Come meet the Swish Mother (and also my mother)

Pictured above: Anita, Swish Founder and Designer, her daughter Madison and granddaughter Adelaide.

Come meet the Swish Mother (and also my mother)

Hi, I’m Shannon and I work for my incredible mum, Anita, Swish Founder and Designer, helping run the online business. 

In honour of Mother’s Day, I decided to sit down with Anita, to help her tell her story about why she started Swish and what it’s like to run a fashion business whilst raising 4 children.

Anita, why did you begin Swish?

Well, in the late 90’s, I was a fashion agent selling the ranges of several brands. But there was a problem - the boutiques were always complaining, saying they had nothing to sell to customers over a size 16. They said women’s only options were daggy, ill-fitting department store clothes.

So, in 2001, on a bit of a whim, I started making a few shirts in sizes 16+ and before I could properly comprehend what I was getting myself into, Swish was born! I had 4 young children, with my youngest, Paige, being 5 at the time, so I had to learn how to create a mothering-work-life balance. 

What’s the best thing about the women who buy Swish? 

Their loyalty… and their friendship. I am so grateful for the Swish women and I feel so rewarded when I get a call from a happy customer or see positive feedback in our reviews. That is truly rewarding and keeps me going.

What’s one of funniest things that’s happened at Swish?

One time I was so busy and probably exhausted…I was at my desk and when the phone rang, I didn’t pick up the phone but had picked up my cheque-book instead. I put it to my ear and said, ‘hello?’ When I told my accountant what happened, we were in hysterics for days.  

What one of the toughest things about running Swish? 
Keeping it Australian-made can honestly be a challenge, but I refuse to compromise. Most of what we make is cut and stitched together within a 10-kilometer radius of our warehouse in Artarmon. So it makes me so proud that I’m able to provide high quality garments to help women look good and feel their best. 

What’s the most unique thing about the Swish people?

Probably the fact that most of them are my family! My daughter, Shannon, is basically my second in command, running all our shoots, marketing, e-commerce and even a lot of our strategy. My sister, Chrissie, runs the online store and customer service. My sister, Diane, works in the Artarmon store and my other sister owns so much Swish clothing she can almost say she owns a stores worth of clothes herself. We even gave her a Swish sign to put above her wardrobe!

Wishing all of the mothers and grandmothers out there a joyful and loving weekend with family.