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Different is good . . . Neat Feet owner Katrina Anderson is encouraging locals to get out and explore Oamaru's shops. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Neat Feet is a shop that has been in Oamaru for more than 30 years – and is an independent owner-operated business.

I have owned Neat Feet for almost five years and feel privileged to be working in a job I love. Living in our quiet country town of Oamaru lets us all retain the lifestyle of work and family balance that’s so important.

In the 30 years I have lived in Oamaru, many businesses have changed owners, some have closed and others have opened.

Change happens everywhere, but I think in a small town such as ours we notice it more than the big centres, as it affects people we know.

I believe we have an excellent choice of shops at the moment – and I’m sure more will open.

When you walk into our shop, you know you are in a shoe shop and we strive to be different, so you don’t feel like you are in another mall with the same repetitive stock.

That’s something else that’s great about Oamaru – there are no big same-old malls.

Neat Feet provides quality brands in many different styles and colours for your own individuality.

With the help of my excellent team members, Sharon and Rebecca, we pride ourselves on helping in any way possible and providing excellent service.

Our customers are the most important aspect of our business and we love the interaction and feed back we receive.

I believe there are a large number of people in Oamaru who assume because we are a small town we don’t have everything they want, so they look online or go to a bigger centre.

But I encourage everyone to wander into the shops that you haven’t been into before and revisit the ones you haven’t popped into for years. Have a good look around and you will be pleasantly surprised.

We have been told many times by our customers from other areas how wonderful Oamaru is – and that we have an excellent choice of shops.

In my opinion that makes us stand out – after all, being different is a good thing.

★ Katrina Anderson is the owner of Neat Feet