Based in the bustling country town of Goondiwindi, about four hours south-west of Brisbane, the store is a treasure trove filled with wares from across the globe, and unique items sourced closer to home, offering those in Goondiwindi and surrounds access to a range of pieces they would usually have to travel far and wide for.
Harry & Kit owner Lillie Holcombe grew up on a cattle station outside of Bowen in North Queensland and returned to her bush roots following a stint living in the big smoke of Brisbane.
“I attended high school and university in Brisbane and then settled into a career in marketing,” she said. “Of course I loved growing up on a property, but I also really enjoyed living in Brisbane and everything that came with city life … until I fell for a country boy!” and the rest is history.
However, it wasn’t business that brought Lillie to Goondiwindi in the first place. Lillie moved west to be with her then-boyfriend, now-husband, sheep farmer Henry Holcombe.
Lillie and Henry have always shared a love of travelling, and on each trip, they would find unique items they wanted to bring back to Australia. They started importing pieces and needed somewhere to showcase them, so Harry and Kit was launched.
The store is named after Lillie’s Cocker Spaniel and best bud Kit the Kelpie and is set inside a charming tin shed on Bowen Lane in Goondiwindi.
“Each piece you find at Harry and Kit has been personally sourced by us and then brought to Goondiwindi. We are forever searching for the perfect pieces for our customers, specialising in cane, recycled timber and rustic pieces,” Lillie says.
“It’s also been fantastic welcoming local Australian labels to the store, like Kip & Co, LJC Designs, Moss Living, Finer Rings and some other fantastic bush businesses including Inglewood’s Macintrye Brook Olive Grove’s olive oil and Goondiwindi’s own Jersey Candles and Stitch and Hyde leather goods.
“I’m passionate about working with other small businesses and promoting the bush where we can, so opening the store has been a dream come true.”
Juggling a new baby and opening the bricks and mortar store in a small town, combined with drought and the impacts of COVID-19 have certainly brought challenges, though.
“Obviously this region has faced drought for many years, which has a knock-on effect to so many small businesses and industries – including my own family’s sheep property,” she says. “On top of that, we’ve all had to face the impacts of COVID-19 and with that, restrictions on tourists to the area. So the first year in business has definitely been a steep learning curve. However, there has been so much support from our small community as well as the larger community who support the ‘Buy From the Bush’ movement and have been online shopping with us.”
Lillie is now gearing up for a busy Christmas season and will be welcoming even more local labels to Harry and Kit in the coming months, including MLM The Label, APT clothing, Angela Edwards Ceramics and there’s nowhere else she’d rather be doing it from.
“Goondiwindi is the perfect mix of relaxed country town and evolving region, so it’s an exciting time to be part of this community.”