Images: island*atelier

Here is a funny story.  It's strange how coincidences sometimes occur.  Several years ago I created the web address islandatelier.com with vague plans to start a fashion retail business here.  I chose the name and got the web address, however due to other commitments the retail venture never took off and I ended up using the website as this blog.  The plan was to open a retail store selling the fashion labels I love, so you can imagine my great surprise when I saw in the news a few years ago that a store called "Atelerie" would be opening in Bermuda.  The name and concept chosen were similar to the one I had planned and they were targeting the exact sort of market I had hoped to!

I will confess that I felt extremely disappointed that someone had beaten me to it and childishly boycotted the store for several months because of it.  But there aren't that many places on the island where you can buy decent labels and mid-range designer lines, and as the buyer's taste is very similar to my own, I eventually caved in.

Atelerie is the brainchild of Heather Macdonald and I think she has executed her vision very well.  The first store was out of a residence in Paget, but it soon moved to the ground floor of a relatively new building outside of the main retail centre in the city.  It helps that the building in which the store is housed is strikingly modern (by island standards), fairly upmarket and overlooks one of the city's parks.  The store itself is not large and is very simply laid out with concrete floors, a beautiful chandelier and a mix of antiqued furniture on which clothes, shoes and accessories are displayed.

Because of the limited choice on an island of this size, most retail shopping is done on trips overseas or online, so I think it's important to support young entrepreneurs, especially when they have a product that is good.  I do shop there occasionally, but old habits (online shopping) are hard to break.  When I do visit, I try to purchase something to support the business no matter how small it may be and hope Atelerie will have some longevity.  I know the retail market here, and elsewhere, is very difficult especially at the moment.

Again, in spite of the similarity of our names, we are in no way affiliated with Atelerie, the shop, but would recommend it as one of the best boutiques in Bermuda.  Stop by and browse if you have a moment to spare.  You won't regret it.

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