If you are an established fashion label, a start-up label, a fashion student, or just someone with a passion for clothing and textiles, the chances are that you, or someone you know is well acquainted with the Sydney institution: EM Greenfields - wholesaler to a vast array of fabric, trims and all things sewing and product related.
Nestled away in Ann Street, Surry Hills, it feels as though you are stepping back in time when you walk in. With old signs, and fittings and row upon row of every fabric and trim that you could need: a real treasure trove.
If you have, like we have here, been going there consistently for quite some time, you will notice that it is always the same faces that greet you there. You will start to notice just how knowledgable the staff are there. There is also a feeling between them, an ease of working together, that was initially a little difficult to pinpoint. It was during a conversation with George that the reason behind this dawned. They had all worked together for a very long time. They were like a work family. In fact, there are some impressive work records there of the type that would be rare to hear of these days; (at the time of writing), here are a few examples:
- Alan: 49 years
- Haroula: 26 years
- Alla: 25 years
- George: 25 years
- Linda: 26 years
- John: 28 years
When asked what he thought the reason was, George's answer was very simple:
"Well, the owners realise that the key to his business are the staff. He would rather invest in our longer term happiness, knowing that our knowledge is essential for the business and is something that only comes over significant time in the job. So they pay us a good and fair wage for our work, with an annual bonus of appreciation, acknowledges our work, buys us all lunch every day; you know, things like that. It makes the difference. "
Simple, yet scarily rare to hear these days. Here's to E&M Greenfields being around for many more years to come.