By LUCY WORMALD
It’s the end of an era for a Buckingham Street stalwart.
The Old Smithy, a family-owned business which has been operating in the main street of Arrowtown for 42 years, shut up shop on Tuesday.
After running the business for 17 years, owner Joanne Braden says it was ‘‘just time to close the doors’’.
‘‘Arrowtown’s been really good for me and the business has been good to me and it’s a whole new chapter for me.’’
The business, originally purchased by Joanne’s parents, started out selling New Zealand-sourced antiques.
‘‘They bought it in 1980 and it was The Old Smithy Antiques and Elegant Junk, and as the tourists started coming into New Zealand they slowly transitioned into selling paua
and jade [jewellery].’’
After a stint of travelling, Braden returned to Arrowtown and purchased the business from her parents.
She says the highlight of her time running the store has been the repeat customers.
‘‘Lots of beautiful customers that I’ve had in the past that come back every year, which I haven’t seen in the last two years, but a lot of them I’ve been in contact with and let them know what’s going on.’’
Though Braden dismisses the idea The Old Smithy’s an Arrowtown icon, the flood of well wishes, gratitude and sadness at the store’s closing beg to differ.
‘‘I’ve been getting messages from people who used to deal with my mum and dad, so that’s really cool.’’
Braden’s moving to ‘‘the deep South’’ soon, but is most excited for the next occupants of the premises.
‘‘It’s been a journey and it’s just come to an end and everything has fallen into place.’’