Popular Alstonville pop up shop here to stay
PROVING pop up shops are capable of longevity, Avaalia is now a permanent fixture as you head into Alstonville.
Local print designer and owner Julianne Parsons opened the clothing store temporarily in November last year, but business was going so well she decided to get a permanent lease earlier this month.
"I had a lot of returning customers and got a good response from the public so I thought I'd give it a shot," Ms Parsons said.
"People are loving the fabric feel, the prints and the resort style."
Starting out as a pop up shop was a good way for Ms Parsons to test the waters as a new business.
"For me starting out as a pop up shop was important because I wasn't sure of what was going to happen here," she said.
"It's good to try it first so you can gauge what's going on and who your customer is and the demographic.
"It was really good because it gave me a chance to see what customer's I had and get feedback before I made that commitment."
She said the key to her business success was constantly turning over the stock.
"The clothing is a little bit different than everything else out there - it's individual - people love that," she said.
"We've got some beautiful knits and kaftan capes in beautiful autumn colours in at the moment.
"I'm hoping to achieve longevity and being part of the community."
Selling predominately seasonal resort-style and lifestyle garments in dainty and voluptuous sizes and accessories, the established surface designer launched her own line of clothing and brand, Avaalia late last year.
"The brand is growing, its been very busy," she said.
After a 20-year career as a surface designer creating prints for swimwear and men's and ladies wear, Ms Parsons prefers to use her own designs on Avaalia garments, with the exception of a few.
"We have a small ethically run factory in Bali where we look after all the quality control ... we give back to the community there as well," she said.
"Because we manufacture the garments ourselves we are able to keep the prices down - so prices start at $49 to $110 max -it's all Australian designed.
Ms Parsons lived in New York City for 15 years working in a textile design studio, selling textile designs but realised she could forge her own way in the fashion world after having her daughter Ava.
"I brought Ava back to Australia and decided to go to college and learn myself," she said.
"So at 35 I went back to school and learnt graphic design and changed my career.
"I love it because I'm very creative and it's what I enjoy doing."
"I would like to eventually have a local collective here with local designers, like pottery or artwork so if any local designers are interested, give me a call on 0474 657 781."
She thanked the locals of Alstonville for their support.
Find Avaalia at 71 main St, Alstonville Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm, on Facebook or Instagram at Avaalia_official or head to Avaalia.com