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A roller-coaster week but the show goes on

The week started positively enough: our crazy Lady Ga Ga window went in, which created a real buzz, new stock was arriving and customers had returned from their summer holidays full of enthusiasm for our new collections.

The week started positively enough: our crazy Lady Ga Ga window went in, which created a real buzz, new stock was arriving and customers had returned from their summer holidays full of enthusiasm for our new collections.

Then things took a dramatic turn for the worse when I was the victim of a very abusive customer who stole from the store and made a violent attack on me. I was left shaken and frightened, trying to comprehend what had just happened.

Opening up the next morning I felt uneasy, but after several police reports I decided it was better if I put the whole incident behind me. This I managed to do as the following night was all about our customers when we held our ‘Cristina Experience’ evening for the second season running. Champagne flowed and the happy atmosphere was restored. Customers gave their valuable insights into our collections, completed questionnaires and helped us decide which brands to buy for spring 11 with the help of my photographs taken at buying appointments.

This fun evening reinforced my faith as to why I’m passionate about my business. However, it was to be tested once more when I learned of the tragic accident and death of mentor and fellow retailer Jonathan Wells, owner of iconic indie Questa in Cobham, Surrey. As one of his previous employees I was full of admiration for Jonathan’s insights into the retail business. The inspiration he passed on stays with me today and it’s this passion that helps all of us independents get through the tough days. He will be sorely missed by everyone in Cobham as well as in the industry.

The week ended on a high note - it was my birthday. Next week is yet to be written. From what I’ve learned recently, as in life in general, the show must go on.

Melanie Trevett is the owner of premium womenswear indie Cristina in Weybridge, Surrey

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