Turners Armidale is a fashion institution established by Kerry and Roger Turner, who have a combined 110 years of experience in the industry. This spring, they’ve handed over the reins to new owners Anna Rush and Scott Chambers... and the future looks bright.

Anna Rush never saw herself as a business woman. She originally dipped her toe in the retail waters as a way of carving out some time for herself, to contribute financially to her growing family, and ultimately snatch a moment (or two) as Anna, rather than just ‘mum’ to her three children, Brodie, Dylan and Olivia.

Anna has been in retail for 15 years, gaining a high level of experience in that time. But it wasn’t until she noticed an advertisement in the window of the exquisite Turners Armidale that she really found her place in the world of retail.

“It was the perfect opportunity, it fit in beautifully around my family commitments and I already loved the atmosphere and the staff in the store,” says Anna. “Fast forward six years and I’ve been so lucky to form an amazing bond with staff and customers, along with Kerry and Roger Turner, who have become part of our own personal family. I’ve worked my way from being the ‘new girl’ and the ‘young one’ to an important part of the business – and now, the new owner.”

"I've worked my way from being the 'new girl' and the 'young one' to an important part of the business - and now, the new owner."

Spring fever

Anna and her partner Scott, a farmer from near Spring Ridge, Bundella, became the proud new owners of Turners in September this year – just in time for spring and all the new beginnings that come with it. While the transition has undoubtedly been a daunting one, both Anna and Scott are grateful for the incredible team they have around them.

“Of course, it’s been overwhelming. While I had retail experience, I wasn’t familiar with the complete buying process, and then there’s the budgeting and bookkeeping that needs to be done,” says Anna.

“But Kerry has stood beside me every step of the way. Her knowledge of the fashion industry is remarkable, knowing what works and what doesn’t, she shares everything with me so I can absorb as much information as possible. Kerry is an amazing mentor.

“She’s also showing me the ropes when it comes to working with suppliers, how we can be guided by those contacts to determine what’s going to be in style in upcoming seasons. It’s about asking the right questions and ultimately predicting the future – at the moment we have our store full of new season spring and completed ordering for next winter a couple of months ago.”

Anna’s opportunity to absorb on-the-job training extends to Roger’s financial expertise too, who will continue supporting and guiding with the bookkeeping side of the business. Kerry will also stay on for three days a week.

“Going from a staff member to the person who’s in control of everything has been a huge shift,” says Anna.

“Add to that the fact that the past few years have not been easy for retailers and business owners due to drought, bushfire, floods and now COVID-19, it’s a lot to take on. But with the support of my partner and business partner Scott, my amazingly supportive children, Kerry, Roger and the staff, and most importantly our marvelous local community and travellers near and far, I know we’re in safe hands.

“This is so much more than a job to me. I love the atmosphere; I love the people. Turners has become my home and I will continue my dedication to maintaining the beautiful store that Kerry and Roger have worked so hard to create.”

Anna is excited to continue carrying all the labels customers have come to know and love at Turners Armidale, and has begun adding new and upcoming labels that make fashion such an exciting adventure.

The Turners Armidale experience – particularly at Christmas – is one not to be missed. Whether you’re heading to a festive barbecue, a new year’s party or a summer wedding, Anna and the team will have an outfit that’s the perfect mix of sophistication, elegance and fun.

“I love all the labels we sell, there is truly something for everyone,” says Anna.

“I look forward to what I’m going to wear each day, put on my outfit and instantly feel good. It’s an honour – and it’s fun – helping other women feel that way too, whether they’re 19 or 90, it brings me so much joy. I’m so lucky to watch the little ones buying a gift for their mother or someone special and well, let’s face it, the men love the free gift wrapping we offer.

“I’m looking forward to continuing on this beautiful store we have in our region, and welcome all our customers, both locally and from afar, for many years to come.”

{words: Steph Wanlessphotography: Mike Terry}