Issue #4 MASON and FRANCIS
When small towns band together...
This independent boutique (formerly Francis & Francis) has gone from strength to strength since taking over the business 2 years ago.
Since the beginning, Tania has rallied her local community and sparked fierce ‘shop local’ support by locals in the coastal town of Port Fairy and surrounding towns. This spirit and support has never been stronger than the last 6-7 week. We have looked on with utmost admiration.
Through Covid, Tania has been opening by appointment and continuing to offer her customers a truly unique shopping experience and service - whatever shape that took during these unprecedented times. She has even hand delivered many a parcel direct to her customer’s door-step!
Tania has shown true courage, rallying her local community and banding together with overwhelming success.
Hats off to Tania & thank-you.
MORE THAN JUST A STORE
Why did you decide to open your business?
A life changing event caused me to rethink the direction my life was going in. From a young age, I adored fashion and constantly scoured op shops. I love making women feel special and helping them to find their own style.
What makes the experience special for your customers when they visit your store?
At Mason & Francis everyone feels welcomed and they have fun shopping at my store. The entire space is light filled and serene. People love shopping with me because 80% of my stock is Australian / New Zealand designed and made using natural fibres.
What tips would you give a person if they were planning to start a business?
You need to go into business not having an ego. Being on ‘L-plates’ and not afraid to seek out advice from people you admire because every day is a learning curve. Don’t assume anything.
What has the C-19 crisis taught you?
I quickly recognised I needed to come out of this crisis, smaller, smarter, skilled and smiling and scaled my business accordingly. At the end of the day, taking back the time to spend with family and friends is vital, that is where all true joy comes from.
How do you manage stress?
A barefoot walk on Port Fairy East Beach.
What’s your idea of a great day?
A walk on the beach, a beautiful outdoor lunch with great company, rustic food and wine.
What’s your ideal holiday?
Noosa. Going for a morning run in the National Park followed by a swim at Little Cove and a long lunch of Spaghetti Marinara at Bistro C.
If there were 8 days in a week, what would you do on the extra day?
Sail. I find sailing the most exhilarating and yet calming pastime and I love being physically active.
If you turned back the clock 20 years, what advice would you give yourself?
Be brave and believe in yourself. Take the first step on the path you truly want to be on. It’s scary but it actually took me 30 years to believe in myself.
Now restrictions are easing, what is the thing you are most looking forward to?
Dining out at the Merrijig in Port Fairy, being able to welcome visitors back into our region and seeing my beautiful nephews in Melbourne.
How do you think society will change post C-19?
People will appreciate all the little things in life, simple pleasures and I believe all Australians will feel blessed to live in such an amazing country. I also believe there will be a softening of consumerism it is the perfect time to buy quality over quantity and support our local industry.