Up next: Asarela Boutique (Freeport, NY)
Asarela Boutique is a family run business with experience in helping women and men look their best. If you have a party to go to, they are your place to go — from little kids’ dresses/suits to men's suits and dresses for women.
My name is Melanie and together with my parents we own Asarela Boutique in 52 Guy Lombardo ave in Freeport, NY!
I am not sure if a special occasion attire store applies, but it is worth the try! My mom was a supervisor for Target for many years I became sick at age 11 and was diagnosed with cancer and we lost everything we had and my mom and dad put their jobs aside and everything they had we lost. God sent us many angels and when we moved back to Freeport my mom started selling clothes at home until one day she made my dad tremble he usually trembles with all her ideas ,but let me tell you my mom is a visionary. She sees things and goes for them and that’s what I love about her!
She told my dad I want to own my own Boutique and so it happened. We opened Asarela Boutique 16 years ago on Guy Lombardo ave! We faced the Great recession as well ,but kept fighting through! Before the Great Recession hit we were selling regular everyday clothing ,but my mom noticed that clients were no longer spending money like crazy on clothes they were spending money because they had a special event to go to.
This of course got my mom dreaming once again! She said let’s sell everything in the store in low prices and let’s turn Asarela Boutique into a special occasion attire store. Of course my dad trembled once again! At a young age I have always been with my parents helping them. They have mastered their english way better now ,but I have always been there to translate and to help them find ways to make our store even better!
When we decided to make a change I found shows where we could find special occasion attire vendors. It was scary at first you could pick any dress you wanted for your store and give them your credit card info and when they were ready charges started to be made!
The special attire industry is challenging designers require you to by seasons in order for them to keep your account open or to maintain exclusivity. For example you must purchase 30 dresses for fall/winter and then 30 dress for spring/summer. It’s not that easy! We did a lot of research and have brought in designers at our store that other stores do not have in order to make us stand out. We not only sell special occasion attire ,but we created a DBA called KMC Dream Makers where as a family we do event planning. We offer a whole package to our clients where we offer photography, DJ, catering, MC, catering hall, decorations, flowers, limo. We said if we can work with local vendors in our own town how amazing will that be because we can create more jobs within our own town.
Due to the pandemic our events are on pause. Asarela Boutique is not only a place where people come to shop for a sweet 16 dress or book their party it is a place as clients have expressed before “it feels like home” “there is something about this place that you just feel peace” We love owning our store because we aren’t here to just sell we are here to also listen to what someone else may be going through and maybe make them smile or help them feel better or heard.
Sometimes clients come sad because another store treated them bad because of their size or because they can not speak english. At Asarela Boutique we do not judge. We laugh and cry at Asarela Boutique. We have gotten to see different generations grow up in front of our eyes. From sweet 16 dress to prom to a wedding dress! We get to meet all these amazing families and that family brings more family just because they loved how they were treated and of course their dress!
My mom is known for being honest and for knowing your size without even having to measure you!
The pandemic hit when it is considered our most busiest season! Prom girls start looking for their dresses in December/January and sweet 16 girls are placing their dress orders so they can arrive on time for the summer. We had to close our door for 3 months with no source of income. Usually our busy months help us save for our slow months.Sitting in our living room we said why don’t we make face masks and donate at the same time to healthcare workers!
My dad knows how to sew he started sewing them and my mom cut the fabrics and searched for the right size that would fit adults and kids of different ages.
I announced that we would be making them on our instagram and clients went crazy and very supportive. We had days where we would go to sleep at 5 am or even 7 am we turned our store into a workshop. If you ask any of our clients they will tell you that they truly love the quality and the fitting. We wanted to make the selling of our face masks feel as if this new client is actually visiting our store! That the quality, attention to detail, and packaging would still show who Asarela Boutique is. We got support from small businesses as well because we could personalize their logo on their face masks. Businesses such as Beautiful People New York, Dirty Taco and Tequila, Reyes Deli decided to support a small business. It’s harder now because now you can find face masks everywhere for a lower quality and very cheap. We started even making personalized t-shirts, christmas ornaments anything you can think of we can personalize!
We have tried to adapt our store in order to survive. It’s not easy the little that we make is to try to cover some type of expense.
We are behind on rent since the pandemic ,but our amazing landlord has said have patience this will end just like the Great Recession ,but we truly want to pay him and not be in debt forever! My mom dad and I drop of my little sister at school and clean a few houses to try to get some income. Its hard working a home all day for $100 when we could sell a dress in a matter of minutes.
I am not not complaining…my parents have showed me that everything in life is gained with hard work and if it means working hard to save our store we will. We truly do not want to loose our store and your help would mean the most to us! We are hoping next year is better and more events will be able to happen! We hope to hear from you guys!
Thank you so much for everything you are doing to help small businesses!