knick-knacks for exclusive Florida boutique
By Mihiri Wikramanayake
Badra Nanayakkara is on a shopping spree. On holiday in Sri Lanka
having flown down from Florida, she is shopping for her exclusive
boutique in Venice, Florida.
in Florida, Badra, and her business partner Lee Lewis, are in town
to scout for unusual finds for their dress boutique and gallery,
Beauty Studio, Too on West Venice Avenue, Florida. Beauty Studio,
Too displays exclusive designer fashion and artisan jewelry and
accessories from all over the world to the hundreds of tourists
who descend on the Gulf of Mexico to get away from the winters of
tourists are of varied ages, sizes and lifestyles but have one thing
in common; they all love to dress well and enjoy shopping whilst
on holiday. "Our visit to Sri Lanka is to explore the possibility
of starting a line of casual clothing for women under our own label,"
says Badra. They are looking for vibrant handlooms for table and
bed linen, hand made accessories, articles made from straw and other
unusual finds for their Gallery. "We think that these will
be ideal gifts and buys for any Florida home."
Badra and her husband Jim decided to move from Maryland to Venice,
Florida, she was waiting for an opportunity to work again. Having
worked for 30 years in the administrative field, she jumped at the
idea of going into partnership with Lee in the dress boutique.
together, they have built up this unique boutique of clothes for
every occasion. From everyday casual to cruise-style to special
occasion dresses for the "Mother of the Bride or Groom"
or even for that special day the second time around! "If you
are looking to accessorize your outfit, we have that too,"
Badra adds. The accessories are imported from the Caribbean, Europe
and the Far East. The varieties are endless - Crystal, Amber, Turquoise,
Onyx and Larimar where each piece is handcrafted and one of a kind.
to Badra, Lee is the creative force behind this venture whilst she
complements Lee's creative talents with her organizational and business
management skills. Their philosophy is that they have something
for every body. "We achieve this by carrying a variety of sizes
and styles because our objective is to please even the most fastidious
customers," she says. Badra and Lee, also provide personalized
the year they are invited by prestigious clubs in Venice and Sarasota
to present benefit fashion shows. Their fame has spread and they
are now booked to have a fashion show every month during the season.
In January they have their own annual fashion show, benefiting a
charitable cause and usually held at one of the local country clubs.
"This season we plan to have it right here at home and the
new River Club will make a grand backdrop for our gorgeous collection
," Badra says.