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Standout Businesses of 2008

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Standout Businesses of 2008

Although the headlines have been full of depressing stories of economic doom and gloom at the end of 2008, plenty of Australian SMEs have nevertheless achieved great things in the past year. From an airline to a writer's centre, we picked our favourite achieving companies, from those with just five staff.

Moi Moi Fine Jewellery

Moi Moi Fine Jewellery was founded by sisters Lauren Chang Sommer and Alana Chang. Australia and New Zealand's exclusive distributors for Charles & Colvard created Moissanite fine jewels. In December 2004, when they were just 25 and 24, they opened Australia's first Moissanite store, introducing the world's fastest growing fine jewellery category to Australia and New Zealand.

The jewel sparkles with more brilliance, fire and lustre than real diamonds, but costs just one-tenth of the price. It has proved very popular, rapidly creating its own niche in the Australian market, and as a result Moi Moi launched its second store in New Zealand last October.

In August this year, Moi Moi won a City of Sydney Business Award in the retail fashion category. In the past 12 months, the business has had an enormous 82 per cent increase in wholesale customers, taking them from having 61 jewellers to 111 nationwide who purchase Moissanite for their own businesses. They have also had a 33 per cent increase in new retail customers. These rising figures point to the fact that Australians are becoming increasingly interested in purchasing quality yet affordable jewellery.