Morrison top dog in Fremantle

WHAT happens when you get a couple who have little prior experience in fashion nor any understanding of the industry and name their shop for their dog? An award winning business with sales around Australia and into South East Asia.

It is also in the process of looking to replicate its success in the eastern States with a store either in Sydney or Melbourne.

Husband and wife team Richard Poulson and Kylie Radford run Morrison on Fremantle’s busy Market Street.

The store has been named for their eight year old Kelpie-Labrador cross Morrison who bears the title of CEO and spends most days in the shop greeting customers.

Their business was named Fremantle Business of the Year and also won the Retail Business Award in this year’s Fremantle First Business Awards.

The business sells clothing, manchester and giftwares, body-care and underwear, however, its main winner has been a range of clothing designed by Ms Radford.

The clothes, particularly the pants, have become much sought after because they are flattering to most women and fit well.

That has led to their clothes being sought for boutiques in Noosa, Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore and even Ireland.

In some cases shop owners and even some of the label’s agents have actually asked people wearing the clothes where they bought them.

Mr Poulson said the company now had plans for Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

The Sydney agent is fashion designer Lisa Ho’s sister. She also covers Queensland for the WA boutique.

"She wants to take the clothes to New Zealand," Mr Poulson said.

He said he and his wife had seen a niche for a "funky" underwear store that also sold giftware.

"We developed this store around that concept and then 12 months ago Kylie designed these clothes," Mr Poulson said.

"We started hearing stories of people stopping people in the street and asking where they got their pants.

"We have one store in Noosa that sells between 50 and 80 pairs of our pants on a Saturday."

The store’s clothing varies in price from $100 to $180.

Mr Poulson said he and his wife had not really gotten involved with the fashion industry.

"It’s an industry we don’t understand," he said.

"We’re just about working hard, going about our business and not worrying too much about the fashion parades. We’re just concentrating on building our business."

The company has also enlisted the services of business coach Mark Stock who has worked with the likes of Wesfarmers and St George Bank.

"He became involved with us because his wife had a lot of our pants," Mr Poulson said.

And as for the CEO. His main role appears to be customer relations and he certainly appears to be good at it.

He actually accompanied one loyal Morrison customer to the beach recently to ensure she had a good time.

Mr Poulson said some customers actually brought their children in just to see Morrison.

"There have been tears on occasion when he hasn’t been here," he said.

Other winners in the Fremantle First Business Awards were Sealanes, which won the WA Business News Commerce and Industry Award, The Sail & Anchor Pub Brewery – Tourism Award; and Seaforce Marine Diving Service – Micro Business Award,

Dr Patricia Kailis was inducted into the Business Hall of Fame.


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