Sally Fannin, Wendy’s Boutique

Wendy’s Boutique has pulled together an eclectic and highly varied range of designers from throughout the country and around the world to bring their clients a truly customised experience. Sally Fannin, the buyer and manager of Wendy’s Boutique, spoke to Apparel Magazine about the unique approach their business takes to their stock listing process. “We mix brands in a way that probably no other store in New Zealand does,” declared Fannin. “We have brands ranging from the top designer labels, all the way down to lifestyle brands and more casual dressing. This is one of our greatest points of difference.” By stocking such a variety of brands and styles, the boutique gives their consumers a unique ability to customise their looks, pulling the best elements from each brand they stock. “Surprising your customers and having something different to say, whether that is a collection of colours which contrasts with the mainstream or unique styling, that is what’s exciting.” The boutique’s brands include some of New Zealand’s most well-known labels, such as Trelise Cooper and Caroline Sills to much more niche brands like Elk and Twinset.

Despite the immense variation of brands and styles which occupy Wendy’s Boutique, there is one connecting factor which connects them all: Out of the box thinking. “It is the excitement factor which influences our decision making when we look at a new designer,” Fannin revealed. “We want to be inspired so that our customers are inspired. If someone is going to come along with the same old look, we will usually turn it down.” Fannin will look through a designers’ look book, alongside Wendy Simister, the store’s owner and founder, where they will get a feel for the brand to see whether it fits into the gaps they are trying to fill. “It is all about the look or feel of a brand. If they are not putting in the time to tell a story with their collections or create good images, they are not likely to get past the door.” While the boutique may have a rigorous scouting process, they are constantly buying and on the lookout for up and coming designers who are able to break past this wall and truly inspire them. “We are always on the lookout for new designers,” Finnan assured. “We’re constantly buying, and buying in smaller capsules so that we have new arrivals almost every day, all to keep things fresh and keep our customers excited.”

“We like the less-is-more attitude, so consumers can receive quality items that they can carry with them for far longer than products from those throw-away type fashion stores out there.”

Wendy’s Boutique is committed to encompassing fashion-forward thinking, by displaying the latest trends alongside timeless feature items. “We like the less-is-more attitude, so consumers can receive quality items that they can carry with them for far longer than products from those throw-away type fashion stores out there,” explained Finnan. Displaying the latest trends for Wendy’s Boutique does not mean giving in to fast fashion trends, for them it is all about the interpretation of a trend and the unique implementation of it into each designer’s collections. This could be taking a small part of the trend and twisting it to fit a brand’s individual aesthetic, or implementing the trend on a smaller scale, such as in an accessory rather than an entire garment.

Looking into the future, Wendy’s Boutique is committed to updating their business model to the changing times. “We have found that a lot of the shopping hotspots in our area in the smaller suburbs now, rather than in the Central Business Districts, and we are looking to follow that trend,” reported Finnan. “We will never be in a big mall as that is not our demographic. We want to be on the outskirts, for destination shoppers. We’re looking to open a smaller lifestyle store in the near future.” Wendy’s Boutique is preparing to take their unique fashion experience to a much larger audience.