Business for sale: ‘I’ll be sorry not to do it any more’


Dawn Brown’s presence in Harbour St may be coming to an end.

After more than seven years owning Presence on Harbour, Mrs Brown has put her business up for sale.

Though the business has remained successful through the challenges presented by Covid-19 over the past 23 months, Mrs Brown was prioritising her health.

Underlying health issues meant she wanted a move away from public-facing work.

‘‘You only get one chance at life,’’ she said.

She and her husband, Marcus, and two daughters, Bryony and Imogen, moved to New Zealand from the south of England 17 years ago.

Mrs Brown took over the business in 2014, and since then has filled her shop with carefully curated items to reflect the best of New Zealand. She was recognised for this in 2020, with a silver Qualmark Sustainable Tourism Business Award.

Mrs Brown has a personal interest in the success of Oamaru, and has served on the Waitaki Tourism Association and Oamaru Business Collective boards, and spent time as a coordinator for the Harbour St area.

Though she would like to take some time for herself once the business sold, Mrs Brown was also interested in pursuing directorship and mentoring.

Having already written two children’s books and a colouring book, Mrs Brown hoped to write more.

Over the years, it had been a highlight watching the business grow and having familiar faces return from places as far afield as Dunedin, Christchurch, and Timaru to do their Christmas shopping, or international visitors returning via online shopping.

‘‘I have enjoyed it all the while and I will be sorry not to do it any more.’’

Mrs Brown hoped the friendliness and beauty of the Victorian precinct and Oamaru, that attracted her family to the area, would attract a new owner to Presence on Harbour.