Byron woman wins big at international awards in New York
"ANYTHING is possible from our little town ... you just have to be creative."
That's the message from Karen Justice, the chief executive of Byron Bay-based business Just for Pets, following an impressive haul at the 2015 Stevie Awards in New York.
Ms Justice was recently presented with three awards at a gala event at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in Times Square.
She took out gold awards for Best New Product or Service of the Year and Female Entrepreneur of the Year, and bronze for Most Innovative Company.
It capped off a big year.
Along with marketing consultancy Brand Savvy, Just for Pets took out two gongs at the Australian Marketing Institute National Awards for Marketing Excellence.
In the Program of the Year category, they beat finalists Coca-Cola, Kmart and IBM.
Just for Pets' pet health centre concept won three national Smart Company Awards for Top Retailer, Community Hero and #4 Fastest Growing Company.
The concept came about after the realisation that pet owners were reluctant to visit the vet.
By developing a free, 15-minute "pet health check", the stores became a way to educate pet owners about their pet's health.
Ms Justice is proud she has grown and sustained the business in Byron Bay.
"People underestimate our little North Coast area," she said.
"When I first started to get momentum with this business, I was told I would have to move to the city. People said, 'You can't do business from Byron Bay'.
"But all I need is talented people, a computer and the ability to get to an airport.
"Yes, I travel a lot, but it is so good to come home to Byron Bay - I wouldn't