TO see her dream unfold right before her eyes has been a gratifying experience for fashion enthusiast Jamie Bastian.
She said it seems like only yesterday that she started her shopping and retail venture with just five necklaces on display on her mother’s dining room table.
Five years on and Jamie has built up a loyal customer base and a social media following of more than 11,300 fans.
Her project has exceeded all her expectations and is now operating under the official name “JaDazzles Clothing & Accessories”. The store is located on Jerome Avenue.
And she’s come a long way from those first five necklaces. Today, the company offers a range of women’s clothing, jewellery, hats, handbags, sunglasses, nail polish, candles, and even intimate accessories such as bra strap solutions and waist trainers.
This past Sunday, she hosted her fifth annual holiday shopping extravaganza and a mix and mingle for her valuable clients over the years.
“This is our time of year where we really get to know our clientele and network with them. Some of the customers that I have, I would probably have life-long relationships with them. This is our fifth birthday, and this goes back to it all being service-oriented,” Jamie told Tribune Woman.
“I am very service-oriented, so it is also a way for me to meet different people and interact, and if I can take the service level experience from ordinary to extraordinary, then that makes me happy.” Jamie recalled her early days, trying to get the company off the ground. She said it began as a financial opportunity to assist with bills while studying abroad in the field of hospitality in Florida.
“This all happened accidentally, but it turned into a dream; much more than I planned for. I was still studying up until last year when I moved home in November in an effort to fulfil my own dream. I opened the store in June of this year on Jerome Avenue, and before that we were online and delivery-based in Nassau as well as the Family Islands,” she said.
Jamie said she wanted a name for her company that would express who she is as a person, and she believes “JaDazzles” made the cut because her personality is best described as sparkly and lively.
“I was always interested in fashion and I love the way it allows a person to express themselves without having to speak. It always seems to give people a boost of confidence, so in any way that I can help in that sense, it is perfect and I have done my job,” she said.
As far as feedback from her customers goes, Jamie said Bahamians enjoy her prices and they often tell her it is great that they do not have to shop abroad anymore. She said her goal is to always offer reasonable prices without compromising quality.
“We don’t particularly special order items, but whenever we do have a demand for it we will try to stock that item as quick as possible, and people like that as well. They like the fact that we can get the items that they are looking for and we can get them quickly. Now that we are in the store, of course, people can come in and shop, but we still offer the delivery as well as online,” said Jamie.
Going forward, she said the plan is to eventually expand to offering a wide range of plus size clothing and footwear.
Jamie said she wants to encourage other young women who dream of being entrepreneurs like herself to never give up.
“It is a lot of hard work, but it is more rewarding in the end. In many cases ladies look for other people to validate their ideas, but as long as you believe in your dream, just go for it. As far as being an entrepreneur is concerned, you may not have all the answers and you won’t, but you will figure it out as you go. And if you don’t get it this time, you will get it the next time and so forth. Innovation is also key and when it’s your passion,” said Jamie.