Do you have a very special occasion coming up? Feeling stressed by the dilemma of having “nothing to wear”? Here’s the solution: a Luxurious new store has just opened at the Town Center Mall in Boca Raton that is a must-see. Owner Andrea Karabatsos tells an absorbing story of her life in Canada until about a year and a half ago. She had owned a beautiful dress shop in Montreal for 25 years, and she said, “My customers repeatedly mentioned Florida, Florida, Florida” but it fell on deaf ears. Andrea is the first generation from Greece, and with family there, Greece had always been her go-to vacation place through the years and she thwarted the idea of traveling to Florida instead.
Then, last year, in March, Andrea finally gave in and visited Florida. “My brain explored,” she said, and added, “The second I set foot in the Town Center Mall, I said I’m going to open my second store here.” A year later she had gotten a Visa and moved to Boca Raton. Opening a store was easier for Andrea than it might have been for others because she had the expertise. She worked hard to build her business up and she knew what it takes.” This is what I do,” she said, “I eat, sleep, and breathe evening wear.” Andrea builds a personal relationship with each customer. She explained that in order to succeed, one must love helping customers for their special occasions. She described further how she had taken such excellent care of a client and the woman came back 15 years later with a daughter about to marry and asked, “Remember me?”
The gowns at Jenna Studio are all top quality. The exquisite fabrics are silk, chiffon, organza and linen, for example, and they are boned (that is, with structure for support, usually made by using lightweight strips of plastic sewn between the seams especially in strapless dresses.) The gowns are made in Canada (not in Asia) and may be ordered in any size or color. Andrea said, “I have a smaller stock in the showroom but it’s not a problem. 90% of the shoppers want changes in sizes or colors and we can accommodate all of them, even adding sleeves or rushing an order in 3 weeks, if necessary, though we prefer 3 months.”
Jenna Studio appeals to the most discerning tastes. The sophisticated long gowns are perfect for mothers-of-the-bride and also for the bridal party. Andrea explained that most of the dresses are gowns that are spectacular yet focus on simplicity and classic styles, “They are too expensive for younger gals’ proms and they don’t bare enough for the sassy “Hoochie Mamas.” These are special, imaginatively designed, finely crafted, and guaranteed to make a statement.
Andrea is here in Florida and her 2 sons are in Montreal but the rest of her family plans to move here next year. (By the way, the store is named Jenna who is Andrea’s mother.) In referring to moving, “It’s a process,” she said. Andrea’s husband, Paul, works in construction and he did all the painting, woodwork, carving and wainscoting, along with installing the huge mirror and chandelier that make a statement of pure grandeur when customers enter the store. She feels blessed that her older son, 25 year old Chris, who spent time as a child in his mother’s store as she worked, has an interest in the clothing business whereas her younger son, George, age 22, seems to be following in his father’s footsteps in construction.
Andrea is so pleased with her move to South Florida. She said, “When I sold my home up north, it was like selling my life but I could see that it was harder in Canada being locked in for 8 months a year. It’s a harder life. Here, everything is open, and better for our children. It’s easier to live nicely and with less effort.” She added, “We’re happy with the quality of life. It’s better here.”
Town Center at Boca Raton
6000 Glades Road
Boca Raton, Florida 33431