Hi I&A customers,
Some of you may already know me, but for those that don't, my name is Jess, and I work at Innocence & Attitude.
I have lived in the area for over 30 years. I finished my schooling here and started my first job just next door to where I&A is now, at Ian Ray Electrics, 22 years ago. Carrie-Ann and I have been friends for 24 years, and I love having her crazy in my life. Gosh, all these numbers are making me feel old.
As we all know, Carrie-Ann is a very busy working mum, and this isn't her only business. I started at I&A when she was in her first store at Swan Hill North by popping in to look after her shop and to help her customers when she had appointments or her "mum duties" called and when she could get away for a rare family holiday. I was glad to help and appreciated being included in such an amazing local business.
I remember Carrie-Ann sharing with me that it was her dream and desire to open a children's clothing store in Swan Hill. She wanted to offer affordable, good quality and cool clothes to the kids in Swan Hill.
As a friend, I have loved having a front-row seat and watching her succeed and accomplish this dream.
Over the years, she has moved her store to the shopping hub of Swan Hill. She has raised stock levels and introduced new lines like kids' jewellery, sunglasses, and bags.
She also created and runs I & A's online store solo.
She's been able to satisfy her customers by expanding her sizes to include toddlers and babies.
It is fast becoming a one-stop shop to dress all aged kids.
Seeing Innocence and Attitude supported by Swan Hill locals and the surrounding towns has been amazing. But also a 'must-visit store' for visitors to Swan Hill.
I started my regular shift in the store on Mondays when she moved into her current location in Beveridge St a few years ago.
Although I'm here helping her beautiful customers, Carrie-Ann is still in full work mode, doing all the behind-the-scenes work and researching new brands and styles to offer kids who want to be dressed in all the latest cool clothes.
So many of the conversations I have with our local customers and holidaying families are about how lucky Swan Hill is to have a store like this. I couldn't agree more. I think back to what we had to choose from while I was growing up here, and there wasn't a shop like this that caters to kids' individual styles and personalities while offering amazing quality.
I am also a busy working Mum, and I have always felt fully supported by Carrie-Ann that family comes first. I have three beautiful children. A daughter that's 13, and 2 boys, 11 and 10. They all enjoy coming into the store to see Carrie-Ann and to browse the clothes. 2 of my kids love picking out their own clothes and can easily find many styles they love and will head to the changerooms with their arms full. My 3rd doesn't like trying on clothes; I know many parents can relate to this. I love that I can easily choose styles right off the racks that I know he will be happy with while for- going the dreaded changeroom melt down.
I look forward to coming to work on a Monday and jumping at the chance to do extra hours. There is never a dull moment with Carrie-Ann. My shifts are always full of laughter while we share what is going on in our lives. But it's not just my working relationship with Carrie-Ann that I love about working at I&A. It is the beautiful customer base we have. Everyone is friendly and accessible, with a smile when they pop in. While some people are after advice on styles and sizes, others are happy to stay for a while and browse, finding some gems on the racks that they know their kids will love, and others are simply coming in to say "hi".
Seeing the kids that come into the store, choosing their clothes and watching them grow, working their way up through the sizes is a joy. It's also lovely to hear the kind words from the parents when they tell us it's such a shame that their kids have outgrown our largest sizes and they will miss coming into the store.
It is my pleasure to assist you guys in dressing your children.
And thank you, Cazz, for making Innocence and Attitude such an amazing place for me to work.
See you in the shop,