From setting-up a clothing sale at home in Efate, 2011, to plans of opening a ninth branch 318KM away from the capital in Aneityum this year, ‘Stret Price’ owner Lola Windsor has big ambitions for 2019.
The woman of Tongan and British decent said that the original plan was encircled around used-furniture, but when life gave her lemons, she started to franchise.
Ms. Windsor explained: “I was trying to do second-hand-furniture, but the supplier could only give me clothing, so I started with clothing from Australia.
“You need a shop but I could not afford to rent a shop so I started at home, bringing colleagues at home very small, I started with only VT 100 000.”
Now with ‘Stret Price’ being a household name, Ms. Windsor is meshing affordable clothes with quality service to cater for customers who have requested the company of the 8-year dream.
“I’m trying to give what people want. In the market people are looking for good quality clothes for cheap, and that’s what I can provide. People have stopped me in the street to say thank you! Even in Tanna, they call me and ask to go and open a shop in their village.
“I go around to each village to service the villages in Tanna. I used to do that in Vila,” Ms. Windsor said.
The humble owner mentioned that aside from her seven clothing branches in Efate, Santo and Tanna, she is also looking south of the country down in Aneityum, and possibly up north in Pentecost: “There’s two other islands I want to go to, Pentecost and Aneittum. I have Tanna, Port Vila and Santo, I tried with Malekula but it’s a bit more difficult, so it will be my next step.”
Since selling used or more affordable clothing is a popular market opportunity, the part-Tongan owner said that there are small pockets of competition, including the online sellers, but overall, she didn’t seem to worried.
Managed and owned completely by her, the employer of over 50 staff across the seven branches added that she has built a resolute legacy on the back of a modest idea, and believes that the company will continue to grow.
When questioned that if she might be willing to form a partnership in order to expand the reach of Stret Price, she said with subtlety– “I am 100% independent. I’d rather stay by myself. I’d rather control what I’m doing, so I’d rather stay independent.”
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST