Family business, Michael Innis Mens-wear was established in Boundary Street, West End 60 years ago. Today Michael’s grandaughters, Kerry and Renae, are the third generation of the family running the exclusive menswear retail store.
“We’re the third generation working here and we also have customers where three generations shop here,” says Kerry. “Our grandfather was a tailor who started the business, and our mum married a tailor and now our parents own it,” Renae explains, “we were born into it, but we never wanted to do anything else.”
Since Kerry and Renae began running the business, they have revamped the design and given it more of a unique, contemporary feel. “We try and have different things to what departments stores have,” says Kerry.
Along with the products and interior design, Kerry and Renae bring a lot of personality to the store, creating a lively, welcoming atmosphere. “We’re very loud and very friendly,” says Renae, laughing. Kerry and Renae strongly emphasise the importance of providing exceptional customer service. Their father, also named Michael, is a tailor and does alterations on the spot.
“Where else can you go in Brisbane where you can come in, buy a pair of pants, wait 15 minutes, in which you can grab a cup of coffee while you get alterations done free of charge; not many places that I know of do that,” states Kerry, proudly.
Michael Innis Menswear has also acquired several high-profile clients including some of the Brisbane Lions AFL football players who shop there regularly. Michael Innis Menswear provides them with all their suiting and have dressed them for several events, including the prestigious Brownlow Awards. “Over the five years we have been dressing them, we have become friends with them,” says Kerry. Michael Innis Menswear also dresses some of the Network Ten television staff.
Michael Innis Menswear carries a large range of labels including Ben Sherman, Industrie, Studio Italia, Lee, Brando, Premonition, David Smith, and Yokii.
A significant amount of their business is catering for weddings and formal events. “We do a lot of weddings; we enjoy doing it; we make sure everything is matching and they are confident with what they are wearing,” says Kerry.
They have also dressed the guitarist of a major Brisbane band for his wedding, which was featured in a leading bridal magazine. “It’s good for publicity for the shop; it’s nice to see that a small business is being recognised for the services that we offer,” says Kerry.
Another recent development is the Michael Innis Menswear Facebook page, which Renae feels is essential to any business. “It’s the new way of communicating, so people know what specials we have, when we have a sale on, or when new stock comes in. It keeps people updated and it’s uploaded every week.” The Facebook page has already proven to be a success. “We already have 455 members, and it’s only been three weeks, but we would love more!”
Words by Jessica Ebser