In a few short weeks Merissa Watchorn will close the doors of her Yass store On Trend Clothing and walk away after more than 23 years working in the business.
It will be the end of an era at 168 Comur Street. Bob Roger purchased the fashion, footwear and accessories retail store from Charlie Dwyer in the early 1980s. Merissa started working for Bob as a retail assistant, was promoted to manager by new owners, Tom and Vanya Daniel, and then bought the store 12 years ago and made it her own.
After much deliberation she recently reached the difficult decision to close the business to spend more time with her family – her husband Doug and children Isabella and Mia – and follow a different path in life.
“It was a hard decision, but I need a change. I want to do something new and spend more time with my children,” Merissa said.
“It will be the end of an era. I remember being a kid and coming in here. Vanya offered me the business when I was seven months pregnant so my children have grown up here too.”
Merissa said she will miss her customers the most, many of whom have become firm friends.
“I’ve always felt privileged clothing and helping people and I would like to thank everyone who has supported me. I’ve had beautiful, loyal customers and I will miss them.”
Merissa acknowledged the retail sector has changed and the rise in online shopping has made running a country retail store difficult. She is most looking forward to putting her feet up, a luxury not often afforded to small business owners.
“My immediate plan is to have a holiday and then we will have to see what happens after that.”