Celebration time at My Country Escape

Michelle Roper-Dennis. Image supplied.
Michelle Roper-Dennis. Image supplied.

Eight years ago, Michelle Roper-Dennis had reached a defining moment in her life – the kids were leaving home and it was time to do something for herself, time to be creative. 

But what to do?  

It was 13 years since she and husband Steven – and their three children, Georgia, Charlotte and Joseph – had arrived in Australia from their native New Zealand.

Canungra Law

Tamborine Mountain was now home following a five-year stint in Karratha, Western Australia where Steven worked in the gas industry. 

Michelle, who is dyslexic and left school early, had owned several small businesses in New Zealand, as well as working in the mental health industry, child protection and a women’s refuge. 

“At this stage in my life I was fundamentally searching for a grown-up career. Then I saw this business in Canungra for sale – My Country Escape – and immediately knew that I had found it,” Michelle recalls. 

What started with a plan that more or less envisaged the shop as a five day a week hobby soon took on a life of its own. 

“Because of the joy and passion I felt, it became much, much more than that. It became a journey of discovery, something that really surprised me,” said Michelle. 

For the first two years, she worked seven days a week and only recently stopped working at weekends. 

It was to be a slow and deliberately evolving journey that needed the help and skills of others, and Michelle is quick to acknowledge that she has been blessed by her team of 12 seen and unseen individuals.  

“I can’t thank them enough. As they have assumed increased responsibilities and involvement in the creativity of the business my visible role has become less prominent. 

“I am not a solo player– I love the team environment, the input of the team. It’s a key to the success of the boutique. 

“I enjoy seeing them excel and discovering their own strengths.” 

While the local community and good old-fashioned service remain the focus of My Country Escape, its extensive range of creative homewares and elegant fashion items, sourced from Australia and overseas, mark it as a boutique that would not be out of place in Brisbane or Gold Coast. 

Not surprising then that it has become an increasingly popular destination for tourists, as well as groups and regular shoppers from both cities. 

Now it is time to celebrate eight great years. Still, there is more to come. 

Michelle is currently planning her next evolutionary step: a bigger warehouse behind the boutique which will allow it to significantly expand its business through an online shopping service that offers new stock never seen before.