A NURSE for 30 years, Kelly Robson knows a thing or two about looking after people.
Only now, she is dressing them and making them look and feel like a million dollars. Well, women at least.
The Echuca mum of three has been run off her feet since opening Annabella Clothing two years ago, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“When you love what you’re doing, it’s not a job,” she said.
It was the same for nursing.
Unfortunately, after three decades in the profession, including 20 years at Echuca hospital, Kelly had to retire due to ill health.
So, she turned her farm into a makeshift animal rescue home.
“That became an expensive hobby, so I decided I needed to do something else,” she said.
And fashion was it.
“I grew up with fashion and always had an interest in it,” she said.
“My Mum (Annette Thompson) opened a dress shop called The Oak Robe in Echuca 40 years ago and I used to work there.
“I never thought I’d eventually get into fashion but here I am. I’ve come full circle.”
Annabella Clothing is a boutique shop stocking women’s clothing, shoes, jewellery and accessories.
“I stock little independent brands that aren’t mass produced,” she said.
“They are Australian designed and some are made in Italy. It’s fashion that’s a little bit different that you don’t see everywhere. And they are made from natural fabrics such as linen, cotton and silk.”
While quality plays a big part in her success, Kelly said customer service was paramount.
“I like to help style and dress women and give them advice and suggestions that they might not think about and help them find what they’re after,” she said.
“I also like to help them mix and match so they can get the most out of their clothes and not just wear them for one season.
“But it’s not just about selling clothes. I love meeting new people and making women feel good in what they’re wearing. They don’t need to follow the trends.”
With her parents owning businesses in Echuca (her father Brian Thompson owns Ag-Parts), Kelly knows the importance of shopping locally.
“Mum and dad always used to tell us to buy local because the money stays in the community,” she said.
Annabella Clothing is at 568 High St and is open seven days a week.