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Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

On International Women’s Day we asked people to nominate great businesses in the New England run by women. We got so many nominations we had to break it down into a number of stories. In part 5, the final part of our series, meet a bookshop owner, beautician, a sweet box maker, and a real estate agent.


Yvonne Langenberg from Boobooks

Many of your may know her as the Labor Candidate for the Northern Tablelands in the last state election, but by day she is the owner of one of Armidale’s favourite stores, Boobooks, which has been running since 2006, and Yvonne bought in 2018.

“To have a bookshop with both used and new books and
be a centre for reading, learning, conversation with a coffee shop and music has been an ambition of mine
for very many years, so when I heard that Boobooks was closing at the end of 2018 my family urged me to make a case with the then owners to sell me the business instead. “

“The premises (in the Mall) were in the right place and the size was big enough for all my ideas.”

“I invited my friend Debby O’Brien to go halves with me and we bought the business in April 2019. Debby sold me her half in 2021.”

The bookshop now has an online presence, second-hand and new books, especially non-
fiction, a coffee shop and music performances at regular times.

“Covid put a temporary damper on that but is now back on track.”

“At least once a month there will be great music performed by fantastic musicians.”

“I also like to support local authors, and several have their books here in the shop.”

“Boobooks is not only a place for books, coffee, conversation, and cake, but also chess, backgammon, and bridge. These are set up on consecutive Saturdays in the month.”

Yvonne says her vision has always been to create a place where everybody feels welcome and is much more than just a
bookshop, but a meeting place to exchange ideas and learn about this amazing place we live in.


Marissa Cross from Ella Bache Armidale

Marissa Cross is one of Armidale’s most experienced and trusted beauticians.

“I opened my Ella Bache franchise salon in Armidale 2006 but previous to that I owned and ran a beauty salon with my mother for 10 years.”

“I wanted to expand my business as a passionate beauty therapist and to offer the best beauty and skin treatments to our community.”

“I also wanted to create the same career opportunities for other women in the New England region.”

Marissa and her team at Ella Bache Armidale offer a wide range of services including skin diagnosis, skin treatments, IPL services, Body treatments, Pamper packages, waxing, tinting, lash & brow services.


Natalie Bower from Sweet Boxes by Natalie

Natalie Bower began making Sweet Boxes in 2020 during the first lockdown period.

“My dad was turning 60 and I could not find any unique items to send to him in his region, he had to spend his 60th alone (like most of us).”

“I found there was a lack of the same in our local market, so I made some graze boxes for a bit of fun… and here I am!”

Natalie offers a range of sweet grazing boxes and personalised cookies as a delivery service, with free delivery in Armidale and Uralla.


Kari Maitz from Belle Property

Kari Maitz is a realtor who moved to Armidale at the end of 2018.

“I realised Armidale was an incredibly interesting regional hub that has so much to offer.”

Kari set up her own agency in the Belle Property group in January of this year.

“We bought Belle Property to Armidale to provide a female lead service that is empathetic, honest and professional.”

“I also saw our market shift and realised the importance of marketing to a wider audience to obtain the best results for our clients, COVID has changed the perception of living standards.”

Belle Property is a boutique real estate agency offering sales and property management in Armidale, Uralla, and the surrounding villages.


Thank you to everyone who nominated these amazing women and their businesses! This is the final piece in this series. You can review the other stories here.


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