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Fashion entrepreneur provides… Unique experience in shopping
For close to two decades she was making a mark as a journalist with stints at two daily newspapers, winning awards for her investigative reporting along the way. However, these days Judy Diptee is on a different path, fulfilling a long held dream to get into business.
Just over a year ago, she launched The Rose, a fashion boutique which offers a different kind of shopping experience catering only to women.
“I have always loved fashion and style and I always wanted to get into the fashion business,” said Diptee.
Inspired by and named after her late mother, Rosalind, the boutique has a brick and mortar location on a quiet street a short distance away from the bustling commercial centre of St James. However, the business does not operate in the traditional way. Customers are contacted and updated via social media and word of mouth and you shop by appointment.
There is an important reason for that, as Diptee explained: “What I offer is a comfortable, laid back shopping experience where I am able to engage one-on-one with the client.
“It is a very personalised service. Not just shopping but a chance to browse while enjoying a cup of coffee, tea, a glass of wine, or some other refreshment.”
The decor in Diptee’s boutique reflects the warmth and style of her mother, a businesswoman who once operated a department store in Siparia. The location, an old fashioned house to convey a homey atmosphere, features distinctive decorative items, including an old Singer sewing machine—a familiar item in many T&T homes in the old days. The machine used to belong to Diptee’s mother and still has thread in it from the last time she used it.
“I try to keep her presence here with all the things she used to make a home when I was growing up.”
Other pieces, including an antique wash stand and a wardrobe, serve as display areas for clothing and accessories.
“The style is shabby chic,” explained Diptee, who is quick to point out that she caters to a diverse customer base and goes the extra distance to ensure that women of all sizes, ages and tastes can find what they need.
In addition to a chance to browse from among the one of a kind clothing and accessories available at the boutique, Diptee also provides personal shopping support and advice based on her customers’ specific needs. This includes sourcing items not available at the store.
Based on her family background, business seems like a natural fit for Diptee. That name is linked to an array of businesses in south Trinidad, including supermarkets, hardware stores and travel agencies, all established by her father, Ramnath, and his brothers.
Still, venturing into the retail sector at the time that she did was something of a leap of faith.
A year ago, when The Rose opened, the country was in the throes of hard economic times exacerbated by the foreign exchange shortage.
“I though if I didn’t do it now, then when? I figured I might as well jump in, keep overheads low and keep prices reasonable.
“It was a challenge, not knowing what to expect, but I decided to give it my best shot.”
Diptee is now seeing signs of improvement in the business environment. She has an established client base and enough repeat customers.
To find out more about The Rose, or to make an appointment, call 485-2954 or email: [email protected].
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