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Paris in the Strand to close its doors

The Lismore App

Simon Mumford

07 July 2024, 8:01 PM

Paris in the Strand to close its doorsPhoto: Natsky

Julia Taranto has been in the retail business for ten years. The first five years were relatively normal, the 2017 flood being the exception.

It was the next five years that have taken their toll on Julia. Two years of the COVID-19 global pandemic and the 2022 floods have left her exhausted and ready to close this chapter of her life and open another.

"It has been unbelievably tough," Julia told the Lismore App, "The shutdown of retail and the shutdown of life really hurt."

Julia's clothing boutique started as My Tailoress before she changed the name to Paris in the Strand following the 2022 floods. For a decade, she has been dressing the women and young ladies of Lismore and the Northern Rivers for many Winter Balls, school formals, and award nights.

"When I bought the shop, it was a mess. It had a lino floor on it, and it was all uneven. I scraped all that back and put the tiles down, which was a wise move because it's done well through the floods. It's a beautiful store, right down to my lovely French doors that my son built. They added such a different vibe to the store."

"But now, it's time. It's time. It has been ten years serving the public, and it has been a pleasure. But I feel tired. I need a break. I need to go and travel. I want to go to Paris, and who knows, I might not come back," Julia smiles at the thought of seeing the city of love and fashion for the first time.

The closing down of Paris in the Strand, is sad for the business community and the community of ladies, younger and older, that Julia has dressed for the last decade. There is some good news for customers, new and old, as the Closing Down Sale starts today and runs until the doors officially close at the end of the school holidays.

"Dresses from $99. I want every dress out of the store. I want them to find homes. I want my dresses to find their people."

Those people may include many Year 12 students looking for formal dresses for their November Graduation Balls once this year's HSC is completed.

"Girls love it. They walk in and see all the sparkly dresses, and I think sometimes they get a bit overwhelmed with where to start. But with the experience I've got with dresses, I can generally pick what's going to work for the girls depending upon their colour, their style, their shape and what their vibe is. So, whether they've got a classic look, whether they've got a sporty figure or whether they've got more of that edgy sort of Gothic look. Just finding what they're looking is and picking styles to suit them."

"It's been a pleasure. It has been a pleasure seeing them and watching them and the emotion that you see with the parents. Very often, it's the mums that are with them, and just seeing their daughter transform into this graceful beauty when they've been wearing jeans and T-shirts and school uniforms the whole time. Often, the tissue box is needed."

"I never understood that I would actually have repeat customers. But then, as time went along, it was the sisters that would come through, or they would recommend me to their other friends as well, which has been sweet. I've met so many beautiful people, absolutely lovely people. And you see the girls as they grow up, and you get to know them on such a personal level while you're doing fittings with them and making them look gorgeous for their formal."

It's been an absolute pleasure to serve the community. I have enjoyed every minute of it."

You will find Paris in the Strand, in the Strand Arcade (as the name suggests) at 74-78 Molesworth Street, Lismore CBD.

Julia is open Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm or you can call her on 0435 082 083.

Julia's Closing Down Sale finishes at the end of the school holidays.

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