Picton thrives with business women

Co-owners: David and Sandra Bunt have owned Picton Health Care Pharmacy for since 1993
Co-owners: David and Sandra Bunt have owned Picton Health Care Pharmacy for since 1993

"Girls can do anything" was the slogan of the 1980s which is probably why Picton was thriving with business women.

These days, many Picton shops are co-owned.

TVNZ Heartland revisited some stores in Picton last weekend, for their "There and Back" series, after an archived story sparked their interest.

The story reported that 80 per cent of businesses in Picton at the time were owned or managed by women.

Frances Pearson, who co-owns Take Note Picton with her husband David, said she had no idea there were so many women business owners in the 80s.

"It's really quite surprising."

Mrs Pearson said they have owned the bookstore for the past 12 years and have seen a lot of change.

"There has been quite a few changes since we have been around here . . . a lot of businesses have moved premises or changed hands."

She said she believes there are more partner-owned businesses in Picton now.

Another co-owned business in Picton is the Picton Health Care Pharmacy. David and Sandra Bunt have owned the pharmacy since 1993.

Mrs Bunt said she found it odd that women owned and managed the majority of shops in Picton during the 1980s.

Mrs Bunt said a lot of the businesses now were co-owned by couples. "It's a sign of the times, you see, everyone's equal."

Mr Bunt said although he didn't own the pharmacy in the 1980s, he was still around then.

"I don't remember noticing that - it could very well have been like that though."

One woman-owned business in Picton is Evolve. Jane Briggs has owned the store in the main street since March 2004.

She moved to Picton 15 years ago and bought the shop off its previous owner after they had it for just six months. "Well I needed a job to live in Picton.

"It's being going well."

Ms Briggs said she had no idea about women running so many Picton shops in the 80s.

"There is [still] a lot of women who work in the shops and businesses but how many technically own them?"

Marlborough district councillor Laressa Shenfield, who joined Heartland on their adventure, said it was very exciting and quirky to think that 80 per cent of businesses were owned or managed by women. "I would never have given it consideration to be honest.

"But Picton has changed in 34 years."

Ms Shenfield said there are no longer boutique style shoe and dress shops, which is probably why there are less women managing and owning stores than in the 1980s.

The "There and Back" series will begin screening on TVNZ Heartland in May.

The Marlborough Express