THE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
The vision I had when I was establishing both my boutique in Parramatta and Rose Bay was to create a space which was easy on the eye and relaxing. I felt the shopping experience had become too noisy over the years as our society lost the essence of class and shopkeepers became greedy for attention with too much colour and bright lights. My personal shopping memories were not pleasant - I always left the mall feeling tired and with a headache.
Shopping centres had become too chaotic and loud for my liking. Stores competing for attention with the roar of the crowds - it gave me anxiety and I’m sure many people feel that way too.
I remember walking into a store in NYC and the music was so loud it was worse than a nightclub, I was not immune to it like the sales staff were. I raised my voice as I couldn’t hear myself and the girl looked at her colleague and asked, why is she shouting? They lost a sale and a customer and let me tell you I was ready to spend with a loaded up credit card.
Shopping is a very stressful experience these days and I wanted to create a space that had a soothing ambience. Yes, I do occasionally get the odd ignorant person who complains about the lighting saying it was too dark in my boutique (which in fact is easy on the eyes), but I simply say to them, when you wear this gown will you be sitting in candle light or hospital light?
I play soft classical music because the sound of voices overlapping can be annoying. If I have a client in the store I usually switch off the music so I can focus on the sound of my client's request. I want to give my customers all the attention with no distractions so we can create the pleasant experience for them and they can walk out with a happy feeling with no headaches.
My lengthy retail experience over the years, working at places such as the flagship Cartier store in London to David Jones in Sydney, has given me an insight of what's missing and what needs to be addressed in the shopping experience.
I don’t shop online and never will. It doesn’t give me pleasure and I don’t know what I am paying for, what the quality of the garment will be like or anything. Sure it’s easy to flip open your mac book and spend in your Pj’s without having to brush your teeth, but that's where the problem starts, people have become too lazy to get up and dress up to go about their day! I see more women in active wear than a pretty dress. Society has become so lazy they forgot how to present themselves in public.
Bring the luxury of shopping back!