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This Week Wendy Celebrates 35 years In Business

 35 Years in Fashion
 
It’s hard to believe that Wendy has been beaming her sunny smile into the fashion industry for 35 years. For a start she looks far too youthful, but there is also no sign of burnout, or of just having had enough of the cut and thrust. Fashion is a notoriously unforgiving industry, with many falling by the wayside. Yet Wendy continues to radiate gorgeousness and goodwill. Clearly beneath the unerringly happy façade is a gritty businesswoman, who has the metaphorical balls to back herself, put it all on the line, and keep changing with the times to keep her business relevant and successful.
 
Wendy took the plunge into fashion in March 1984. With her younger sister Sandy beside her as manager, she set up a boutique in Tauranga – remarkably, in the same location of the Plaza that she still operates from today. Thirty-five years ago Tauranga itself was a very different place. In the 80s there was an older demographic, so a high-end boutique fashion for younger women was a niche market, and in order to be successful Wendy had to establish her own point of difference.
 
 35 Years
 
That point of difference is still one that she stands proudly by today; she values the personal relationships that she has with customers, and considers superb customer service pivotal. Her desire to ‘go the extra mile’ ensured that she also captured a market outside of the city, and many of those further flung ladies, as well as locals, are still loyal customers to this day. Of course with globalization and online shopping, her reach in 2019 is far and wide, however the premise on which she started is the same. Her aim is to provide first class fashion, with first class service.
 
 35 Years Staff
 
To get an insight into Wendy and her workings, ahead of her 35th celebration week we sat her down for a few questions.
Q: It’s impressive to have thrived in business as long as you have, what do you consider key to your success?
A: I absolutely believe that at the heart of my success are my incredible staff, past and present, our amazing loyal customers and all the talented designers and suppliers I have worked with over the years. Maybe another factor would be my sheer determination to keep finding new and exciting fashion.
 
Q: What drew you to boutique, top-end fashion?
A: Easy! My love of both fashion and people. My three sisters and I were all influenced by our beautiful grandmother, who was incredibly creative. She taught us how to sew, how to embroider and knit - and she made us exquisite doll clothes, which I cherished.
 
Q: When you set out, thirty-five years ago, what was the biggest rookie mistake that you made?
A: I can’t actually pin down one big mistake, but this business and industry is constantly changing so I’ve been kept on my toes the whole time. It has been a continual learning experience
 
Q: As a young female businesswoman, was it hard to secure the luxury brands that you wanted to stock?
A: When I first started I made appointments with all the brands I wanted to stock. I remember being so nervous but I had to portray confidence in order to get the suppliers and designers to back me. Years later many of those same people have become personal friends.
 
Q: How have you managed to simultaneously cater to the customers who have grown alongside your business, whilst also factoring in a new market?
A: I’ve found that the constant changes in fashion keep customers interested and stimulated. Then you add to this the fact that we are always searching for new and exciting designers and products to bring to our customers. Social media and online shopping has given us an exciting opportunity to bring on board new clients who may otherwise not have had the opportunity to shop with us.
 
Q: Does the current shift of emphasis to online shopping and social media in fashion gel with the principles you have based your business around?
A: It’s interesting. Even though online shopping and social media has changed business hugely, we remain true to our principles of great personal service, whether it’s in person or online, and beautiful presentation and packaging. Our Facebook and Instagram often feature staff wearing the garments to keep the personal touch.
 
Q: How do you want women to feel when they shop in your store?
A: I always want women to feel loved, inspired and empowered when they shop in our store. Our customers are the lifeblood of our business.
 
Q: And finally, what’s the secret to your unwavering passion and enthusiasm for your business?
A: I absolutely love my business; it is part of who I am. I love my customers and the incredible team of women I work with. The constant change in fashion keeps me inspired and I’m exhilarated by the never ending search for ‘what’s next?’
 
 35 years in business
Written By Nicky Adams

8 comments

  • Annie Grennell: March 27, 2019

    Wendy, you are such an inspiration. Love the photo with Jan, Hannah and Sally, very special for you all. Your hard work and determination is incredible and I sincerely wish you Years more success. You belong to a very special family who I am privileged to know and share part of my life with too. Very best wishes for continued success and enjoyment Wendy. See you soon. Love Anniex

  • Annette Bainbridge : March 27, 2019

    Congratulations Wendy on celebrating 35 years in Business. When you enter “Wendy’s” It’s wow, so beautiful and the clothing is unique and never dates. You have always recognised your success by thanking your Staff, no doubt they are lead by an inspiring role model so it’s a win /win bonus. We look forward to many more years of fabulous fashion.

  • sharon: March 27, 2019

    Congratulations WENDY. What an incredible Milestone, (one Im sure you will conquer again in 5 , 10, and 15 years to come.)
    Everyone whom has had the pleasure to meet you is blessed Wendy, blessed from your outer and inner beauty, graceful etiquette, and positive energy.
    Thank you for being

  • Marina: March 27, 2019

    A beautiful lady inside and out who delights in making women look and feel amazing, with a genuine caring heart.

  • Marg Seavill: March 27, 2019

    Congratulations Wendy on 35 Year’s.of a wonderful business I can remember the day you opened can’t believe 35 years have passed by. I have had some lovely purchases over the years and your wonderful staff that also became friends.
    You must be very proud of yourself on such a successful business it is such a joy to walk into your wonderful shop and especially the change of seasons.
    Well done Wendy

    Love Marg Seavill

  • Carolyn Tordoff: March 27, 2019

    Happy Happy 35 years in business Wendy .
    You certainly are an Icon in the Fashion world .
    I can remember when you started and I just love coming over from Morrinsville to visit your shop . Your staff are amazing and also your merchandising is a credit to you all.
    I Hope you have a wonderful week with many many more years to come.

    Cheers Carolyn Tordoff.

  • Anne Gemmell: March 27, 2019

    Congratulations Wendy. Thirty five years is a great milestone. I will always remember your kindness to my sister Gay who found it difficult to try on in the shop in those early years. You always sent her home with an armload of clothes to try at home when she could manage. So wonderful. And always enjoyed seeing you when I came to Tauranga to visit. Unfortunately I don’t come very often now but I have bought online so I am still a dedicated customer.

  • Robin Davis: March 27, 2019

    Well done girls. Such a lovely friendly shop. Time I popped in again.

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