Michelle Baynes grew up on the sunny beaches of Perth, WA. Admittedly, she was always a bit of a beach girl and found moving back to the rural New Zealand was definitely a reality check. Five kids and 3000 cows later, Baynes has her own retail store just outside of Gore in Mandeville. Prior to this, she had worked on and off in retail for a few years and was a self-taught fitness instructor, but said her biggest job was raising five children on a dairy farm with her husband Bret. Now in her forties, she decided to take a job working in a quirky retail store called Money For Wine in Riversdale that sold recycled designer clothes and homewares. “Well look out forty, this was my calling,” Baynes added. She had always loved everything about fashion and loved the customers. “I could see there was a real gap in the market down our way for certain fashion lines and homewares, so I took the plunge and bought this small business,” she explained. Baynes wanted to grow Money For Wine alongside Miss Cocoa’s Coffee shop created by her business partner and sister-in-law in Mandeville. The name was credit to the former owner, but she kept it as she felt it fit all too well. Her passion for fashion has convinced Baynes that she may have a distant relative in the fashion industry.
Baynes wants her customers to walk away from her store feeling amazing and happy with their purchases, ready to return again. “If they are unsure I always say grab a coffee and see if you visualise yourself wearing it and loving it, then you can't leave without it. Nine out of ten, they gain trust in you as a sales assistant and become a very valued customer,” said Baynes.
In the next six months or so, Baynes would like to launch an online store as she has collected a number of sort after labels who have recently come on board. However, she still loves having direct contact with her customers and having valuable one on one time. Baynes would also like to host more events in-store for her customers, such as guest speakers or mums and bubs days. “Anything is possible even if you are forty with purple hair and still wear full length tulle skirts.”