PIC: Áine Farrell, (Proprietor) Marlena Malek, Mary McCormack and Doireann Boylan
There are two questions that Áine’s proprietor, Áine Farrell, asks herself every day: what is possible now? And how does it get better?
PIC: Áine’s proprietor, Áine Farrell
Answering those questions so often has clearly served her well as her ladies' fashion boutique celebrates its 30th birthday with major giveaways and discounts in store this weekend.
Áine’s will be hosting a two-day event in-store on Friday and Saturday with 30% off purchases as well as prosecco, goodies and €10,000 worth of prizes. Discount continues online at aines.ie on Sunday.
PIC: The modern shop front of Aine's featuring some of the summer collection now in stock
There will be 30 prizes in total, collectively worth €10,000. These will include, for example, vouchers for various brands, worth between €200 and €500.
It was in 1992 that Áine first established her ladies' fashion boutique, building her brand from the ground up.
“I moved back from Canada and I had two small kids and all my training was in retail and in the fashion world,” she told the Longford Leader.
“It was never my plan (to open a boutique) but it was about progression in life. We had just come out of a recession and I wanted to support my family for the future, but also to bring something new to Longford.
“I wanted a state-of-the-art shop. I was starting out with very little money but it was a success story from the day I opened.”
It wasn’t too long after the opening of the initial shop before the shopping centre moved to the other side of the town, prompting Áine to open a second shop in that prime retail area.
But, in 1996, she had the opportunity to move to a former menswear store on the Main Street, where she remains today, selling the very best of dresses, tops, jeans, shoes and other clothing and fashion accessories.
PIC: Selection of Lingerie available on the first floor
She soon realised the fashion market in Longford didn’t really cater for younger people, who had to travel further afield for certain brands.
“Young, trendy brands weren’t in the town so I created FABU and chased those top brands, so Longford had very high fashion. We brought the best of brands to Longford town.
“For a short period of two years, I had a shop in Athlone but life became busy and I had to balance life and work. Áine couldn’t be everywhere at once,” she laughed,
Then the opportunity came to purchase the Main Street building, allowing her to own her state-of-the-art shop with everything under one roof.
“So in 2006, I bought the building and renovated it to what it is today - 40,000 square feet of lingerie and fashion,” said Áine.
Since then there have been numerous renovations to keep the store fresh. Áine ensures the store is always stocked with the latest fashions and top brands such as Oui, Betty Barclay, Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Cain and Guess to name a few.
And Áine and her staff are constantly improving the brand, seeking new ways to make it better. The pandemic, for obvious reasons, threw a number of challenges their way but it was taken very much in stride.
“We developed Áine’s to an online business at www.aines.ie, servicing all over the country,” Áine explained.
“We created live events when the doors were closed and found new ways to promote ourselves. I love the challenge of having to think outside the box. We’ve always done that and kept on top of what’s new and kept it positive and upbeat, with an emphasis on value and quality over all else.”
Áine was also quick to express her gratitude to the team she has had over the years, many of whom received excellent retail training while working in the boutique, and her current team, Mary, Therese, Deirdre, Rita, Marlena, Aisling and Doireann.
PIC: Doireann Boylan and Marlena Malek
“I’ve had fantastic staff over the years and a lot of family have worked with me,” she said.
“I also want to express my gratitude to the customers and staff over the years who have supported me. It’s also great to have my son and daughter involved to take it to the next level.
“We really treasure our customers in Áine's, they will always be our main priority! We have built long-lasting relationships with so many lovely ladies over the years. Our mission is to provide each customer with a feeling of looking her best when they visit us.
“I think what has separated us from other stores, especially larger department stores, is our focus is on each individual customer’s particular needs. We also offer a full lingerie and bra fitting service, which is so important for clients, a correctly fitted bra can make such a difference for the rest of your outfit! Our amazing team, whom I am very grateful for, strive to provide the best personal styling and customer service we can offer.”
One of the many positive Google reviews for Áine’s reads: “I started in the online shop and ended up using Aine’s personal shopping experience. I’m delighted with the suggestions and advice I received and the choices made. It’s great to get an honest approach to the way clothes fit me and what looks best, and how to fill the gaps in outfit combinations. I’m thrilled with my purchases.”
Áine’s will be doing mega giveaways, never seen before, in celebration of the boutique’s 30th birthday on Saturday.
To be in the draw for one of the prizes, follow Áine’s on social media and you’ll be entered with any purchase up until 4pm on Saturday. Ten prizes will be won on Thursday, while the remaining prizes will be announced throughout Friday and Saturday.
For more information or to see what Áine’s has to offer, visit www.aines.ie
PIC: A section of the latest trends in fashion
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