“My name is Annette. This Summer, I’ll be celebrating 25 years working at Blarney Woollen Mills. I’m a sales assistant in the ladieswear section.”
How has Blarney changed in the 25 years that you’ve been here?
Blarney has changed a lot over the past 25 years. The products have become a lot more fashionable and a lot more popular with the customers.
When I started here, most of the customers were from the US. Now however, Our customers are becoming more and more diverse. There are a lot more Australians, Chinese and Canadians coming to Blarney. The lady I just served was from the Philippines and last week I served some people from South America. Meeting people from far-flung places is a part of my job that I really enjoy.
Do you have a favorite department?
When I started here, I worked at the jewelry counter and I stayed there for about 15 years. Since then, I’ve worked in many departments throughout the store. My favorite so far is Ladies Fashion – where I am now. I enjoy helping people by making sure that they are happy leaving the store with a product that they are proud to wear.
What’s your favorite thing about working here?
I have a lot of friends and we work very closely together. It feels like a family here.
I also enjoy meeting people from around the world. I like making sure that their holidays go well for them. You meet a huge variety of people here and a lovely customer can really make your day. I really like to make sure that their shopping experience here is memorable.
Have you spotted any famous faces in Blarney?
A few years ago, Cork soccer legend Roy Keane came into the store and I got my photo taken with him! He was really lovely and a proper gent! Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman, Erin Brockovich) came into the store once during the 90s. I also met Andrew McCarthy (Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire)! I have also seen John Spillane – a local singer-songwriter – here a few times!
If you wanted people to know one thing about Blarney what would it be?
I’m proud to say that the customer service here at Blarney Woollen Mills is top notch. It’s something that we get complimented a lot on. We do our best to be as friendly and as helpful as possible to people during their short stay here in Ireland.