Recently Myaree Salvos Stores undertook a challenge; to turn their store into a late night fashion venue for one night only. Today, Robert Batchelor, Store Manager at Myaree Salvos Stores, will be telling us how he did this.
“OK so we’ve come up with a great, exciting concept, and a huge undertaking. The pressure is on! Can we achieve this in just three months? Well yes we did but not without the odd set back along the way, but hey pressure is character building, right?!
So how do you get the ball rolling? With so many things to consider, where do you start? Yep you guessed it the good old list! Starting with the where, when, who, sounds straight forward enough doesn’t it? However there are a lot of other factors to consider or dare I say it….. drive you crazy! Even something as simple as picking the date can be challenging. You pick your date and time, then you find out there are two other events happening at the same…… cue total rethink!
With the date set its time to organize our models, which let me tell you is no mean feat when said models are all volunteering and scattered all over Perth. Don’t even mention the fittings, but we’ll get to that!
Models set to go and all is right with the world. Next time to source some amazing garments from our awesome donations, this was in fact by far the easiest part of the entire process as our store is self-sufficient and packed with incredible pieces.
Then disaster strikes……..due to unforeseeable circumstance we have to change the date….. yet again. Half the models regrettably drop out with pre-existing commitments at the date change. Cue frantic calling on all friends, social media and asking random people on public transport “do you want to be a model?”…… “It’s for a great cause!” You know what they say about desperate times, they call for desperate measures!
Now we have our new models, but new models means different heights and sizes therefore different outfits. Once again we are saved by the fantastic stock in Myaree Salvos Stores. Thank you to all who generous donate to Salvos Stores, we could do nothing without your overwhelming generosity.
So we are well under way with planning, but we need to invite guests. Not much point doing all this without anyone there to see and purchase! A quick scribble on the back of a receipt led to a flyer being produced ….. we didn’t hand out receipts I promise!
Finally our invitations are sent out and excitement in store is reaching a mad frenzy! Time to pull together 200 chairs and what seems like miles of red carpet for the cat walk. At this point I’m thinking to myself that I am so happy that I am not walking in the show, little did I know that just a week later id be trying not to fall of the runway for Re-Style at Perth Fashion Festival! But that’s another (mortifying) story for another time!
Just when it seems like it’s all coming together I remember I still haven’t been able to pin down a DJ with their own equipment who is willing to donate their time! Unfortunately this didn’t get us very far, and it’s absolutely impossible to find a willing DJ on public transport…. trust me! Just as I started to think up different ways of getting suitable music pumped into the store, a friend I haven’t seen for a while pops in for some bargain hunting. Whilst I was taking her through the racks of goodies she asked “what’s new?” to which I reply “we’re having an awesome fashion show with late night shopping and a silent auction, you should come”. “Great do you need any help, dressers, greeters, a DJ perhaps!” she asks. Trying to contain my excitement, I say “Now you mention it I am struggling to find a suitable DJ!”
With one brief call, it was all arranged. My only worry now is that everyone turns up and the place didn’t get overrun with pestilence or get wiped out by a freak tornado! Trust me these things and many other equally ridiculous scenarios run through your mind at a dizzying rate when you’re under pressure!
The day has finally arrived, and it went a little something like this….
8:00 am I arrive with my team to start cleaning and clearing.
9:00 am Store opens for trading and it’s all hands on deck.
1:00 pm We start to load floor stock into cages to store for the duration of the evening
2:00 pm Store closes and we start to collapse racks to make way for red carpet and chairs.
4:00 pm Red carpet and chairs arrive and we quickly put these out. Time to decorate; using the multiple picture frames, which I had previously painted black. We re-dressed all mannequins in black and white outfits.
5:00 pm Models start arriving and go straight to back rooms for preparation and a practice on the runway.
5:30 pm Models are changed and ready. The team and myself are dressed all in black. Quick head count and two models unaccounted for! I resist the urge to have a palpitation and instead reach for our friend Mr mobile phone!
5:40 pm OK one model found but one still MIA and we open doors to the public in twenty minutes……………!
5:50 pm I’m not sure how but we found a replacement model who can get to the store by 6:30, a half hour before the show, can we pull this off with no fitting and no run through?
6:00 pm The doors open to the public and the shopping frenzy begins, all staff on hand, and everyone having a great time.
6:30 pm The replacement model arrives and is whisked out back to change and be briefed on the walk.
6:35 pm It’s now horrifyingly obvious the replacement model is two sizes bigger and taller than model that attended fitting!
6:45 pm Saved yet again by what I now call miracle stock and new model is dressed and ready, I have now aged another ten years!
7:00 pm The show starts to much cheering and clapping.
7:10 pm The finale dress receives the noise I was dying to hear, the great big collective intake of breath from the seriously impressed public! Yes that’s correct all this work for ten minutes, and yes, it’s worth it!
7:15 pm The silent auction heats up and the sales resume….. happy days!
9:00 pm The doors close and everyone has had a great time leaving with arms (and dollar bags) full of brilliant finds.
Robert Batchelor is the manager of the Myaree Salvos Store in southern WA. Robert comes from a background in fashion design, styling and retail, having worked in these fields for over 15 years before joining Salvos Stores over 3 years ago.