Hear it From the Locals

Claire Haynes

April 2018

One of the latest business ventures to commence in Broken Hill is a dream come true for Claire Haynes and one that has been a long time coming. For Claire the opening of her new shop, The Tiny Cactus, started as a collection of aspirations she collated in a book. Claire’s passion stemmed from her own line of handmade silver jewellery, which she named Tom and Doris Designs in honour of her beloved grandparents, one off pieces of clothing and a variety of homewares. ‘I am looking to create a vibe that is different, funky and fun. I wanted people to know and feel that when they walk through the door they could be anywhere and are always welcome’.

Claire’s parents were born in the UK, Claire spent her childhood between the NSW Central Coast and London. Having moved around quite often, Claire settled on the Central Coast where she met her husband Tim who was from Broken Hill. Tim often mentioned how much he enjoyed returning to Broken Hill to visit his family and when it came time for him to complete his medical placement, as he was a medical student, Broken Hill was a favourable option. However, Claire was hesitant because she had always lived close to the ocean or a bigger city.

Fast forward a couple of years, multiple visits and two children later; Claire fell in love with Broken Hill. There was something that drew her to the location, ‘it was like taking a step back in time, in a good way. Old with new thinking, like a clash of the two worlds.’ Claire said. Claire believes Broken Hill is an amazing place to raise a family and can see that there are plenty of opportunities. ‘If you spend more time here you see the magic it holds and the people are wonderful, it’s such a community orientated town.’ Claire remembers a time where she became ill, and was overwhelmed by the offers of help and people bringing her food. ‘I feel that this is something uniquely Broken Hill.’

Thanks to the significantly affordable housing in Broken Hill, Claire and Tim were able to buy a home and make it their own. ‘We now have a home that has character and history, I couldn’t have even dreamt of owning anything like this house in other places that we have lived. In a family situation like ours, with young kids, it’s an opportunity to provide yourself and your kids a lifestyle you wouldn’t get anywhere else.’ Claire believes that ‘Broken Hill is unique, it’s something that you can’t really experience anywhere else. It really is an amazing town and I’m telling everyone to come out here because I can absolutely see the beauty.’ ‘I can’t see myself living anywhere else, it’s an amazing town’ said Claire.