Denise Phillips took over ownership of Deniliquin women's fashion store My Shop as a challenge, and has succeeded.By Zoe McMaugh
When Denise Phillips decided to buy local business My Shop in January 1992, she was looking for a change of pace.
And it seems the long-time local has found her niche, celebrating her 21st anniversary as the proprietor of the Napier St store this week.
Denise was working as an advertising consultant at the Pastoral Times when she decided to make the move to being a business owner.
It was after seeing My Shop advertised for sale in the Pastoral Times.
‘‘I had such great customers at the PT, but I felt like I needed a change,’’ Denise said.
‘‘I had always liked clothes and while I was at the PT the My Shop ad was in the paper.
‘‘Janet Danckert (now Arnold) had it for eight years before that, and I went to see her.
‘‘She was on the other side of the street, where the NAB Agribusiness office is now.
‘‘She was great in showing me the ropes, and took me to Melbourne to buy some stock.’’
Denise was enjoying being a business owner, but later felt she also wanted to a be a shop owner.
She and her husband Steve bought the former Butcher’s Butcher Shop building on the opposite side of the street, at 40 Napier St, and My Shop has been there ever since.
When Denise first took over the business she stocked three main labels - Jump, Diesel and Image.
She still deals in Jump, but said the labels and fashion styles have changed many times over the years.
‘‘Lots of things have changed in fashion,’’ she said.
‘‘Some labels have come and gone, and the styles have too.
‘‘But I have always felt I have quite a classical style in ranges.
‘‘The labels can often rotate, but at the moment I have Jump, The Ark, Aero, Meredith and Free Woman, and they are generally sizes 8 to 18.’’
Realising her customers were seeking more than clothes when they came to her shop, Denise soon expanded.
‘‘Lots of girls would come in and ask ‘do you have a little necklace to go with this?’,’’ she said.
Handbags, jewellery, shoes and a range of Bellissima under garments are now also available. And Denise always has the latest styles of Oroton sunglasses as well.
Not many local specialty shops have lasted as long as My Shop, and Denise says she still enjoys her job every day.
‘‘I still love it,’’ she said.
‘‘I have met lots of interesting people, and I have had some customers shop with me from the start.
‘‘The children of some of those women now come in.
‘‘Deni is a great little town, we support each other.’’
Denise specifically wanted to thank all her customers for a great 21 years, and many more years to come.
She also thanked Bernadette Wilson, who worked with her for 15 years up until early in 2012, and her new shop assistant Clare Muldoon for helping her meet the needs of local women.
To celebrate My Shop’s 21st birthday, Denise has slashed 50 per cent off all clothing in store.
‘‘Come in and see myself or Clare and take advantage of the birthday specials,’’ Denise said.
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