Feeling good from head to toe at New Horizon Clothing II | Business

ST. THOMAS — “Once you look good, you feel good about yourself,” said Michelle Joshua, owner of New Horizon Clothing II. With clothing and accessories for any occasion, the new store in Tutu Park Mall has everything to do just that.

Joshua got interested in fashion as a young girl watching her seamstress grandmother sew clothing.

“She used to do everything freehand. She didn’t need the pattern, so I was just fascinated with that, so this has always been in my heart. This is my passion since I was a little girl watching my grandmother.”

After graduating from Charlotte Amalie High School, Joshua headed to New Jersey and New York, where she landed a job as a sales associate at Lerner’s New York. Within three months, she was promoted to assistant manager. She was offered the position of store manager, but by then, her mother de ella had convinced her to move back home.

When she got back to St. Thomas, she found it was hard to find clothing to wear to work. When she ordered from a catalog, it was rare that the garment looked anything like what it looked like in the catalog, and at that time, most companies did not include a return sticker, so she had to pay for the return shipping herself.

Laid off from her receptionist job, Joshua found work at the Tommy Hilfiger store, and later at the White House Black Market Boutique at Frenchman’s Reef. Again, she was promoted to assistant manager of the store. When she was offered the position of manager, this time she took it. It was there that she got much of her firsthand experience of running a shop.

“Basically, they let you run the store your way, so I had to do all the designing and the merchandising, and if I felt we needed a sale, I would just contact the home office and they would send me all the sale signs and marketing. I used to open and close, I did the books, I basically did everything. That’s how I got my on-the-job training,” she said.

In 2004, Joshua decided to venture out on his own and opened New Horizon Clothing in a small space in Frenchtown Plaza. She eventually moved the shop to Royal Dane Mall, but hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 forced her to close. The fire at nearby Gladys’ Café soon after made it permanent, or so she thought.

Joshua was working a government job, but when she saw the former Subway location at Tutu Park Mall was open, she thought that it would make an ideal spot to reopen her boutique. Unfortunately, the space had already been talked about, but she ended up leasing half a space inside the mall, deciding to start small, possibly expanding as things progressed. She opened New Horizon II at the end of February.

Joshua manages to pack a lot of variety into the small space, with a little bit of everything, from work attire to church clothing to cocktail dresses in sizes 2 to 26, her own line of Rock City T-shirts, a handful of girls’ dresses and even a prom dress or two. There are cotton, linen and rayon fashions and more.

“When I first opened down in Frenchtown, I was geared towards professional wear because it was hard for me to find things to wear to work. When I opened my doors, they were asking for everything, special occasions, things to wear to church, so I had to add a little bit of everything,” Joshua said. “The pieces I get you can dress down or you can dress up. It’s just how you accessorize. I like to dress them from head to toe.”

New Horizon carries fashion accessories as well as Hobo hand-painted bags and wallets, scarves and a line of aromatherapy. A variety of sandals will arrive soon.

For those who worry about seeing someone else in the same outfit, Joshua intentionally orders only one or two of each style, unless she is required to buy a pack of six. For the prom dresses, she writes down the girl’s name and school so she won’t sell the same dress to someone going to the same prom.

Customers who purchase from New Horizon can also get their purchases altered to fit perfectly. Joshua has her sewing machine set up right in the store.

Although she carries a couple of styles by designers such as Zac & Rachel, she typically avoids designer wear, “because I like to keep my prices pocket friendly.” Instead, she focuses on quality.

“I like to make sure I get quality pieces that will last you a lifetime,” she said. “Once you take care of it, it will take care of you.”

New Horizon will hold a grand opening Friday, and, Joshua says, she’ll give 10 percent off to those who mention this article.

Call 340-228-5549 or visit their Facebook page for more information.

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