• Jade Ficarra

... The Aftermath

It seems the dust has settled after that "naughty" blog I posted after a traumatic customer service experience in July. Has it stopped the rudeness? Nope. In fact, I've been abused on Facebook and verbally abused in the street for it. Who knew that when you talk about a negative experience, you get such backlash for it. Granted, in my job I should already know that. it seems that people just want you to tell the good things and forget the rest. Well that is beside the point of that blog in the first place. Will it stop me from being honest? You're kidding aren't you? No no no no, it shall just spur on the beast.

However, this blog is a very honest piece about some amazing experiences I've had in recent weeks all including local businesses.

I have a six month old son, and like all crazy new mother's I want the very best for him. Goodness, his pram has a speedo, headlights and an iPhone charger, so when I say I want the best for him, obviously I mean "US". But we were recently presented with an opportunity to have a photography session with a reknowned photographer in Mildura who was unavailable when he was first born. Can I just say, that Gretta, who took his newborn photos was wonderful, and Stacy Wilson is wonderful, amazing & brilliant too.

Her space is just devine, her ability to get the best out of babies and kids is ridiculous, and then she underpromised and over delivered. It was an experience that Peyton and I shall never forget (well he probably won't remember much) and the photo's this woman produced are amazing. In fact, I got tears. Tears. Granted, being a new mother the Barry Hall Kleenex ads give me tears, but you know what I mean. I was so touched by her service and her work that I was truly overwhelmed.

Still on the baby subject, I went for a look at Mint Soda, a shop for babies and kids in Swan Hill. Paula could not do enough to help me. I actually just went in looking for a romper for a friends little girl and came out with a new Love To Dream bag, a few things for my little boy and a gorgeous little romper for the little princess. Granted, it was possibly the first time I've been into the store, and that kind of service now has me sticking my head in each time I'm in town and regularly checking their Facebook page.

TTN Baby Warehouse (CENM clients) are still amazing when it comes to service. They're been like my private pregnancy and baby consultants since I found out I was pregnant, and Sarah has done it once again. Peyton had a little trouble with teething and colds this winter so as a last resort I figured I should try those '"hippe beads". Ok, so they're actually Baltic Amber Beads but I'm a subscriber to science. SO I asked her about them and was told quite honestly that a lot of mothers have success with them, others don't see a difference but she herself has recently decided to try them to help ease her migranes and headaches. With great gusto she proclaimed that under no circumstances would she ever take it off as she's not had a single headache since putting it on. Tick.

Greg Cruickshank Photographics, again Greg is my go to for photo and canvas printing because he's local, he knows what he's doing and he's honest! I wanted some canvas's done for Father's Day so all I have to do is email the pics to Greg and if he has an issue or doesn't understand what I want, he calls me. Try doing that with Snapfish or Vistaprint!! Granted, he had a little mishap with the printer and so couldn't get them done on time for me on time but was completely transparent, honest and incredibly apologetic so I wasn't bothered at all. I'll just pick them up next time I'm in town. I've seen what he has done so far though and they look STUNNING. Unfortunately photography stores are a dying thing, so please go see Greg and support him. He really does know his stuff.

Fashion Affair, Northern Shoe Store and Dresseme (CENM clients) are places I continue to shop at above online and city shopping simply because they know what will fit and suit me much better than an ecommerce website or a city sales assistant. It's so nice being about to walk in, say what you're looking for and being shown things that you do actually like rather than just trying to be sold things. With this in mind, I've recently undertaken a little bit of an experiment to illustrate the difference in quality, fit and satisfaction you get between shopping online & out of town compared to shopping locally and I'm nearing the end of said experiement with astounding results. That will be published in a later blog.

Eating & drinking. Two of by favourite passtimes. Also, done extremely well in our region, partly because of the produce we grow here, but also because of the passion of the people. Andy & Mandy at Seasons Mildura & The Spanish Bar & Grill live and breathe customer service along with local food and wine and so does John Tripodi at Quo Vadis Restaurant in Swan Hill. They really want to give you a full dining experience when you dine with them, and that is indeed what you get. Not to mention, it's a lot cheaper to have a beautiful experience here than in the city. I know, I know, you think they're pricey places, but after having dinner in Melbourne on Monday night and paying $80 for a small pizza, 6 oysters and 2 beers, I can assure you that we have it VERY good when it comes to the price and quality of our hospitality operators.

I'm sure there's more because I have been "stimulating the economy" a bit lately, but I was just so warmed by the wonderful service I've been given that I had to tell everyone about it and it's not just to prove I only write about the negative stuff. It's also not a bid to stop getting abused whilst shopping, but that would be nice.

So get out and Buy Local - get your coupon books and go shopping. You really will enjoy yourself.

#buylocal #eat #drink #food #retail #fashion #service #photography #babies