Hello Marianne, can you please introduce yourself to our readers? Please tell us a couple of words about you.
Originally from Queensland, I have lived in Canberra for the past 40 odd years. It truly is the best place to live with 4 distinct seasons, easy peak hour commutes, great theatre and other entertainment, top-class restaurants, world-recognized tertiary institutions, and easy access to the mountains, the beach, the snowfields - and Sydney whenever the big city lights (and our adult kids!) beckon!
How long have you been working in the Manuka Swish store? Do you mind telling us how it all started?
I have been with Swish at Manuka since the store opened in March this year. Previously I had managed the Maggie T Stores in the Canberra Centre and Manuka and once the Company was going into voluntary administration Anita and I had been in contact.
The Swish customer base had been quite vocal (and disappointed) about the earlier closing of Swish in the ACT - but it was just a matter of finding the perfect location for Swish to return. Manuka is an ideal location and the Store is large and light-filled which makes it a great space to display the Swish range.
Who are your customers and what do you like the most about them? Are they mostly from Manuka or do they come from "abroad"? :)
I have worked in plus size fashion for the past 12 years and continue to feel great satisfaction from helping a customer find the perfect outfit that makes her feel confident and comfortable no matter her size, shape or height. Some of my customers I have known for the entire 12 years of my retail experience - and we have formed close bonds as they know I will give honest and reliable feedback alongside striving to find the 'perfect' outfit no matter what the occasion.
The Swish Manuka customers come from all over Canberra and from surrounding areas - some travel several hours from as far as down the Coast or out west.
Imagine a perfect day in Manuka… how would you spend it? Which places would you recommend to a visitor?
Manuka is a village and has that friendly, familiar vibe - like you are known and greeted warmly by everyone. Everything you could possibly want/need can be found in Manuka from cinemas, book shops, coffee places, restaurants, high-end fashion, European shoes, jewellery stores, toy stores, manchester, banks and groceries. I would suggest you park the car at one end and just walk popping into the many attractive offerings along the way. And when it's time to refuel you will be spoilt for choice.
We are lucky enough to have a superb patisserie right outside our door so our customers will stop for coffee and a sweet treat before coming into Swish to shop.
Once you lock the door of the Swish Manuka store, what do you do after work? Are you more of an outdoorsy type or do you prefer to stay in?
Canberra has very cold Winters (which I love as more opportunities to wear great Swish items!) so for that reason I tend to pursue indoor activities with lots of reading (planning the next vacation), cooking and always dabbling in interior design. But come the warmer months I love to be in the garden, visiting nurseries or just walking around the lake.
What is your favourite piece from Swish Fashion store? If you could take only one item to a desert island, what would that be?
I would start with jersey basics eg the black palazzo pants and a wide strap cami - both pieces perfect as the starting point for many different looks. Then I would add the Classic Orient Jacket or the Safari Queen Jacket for a great pop of colour.