An icon of Jetty Road, Gilia Martin is celebrating 30 years of Attitudes Boutique. A staple of style, Attitudes has been a local favourite for fresh fashion and amazing customer service. We chat with Gilia about the history and the store...
Tell us more about how the boutique started
Attitudes opened in 1992 by Rod and Ann Neagle, as one of many that they owned throughout Adelaide and regional South Australia. I met Ann while wholesaling fashion to her. She asked me to manage Attitudes in Glenelg, which I did for four years before buying the store from them in 2008, six months after my daughter Ruby was born! My husband Simon stopped working as a chef to become a full time stay at home Dad and managed all the accounts and bookkeeping.
Why did you choose Jetty Road, Glenelg?
Jetty Road chose us! After working in the precinct for four years, there was no hesitation to purchase a busy, successful fashion store on a bustling street, full of tourists and locals alike.
What do you love about it?
Great local support, beach location with fresh air and sunshine and a regular flow of tourists. I never wanted to have a store in a shopping centre. Here I can feel the sea air and see the sunshine. I love the sense of community in Glenelg too. I know so many of the locals. Mums, daughters, grandmothers, I've styled them all! I've watched babies grow up to be customers.
I also love the people I work with. Local girls and boys who work here while they are at school or at Uni, watching them grow up and go on to work in the 'real world', or have families of their own.
What do you love about selling fashion and being part of the industry?
I've worked in fashion since I was 15. It's not about clothes but about relationships. Helping women with styling, building confidence through genuine advice. Finding the perfect outfit for someone gives me great satisfaction and developing a relationship with the person while you are doing that is why I love what I do. We can talk about anything from heartbreak, children, work, anything. I've raised my daughter on advice from customers!
What are some of the key trends for winter?
Colour! Shades of green are everywhere, and this continues for winter. Shackets and check jackets, blazers are always on-trend, paired with gold jewellery to complete the look.
The store has been on Jetty Road for 30 years, what do you remember about the early days?
I remember all the fashion that is now back in style, all the 90's fashion trends. Wide leg jeans, Doc Martin boots, flannelette shirts, high waisted pants, and crop tops. All the fashion I used to wear, although I'm not sure I can pull off a crop top anymore... I remember the old stores that have come and gone, and the familiar faces that have been with us on the journey.
What are your favourite customer stories?
So many stories, but I always come back to the inspiring women I have met. The rule breakers, cancer survivors, women in their eighties and nineties still shopping for fashion. Women who have forged their own paths.
I can't divulge any stories. I always say, “Attitudes is a safe space. What happens in Attitudes stays in Attitudes".