by Solomon McGarrell
There is nothing more frustrating than being a plus-size female and having to tour boutiques for an outfit all day or even days, without any success, because clothing for petite women, are all stores have to offer. Over the years, body shaming has been attacked, particularly on social media platforms by the most influential personalities in the fashion arena. This has encouraged boutique owners to expand their line, to meet the needs of the ‘thick madams’, since they too have the right to step out and have necks turning.
One proprietor answering this call for inclusion is Latoya James, owner of ‘Vintage Grace’ – a modern and high-end boutique located in the Upper-Berbice community of Kwakwani. James who is also plus-size young lady, is no stranger to the hurtful comments hurled at plus-size women while searching for clothing. Having the first-hand experience has motivated James to launched her stylish, unique and top-notch boutique, to meet the demands and taste of women in the plus-size category, residing in Kwakwani.
After spending some years in Trinidad and Tobago, she has gained a lot of exposure in fashion designs. James later returned to her hometown Kwakwani, on January 01, 2020, and launched her boutique ‘Vintage Grace’ on January 26, 2020.
James’ stylish and unique store, quickly became the talk of the town and her clientele increased in a short period. Unfortunately however, there was a decline in sales in 2020, as a result of the pandemic. “Business was greater on the outset, hence, the pandemic has posed a significant decline in sales. It was frustrating since my initial plan was to spend two to three months and return to Trinidad, where I was in my fourth year in Nursing School,” she told INFO 10.
Being a young lady with strong spiritual lineage, she has displayed the spirit of faith and has allowed the pandemic to take its course. Rather than to sit and murmur, she used it to her advantage in developing her marketing strategies.
‘Vintage Grace’ has stood out drastically from the regular boutiques for numerous reasons. Aside from plus-size women having a boutique with their best interest at heart, when customers enter Vintage, they must feel they have entered their walk-in closet. Plus-size customers will not be forced or be met with the customary negative flange, they must be comfortable to make their own choice; while receiving kind suggestion if necessary, ” James revealed.
Kenisha Thomas- McGarrell, a plus-size woman who is a regular customer of ‘Vintage Grace’ informed INFO 10 of her outstanding experience. “My experience at Vintage Grace was excellent, great customer service and a comfortable environment. The fact that I am now able to find trendy, fashionable and comfortable plus-size clothing is very overwhelming, ” McGarrell stated.
James envisions ‘Vintage Grace’ to also meet the demands of males in the future.
Customers interested in making ‘Vintage Grace’ their personal walk-in closet can visit her boutique, it’s located aback of the Kwakwani Market; between the hours of 09:30hrs – 17:30hrs Monday to Saturday. You can call her on +592-633-2680 or follow her business page on Facebook: Vintage Grace.