In today's retail landscape, small, locally owned businesses have a charm all their own, and that's especially true for Innocence and Attitude. I absolutely adore curating a selection of high-quality and unique clothing that lets your little ones express their personalities. But let's not sugar-coat it—running a small business like ours comes with its fair share of challenges.
Picture this: It's Spring 2023, the sun is shining, the weather is warming up, the store is starting to receive summer styles. And we are knee-deep in the painstaking process of 'indent ordering for Autumn/Winter 2024.'What's that, you ask?
Well, it's all about custom-ordering each collection specifically for our store, from each brand. In a nutshell all styles are made to order, for each store. It's a substantial financial investment and a huge challenge in trying to get it right. Predicting what is going to be needed, and in what quantity each season. And one of the most significant costs we shoulder.
Fun fact? The recommended retail prices (RRP) for these sought-after brands are non-negotiable, they are set by the brand/company, and are the same across Australia/New Zealand.
Becoming a 'stockist' for these brands isn't a walk in the park either. There's a healthy dose of politics and exclusivity involved. To be accepted as a stockist, we must meet their requirements as well as minimum order spends, and let's just say they can be substantial. Keep in mind, in our cosy regional town, having access to these fantastic brands is a luxury not everyone can enjoy.
There’s an inspiring message here about 'supporting and shopping local.' Maybe the lessons learned during the Covid era have driven this point home. When you choose to shop locally, you're not just buying clothes; you're supporting dreams and aspirations like ours and helping us bring the best in kids' fashion directly to your doorstep. You are also supporting Aussie designers. So, the next time you browse our collection, remember that it's more than just clothing; it's a labour of love and a commitment to our fantastic community.
On the flip side, it warms my heart to see the wide-reaching appeal of Innocence & Attitude. We're not just a local gem; we're a must-visit destination for folks traveling from near and far, Bendigo, Melbourne, Mildura, Echuca, Shepparton and beyond. Their excitement is infectious! I often hear them exclaim, "We have nothing like this where we are from," or "This is so cool!" They appreciate the convenience of finding a diverse range of fantastic brands under one roof. It's not uncommon for them to suggest, "You should open a store in [their hometown]," which speaks volumes about the unique shopping experience we offer. Knowing that our store brings joy to visitors from near and far is a testament to our commitment to providing something special to our cherished customers.
Now, let's talk about wearing multiple hats. Yep, that's me, Carrie-Ann, the owner and the face behind the scenes. I'm a one-woman show, steering this ship in all directions. I make every decision that shapes our journey, often clocking in over 60 hours a week.
Mondays? You will see Jess in the store. As those are my catch-up days for business errands and managing the bookwork for our second venture, Craig Robins Pest Control, which I co-own with my husband.
I handle everything from fielding online queries to personally packing every online order, designing and running our website, managing our social media presence, and balancing the books. I even roll up my sleeves for cleaning and merchandising, leaving no stone unturned to ensure Innocence & Attitude thrives.
So, there you have it—a peek behind the curtain of our world at Innocence & Attitude. It's a journey filled with challenges, but it's the smiles and support from our wonderful community and the excitement of customers near and far that keep us going.
Thank you for being a part of our story!