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The Business Diaries

Fashion Atalier

“My clients shop when they're in Toronto at my cosy atelier... yes, it means small in this neck of the woods, too! But we stock it full of the best in the world and clients return every season and more often. And my clients find me wherever I go. taking my lovely fashions with me, from Abu Dhabi to Paris to various US locations that I drop in on regularly..”

Fashion Travels

Virginia and her staff of three credit the traveling trunk shows she holds from time to time for spreading the word about her special lines of products. “Perhaps that you have to make an effort to find us—and everything in the store is unique, new, and different—that is what makes our customers so loyal. This is the foundation of my business model. Another element is that not only do I let them find me—I go out and find them.”

In Charge

Virginia is her business. Like most who start as solopreneurs, she lives and breathes it and is its heart and soul. With a background in business/finance and teaching, Virginia was well poised to take the plunge, knowing what was required to grow a business and doing it wasn't as easy as it looked. “To start, you're chief accountant and chief buyer and chief floor washer... that's life, as anyone who's started a business knows. Luckily, I've gotten beyond that stage but I still am very hands-on.  I do the designing and finding and am always exploring the globe to see what's new and what I can incorporate or use in my store.”

In 2013, Virginia spent time in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Hoi An, Vietnam.  In 2014 has buying and discovery trips lined up for Beijing, Buenos Aires and Hoi An—and that's just to start after the new year. Who knows what the rest of the year will bring? Flexibility and adaptability are keys to running any small biz, and Yes Virginia is no exception. “I travel about every six weeks- always coming back from one trip or packing for the next"...” so that I can be ready with wonderful things that my customers will want to buy and wear. I try not to miss too many family occasions or summer holidays at the cottage, but I sometimes have to.—that's the cost of doing business. Everyone who's in business knows that.”

Quality Goods

Not only does Virginia rely on the fact that customers will find her because the quality and design of the goods speak for themselves—she spreads herself and her wares around the globe to find the clients that she know her goods appeal to where they live. “The fame of Yes Virginia has spread, mostly through word of mouth. Some clients can't wait for me to arrive in their neck of the woods.”

Trunk Shows

Trunk shows mean work. It means loading up the fabulous goods, with much packing and shipping and last minute kerfuffle. “We drive the bus... well, the truck... to  sales in favored US locations, where we are expected and welcomed. The shoppers pretty much clean me out and the same buyers come each season and every year, and then they bring their friends who have been admiring various Yes Virginia pieces. I love that my customers love my work and wait for my trunk show to buy the new focus pieces they need for their wardrobes. I also give good value with my jackets, bags and booties—or whatever. They are exquisitely made in the far corners of the globe by artisans and designers I employ to turn my designs into reality. I also accept orders from my customers and design many customized items—jackets, bags—if you can dream it up—or even describe it—we can create it. ”

Business Success

From an idea that took root because Virginia found, at a certain age, that North American fashion paid so much attention to the 20-year-old and not so much to the woman in the absolute prime of her life—success has been steady and  keeps on growing.

Top of Virginia's list of customers are the women—many of them professionals or those with a fashion eye, who know they best not parade around looking like they were still 18 if they want to get ahead or make the right impression—but still want to look vibrant, stylish, and unique—Yes Virginia has grown to be a force in women's fashion. “Many of my clients are celebs or in the public view—my fashions have been bought  by stars and worn by stars on TV shows and red carpets. And my selling point is passionate fashion that's individual and suits you—and doesn't require you to fit the fashion.”

If you'd like to visit Yes Virginia or see a schedule of trunk shows upcoming so she can (perhaps!) find you—please contact Yes Virginia. or email Virginia: [email protected]



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