Kara Bazma opened at the Landing in September 2010 as a showroom and fabrication center for a “little black dress” that was tailored to each wearer with a one-of-a-kind computer-generated pattern.
The showroom side of the business has been expanded with the opening of a new retail store with a full-time manager and fashion stylist, Jacqueline Yulee.
Yulee thought she would be a journalist until her part-time job in college exposed her to the fashion world, where she said she found her true calling.
“Working in fashion retail, I learned a lot about merchandising and about how customers think,” she said.
Yulee’s studies took her on a trip to New York City to attend a journalism conference. While in the Big Apple, she discovered street fashion.
“Fashion is very expressive. It’s a form of art,” Yulee said.
Working with clients to help them find their own look is one of the more enjoyable parts of her job.
“I want to help women of all shapes and sizes discover their own personal style and teach them how to dress for their body type,” said Yulee.
“Fashion is just as important as health or education. Your image counts because perception is everything. How you look is the first impression you make,” she said.
Kara Bazma offers a selection of dressy clothes for women as well as more casual looks such as slacks and tops in sizes 0-22.
“Half of our inventory is for the fuller-figured woman,” Yulee said.
The store also carries shoes, handbags and jewelry with an emphasis on the work of local designers. Yulee said most people would be surprised at how many clothing designers are in Jacksonville.
“There is a lot more fashion industry here than people might think,” she said.
To promote the local design community, Kara Bazma is planning to debut a new event next month, the “Second Thursday Fashion Walk.” The idea is to promote something similar to First Wednesday Art Walk, but with a different focus.
“Most people who come to Art Walk skip the Landing. This will be a way to give the store and the mall more exposure,” said Yulee.
Kara Bazma is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. It is closed Sunday.