The old boutique in Arlington recently hosted “Beautiful in Shirlington, ”An event for local women to model their clothes after seeing a decline in customers during the pandemic.
Sheyla Luxury Boutiques has been a part of the Arlington community for 16 years, but over the last few months, Sheyla Voye, the boutique owner, hasn’t seen many of her customers.
“I have a lot of customers who buy from me, but not even 5% of those people come because people don’t need clothes,” said Voye. “Because of the pandemic, now nothing is going to work. Most of my business runs because people are going to work, events, dinners, parties – and sadly since none of that is allowed yet, it becomes very challenging and difficult. “
“Chic in Shirlington,” held earlier this month, asked women in Arlington to model Sheyla’s outfit in front of the Shirlington fountain.
“Sheyla Luxury Boutique is looking for a model to celebrate when we return safely outside. We welcome groups of friends, sisters, mother / daughter duos or come alone! Don’t miss dressing up to go out, ”says the list of events.
Models can try on clothes, do their hair and makeup, walk the runways, take pictures and receive gift certificates to the shop.
Kim Honor Matkovsky, a resident of Waverly Hills and a loyal Sheyla customer, said the event brought together women of “all shapes, ages, styles” in a fashion celebration – and shops.
“Sheyla … is a phenomenon,” he told ARLnow. “I’ve been a customer for 16 years and I’m trying to help him weather this economic storm.”
“The boutique is where Loehmann used to be: a fun and rewarding treasure hunt for women who want quality and style without the price tag,” wrote Matkovsky. “And Sheyla is the special sauce.”
Since the pandemic began, Voye has faced many challenges including moving locations in Shirlington and losing employees.
“I used to be on Campbell Avenue before moving to another building. That [storefront] what I have now is a monthly rent, not a permanent lease. The permanent rent is too high for me and I can’t afford it, ”said Voye. “I work alone. Right now, I can’t afford employees and I work seven days and sometimes it’s very tiring. I have a family and I have very few opportunities to spend time with them. “
Even though Voye had faced many challenges, she said she refused to give up.
“It is difficult, but I still go. I don’t want to stop, ”said Voye.
“Sheyla has been torn down, refused a loan, lost her lease, and even ran her business from a truck for several years,” said Matkovsky. “He is dogged by a lack of access to patient, affordable capital and has overcome the problem by taking temporary leases on retail space. Sheyla recently paid off a small business loan through a non-profit lender who charged her with 14% interest. “
“It takes a special person to keep fighting,” he said.