NEW BRITAIN – Sisters Anise Saint-Juste and Natacha Saint-Juste, fashion designers and owners of Saints By S.J, LLC, a clothing line and boutique, will be opening their first storefront in New Britain.
The grand opening of Saints By S.J. Boutique, located at 666 Arch St., will be January 9, 2021. The business offers assistance with custom-made formal, evening and ready-to-to garments. They also offer alterations and tailoring services along with one-on-one styling consultations.
“The distinctive aspect of our brand is that my sister and I create designs that are unique to every customer,” Anise said. “Our custom order consultation allows us to sit one-to-one with our customers to discuss their dream dress. We encourage them to be as creative as possible when expressing their vision to us. We allow customers to bring pictures as inspiration, as well as vision boards. This enhances the creative juices for both us and the customer. We sketch each design upon the customer’s request and customers are able to pick the color and fabric in which they want their garment made from. By the end of the consultation we want each customer to walk away feeling confident that we will bring their vision to life.”
Sketches for the designs from their collections have been sent out to the manufacturers and the items will be carried in the store.
“When we first made the decision to open a physical location we reached out to family friend who was a realtor. Our phenomenal realtor, Suzette Badhai, was able to find us a space that was a perfect square footage and also in our budget,” Anise said. “Being that we are New Britain High graduates we are proud be open a boutique in our hometown.”
“Every business owner knows that location is key,” Natacha said. “We wanted a location that is easily visible from the street, convenient for customers to park and was around other businesses.”
During the process of opening Saints by S.J. Boutique the sisters talked about working on renovations during the peak of covid-19 pandemic.
“During the peak of the pandemic it came to a point where my sister and I were unsure we would even be able to open,” Natacha said. “It truly was the constant inspirational messages we received from our followers telling us how much we inspired them to follow their dreams or start a business that kept us going.”
“It’s been a really inconceivable journey,” Anise added. “We never predicted a pandemic would take such a financial and emotional toll on us. My sister and I were working full time and going to our store to work on renovations. We’ve done a complete change at our store which used to be an old grocery store. We knocked down walls, built a fitting room, our own personal office and even allowed our followers to pick the color we painted our boutique by doing an online survey.”
The Saint-Juste duo started the company in 2012 and has even opened a boutique in Jamaica.
“When we first started designing we used to sew at our kitchen table at home. We take pride in being self taught designers. The only fashion experience we have acquired is the teaching of our father who taught us how to measure, cut and sew,” Anise said. “Our father was a self taught tailor in Haiti who made living by this craft. Our father didn’t teach us how to use pre-made patterns to create garments, but instead taught us the old techniques of designing and sewing that were passed down from generation to generation in our family.”
Saints By S.J.’s one of a kind designs have been featured many publications and international magazines.
“What sets our brand apart from other fashion designers is that we cater to the everyday woman; the working mom, the fashionista, the women on the go. We pull inspiration from our everyday life and cultural background when creating designs. Saints by S.J. takes pride in catering to women of all shapes, sizes and ages. We want every women to feel empowered when they wear Saints by S.J.,” Natacha said. “At the heart of it all we hope that our story inspires other creatives not just locally but internationally. We hope our story resonates with anyone who wants to pursue their dreams or are currently trying to start a business. We believe with hard work any and everything is possible. We hope supporters continue to cheer for us to win while we aspire to take our brand international.”