Artist brings colour to main st
WHEN Wendy Venuz opened a shop in Byron Bay's main street earlier this year her friends thought she might be a little mad.
With shops closing down all over town and many more struggling to stay afloat it seemed like there couldn't be a worse time to get into retail.
But the Byron Bay artist who has run the Rainbow Shop at the Byron Markets for the past 18 years said her little shop on Jonson St was meant to be.
The 57-year-old said the rent was reasonable and the location perfect and since opening a few months ago she has seen a steady growth in customers.
In a town where chain stores are becoming the norm, Wendy's shop is also an attempt to bring back some of the "old Byron Bay", when tie dye and vegie burgers were all the rage.
She hand makes almost all the products in her store, from tie-dyed T-shirts and scarfs to the rainbow-coloured headbands.
Wendy said she was not interested in making huge profits and would rather see tourism kept at a manageable level in Byron.
She said crazy numbers of tourists only pushed up rents, making it hard for people with unique local products to get a look-in on the main street.