Georgie King, a local woman was presented with a major career opportunity to make her dreams to own a fashion boutique come true, and that wasn’t all – she never dreamt of it growing and also becoming an online store.
The opportunity arose for Georgie to purchase the local clothing store in Casino called ARUM after she had been working in-store for the past 7 years under the then-owner Margie George. This popular ladies’ clothing store on the Northern Rivers, located in the heart of Casino is stocked with ‘must’ labels such as; Status Anxiety, Keepsake Label, Sass, and Betty Basics. The store has a social media following of over 2,800 and ARUM is quickly proving to be a popular store with locals, and passer’s by.
“Working so closely with the previous owner gave me a lot of insider knowledge of customer service and the general running of a business – it’s what inspired me to have this as a career. I really admired the previous owner Margie and she made me want to follow in the same footsteps,” Georgie, ARUM owner says.
When Georgie set out to reach her dream to become the owner of ARUM and to reach its full potential, she couldn’t do it alone and that is when she reached out to her local Westlawn’s Casino Branch for a business loan.
Westlawn’s Casino Branch Finance Manager, Ray Lindwall, on introduction immediately organised a meeting with Georgie. Financial records were discussed in in-depth conversations to ensure loan repayments were manageable alongside daily living costs.
“Westlawn had an existing relationship with Georgie and had known she had worked in the fashion business for some years and had a great understanding of running a business and its market. We encouraged her to involve other professionals to review the past business results and put together a business plan and cash flow forecast that would help support the level of borrowings Georgie was seeking,” Mr. Lindwall, says.
My experience with Westlawn was fantastic, Georgie continues, “Living in a small town, you get an idea of who they are and the professionalism they carry, on a day to day basis, even knowing this, Westlawn exceeded my expectations, I couldn’t recommend them highly enough,” Georgie states.
“Westlawn made me feel like my business, as small as it was, was the most important business in town, they really wanted me to succeed and that really shows as they drop into my store from time to time to see how everything is going,” she says.
Since taking on the business, Georgie has not only introduced other labels but has also taken the store to the next level by offering online purchasing. Since being online, sales growth has increased, which has led to Georgie focusing on increasing her digital footprint, reaching new customers, and continuing to increase sales.
“Georgie provided me with the confidence that she could not only manage the business but introduce new options for her clients that would help grow the business and make it a success. I already knew she was a hard worker so there was no question about any lack of effort,” Mr. Lindwall says.