Michelle’s work recognised
FrontLine Buying Group, of which Michelle and Judds Yarrawonga are a participating member of, is a member owned retail group, designed to save independent retailers of Australia time, and help them increase profitability.
The group started in 1931 with four stores and now boasts a buying group with over 700 members.
The group also release a quarterly magazine called Upfront to participating members with insights from differing stores as well as tips and tricks with Michelle sharing her story in the end of financial year edition.
“It was really nice to be recognised by my well respected and long-standing industry peers during these incredibly challenging times,” Michelle said.
“You look at our little town and think ‘we are going alright’ but to get that recognition from your peers right across the state is fantastic.
“The process allowed me to look back fondly on the past 25 years in the industry and all that I’ve achieved as well as how far Judds has come.
“I still love what I do. I spend much of my time now working on the business and not necessarily on the shop floor.
“I love serving our customers and spending time merchandising…The shop floor is my happy place and fuels my passion.”
Her article came about after Frontline stores went out to see how their participating stores were performing after numerous lockdowns and were so pleased with their chat with Michelle that they decided to have her part of the magazine.
Throughout her article, Michelle speaks of her retail journey which began over 25 years ago which saw her go from a fulltime menswear employee to the employer of Judds Yarrawonga.
She also speaks of the one of the hardest aspects she has found in running the business, much like many other employers, in the last 18 months.
“Covid-19… I didn’t see that coming!” Michelle says in the Upfront magazine.
“My initial reaction of tears and fear for losing all of what I had worked for was overwhelming and telling my long-standing employees that I couldn’t keep them employed was heartbreaking.
“But my stubbornness for not giving in and the support of my husband and business tribe kept me going back day after day.”
Michelle also speaks of the different aspects to maintaining a successful business, two of those being the support around you and knowing your audience.
“I have learned to surround myself with people who have the expert knowledge in their field. Find a team that fits with you,” she said in the magazine.
“Understanding your demographics and connecting with your audience is also vital. You need to know your target audience.
“I am incredibly grateful for all I have learned and look forward to what’s next.”
Yarrawonga’s very own successful businesswoman and owner of Judds Yarrawonga Michelle Clark has graced the covers of a magazine to share her retailing story.