Feb. 20, 2013 By Bill Parry
Fashionable Baby and Kidz, a children’s clothing boutique at 45-20 47th St., is going out of business after being in operation for just nine months.
The owner blames her store’s poor location—just off Greenpoint Ave.– as well as the tough economy for her business failing.
“People are struggling in this section of town,” said Vesna, the owner who did not want to disclose her last name.
Vesna also cited the heavy costs of repairing the long-abandoned property as another factor in Fashionable Baby’s undoing. She described the property as a “moldy cave” when she first moved in.
Vesna said she invested her life savings in mold and asbestos removal, a new floor, plumbing, and electrical wiring to bring the store up to code. “My sister tried to stop me but I listened to my heart and not my head,” she said.
She said she was disappointed that the landlord did not help subsidize the costs.
She regrets not investing in a proper sign for Fashionable Baby. “I had no money left for a good sign so nobody knew I was even here,” Vesna said.
Vesna is still adding up her losses but she expects to lose about $100,000. “It was my dream to own my own business,” she said. “I had the best intentions, I wanted to give people jobs, maybe open another store – now I am financially ruined.”
Presently, she is holding a going-out-of business sale—selling clothes, furniture to even the clothing racks.
A native of Yugoslavia, Vesna moved to Sunnyside 23 years ago right before the Balkans collapsed into civil war. “I couldn’t go home, it was too dangerous,” she said, “So I saved my money to open a business.”
However, “what I did was open Pandora’s Box,” she said.
Vesna expects to be closed for good in March leaving Tiny You, located at 46-21 Skillman Ave., as the only children’s boutique in the neighborhood.
Jill Callan, the owner of Tiny You, knows Vesna and empathizes. “As a female entrepreneur this story breaks my heart.” However, “there’s a rule when it comes to financing a business like this: plan on a worst case scenario, and then double that.”