According to Kerri Whan shopping for clothes should be fun, not a chore. There’s enough stress these days claims Kerri without having the additional worry of how to dress oneself.
“We believe all women, no matter who they are or what they look like, should feel amazing in their clothes and have fun doing it,” explains Kerri.
It’s what she calls the fun factor.
“At Fashion Envy women can browse for clothing freely, without feeling any pressure to buy” she explains. ”We listen and offer advice only when asked.”
Kerri and her associate, Anne Boldt, look upon what they do as a form of artistic expression.
“We consider ourselves to be stylists rather than clerks. We want the individual to feel good about what they’re buying,” explains Kerri. “We want to create a fun shopping experience, something that leaves the customer with some beautiful clothing and a smile on their face.”
For Kerri that philosophy has taken on an even greater importance during the pandemic.
“We like to think we lift people’s spirits,” explains Kerri. “We like nothing better than when a customer asks that we remove the tags so they can wear the clothes right out of the store.”
Throughout the pandemic, Kerri has kept her focus squarely on what she enjoys.
“I guess you could say I’m living the dream during a nightmare,” is the way she puts it.
From an early age Kerri Whan had been drawn to the world of retail. Born and raised in this area, she eventually attended college where she received a diploma in Business Marketing.
Following several years of experience in the retail industry, in 2015 Kerri opened her first boutique in Smiths Falls before moving it to Perth in 2017.
“I’ve always had a great support group from my family, as well as various mentors and friends,” she says. “I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Kerri approaches her business more as a friend than a sales clerk.
“I thoroughly enjoy finding clothes that give women a boost of confidence,” she explains. “I wanted my boutique to feel comfortable and to be a welcoming place where women of all shapes and sizes could take a deep breath and know there was no judgment.”
It’s the kind of approach that naturally puts helping before selling.
“Ladies come here looking for help,” explains Kerri. “They’ll say this is what I’m dressing for or this is what I need. They welcome the advice and appreciate the honesty in our feedback.”
Kerri is is well aware that a nice piece of clothing properly sized can be a great pick-up during difficult times.
“In the end, if I have a customer who leaves feeling good, I know I’ve done my job,” she explains.
These days of uncertainty and lockdowns has forced Kerri to think outside the box. While her website has helped in that regard, she still finds that a phone call or an email has been the preferred method of communication with her customers.
The pandemic has made it impossible for many to shop in-person, including Kerri who is unable to attend the trade shows that she would usually go to.
“Ordering these days is a real shot in the dark,” she says. “I listen closely to my customers to see what’s trending and to try and keep my finger on the pulse of what people are looking for.”
It’s a challenge, but it’s one that Kerri meets with her customary optimism. She’s well aware that these days what she does “is not for the faint of heart.”
Still, despite the challenge, she considers herself to be lucky to be doing what she does.