It’s been a week now since I won the award. The evening was wonderful. Lynn Faulds Wood who presented was charming, and the whole atmosphere was so positive about Richmond.
Since then the plaque has been on display in the shop. People have been coming in and congratulating me. It has coloured the whole week, but the thing is it’s not been quite like I imagined.
I bought the business, then just a newspaper and convenience shop, four years ago, at a time when I knew that any independent retail businesses with large fixed costs would face many challenges and competition from the internet and large chains. I was determined to take a fresh approach, make changes and work very hard to succeed.
My business focus is on personal attention as this fits exactly with my ideal of a shop where customers can be personally greeted, get newspapers and magazines, convenience items, and also access information on our community. For example I promote local businesses, other service providers, and the Richmond Society. I started the “Stitch N Fix” garment care services because I knew about tailoring from my early career. Pleasing customers is particularly satisfying and I’ve found that word of mouth has been a great way to build a customer base and probably amounts to 80% of my new business.
The Customer Service award has already brought in some new customers and I am very pleased by that. But the big thing for me personally is the really nice feeling I’ve had all this week that my hard work and focus on personal attention over the last four years in Richmond is appreciated.