Johari Retail Spotlight
“Let us fit & lift you” – Johari.
by Pat Sonti, Vice President / COO of Couture & Prêt Ltd.
For nearly fifteen (15) years, Johari has served many retail customers in fine lingerie, swimwear and accessories in addition to providing expertise in both bra and swimwear fit. Located in the Montclair Center at 465 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair, New Jersey, Johari is owned and operated by a very dynamic, enterprising and empowered woman entrepreneur; Deborah Furr. Johari’s motto is “Let us fit & lift you”. Deborah said she discovered the name “Johari” in a baby’s book and it means “gem or jewel” in Swahili.
“Being in the lingerie, swimwear and accessories industry for many decades, Deborah sees challenges as well as opportunities.”
Johari is a spacious boutique which is open seven days a week and no prior appointment is necessary for any fitting. Johari has been helping women from a wide regional area (New York, New Jersey etc.) find that “perfect-fit” they are looking for in both their lingerie as well as swimwear. In addition, Johari also serves male customers for innerwear. Deborah and her well-trained, customer-friendly staff of bra-fit specialists are ready to help retail customers find the “right” garment to compliment their body type as well as personality.
There are six separate fitting rooms available at the boutique. Johari carries a very wide array of merchandize to meet the desires, wants and needs of various ages and tastes. The typical bra sizes range from “AA” to “J” cup – and swimwear from size 4 to 24w. Johari has a nice selection of accessories which can help the retail customer complete their overall look and feel with that perfect straw sun hat, cap, and beach sandals or cover-up.
Above: Hauty, Glitter from iCollection on display.
Since 2001, both Deborah and Johari have been featured in many local press / media. Deborah was also featured in make-up artist, Bobbi Brown’s 2007 release “Living Beauty”. In addition, Morris & Essex Life Magazine May / June 2013 awarded Johari the “Reader Choice” award for the best lingerie store. It is really great to know Deborah and Johari’s staff keen understanding and appreciation of bra fitting, as indicated on their website, of the very important fact that…“The right size can make all the difference!…85% of all women wear the wrong bra size.
A proper fitting bra is comfortable and has a supportive strap. No puckering or spilling out of the cup. A proper fitting bra gives you support and shape. The under band firmly anchored around the body, is level in the front and back. The underwire sits flat or lays flat across the chest wall. It should not stand away. Breast should be fully contained and separated within the underwire. No straps digging in, breast should fill the cup, bands should not rise up, underwire should not hang away from the body. Underwire should not dig into breast tissue. Stop in and we will help you change your look and life”.
Deborah’s own personal entrepreneurial story and journey is quite inspiring and highly motivating. From the age of 12, she had a passion for the arts and fashion apparel. Later, with a full-time day job in merchant retail and studying at night at Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) in New York City, she embarked on a career as a Buyer for various small, medium and large retail chains. With continual eye on fashion, she learned the intricacies of product development, inventory management, catalog sales, sourcing, supply chain, accounting, receivables, and related business areas. In mid-2000, Deborah undertook a new path by writing a business plan, mobilizing funding and setting-up her boutique. She learned and put into practice key disciplines, including but not limited to; conserving capital, focus on revenues, working with suppliers, up-selling, cross-selling, being “hands-on”, proper staff-training, developing core customers and striking a balance between business and her personal goals. It is so heartening to hear Deborah speak so passionately about her “roadmap goal for her business” and “it’s all about what the customer experiences”.
Being in the lingerie, swimwear and accessories industry for many decades, Deborah sees challenges as well as opportunities. She is actively focused on; upgrading Johari website, balancing brick & mortar retail and e-Commerce, maintain core-business goals, community involvement, expanding customer base, increased catering to men, more trendy lingerie and swimwear, plus sizes, and related areas. Deborah is constantly monitoring both macroeconomic outlook and fashion trends while being dynamic and maintaining flexibility.
Johari carries many great brands in lingerie which include; Arianne; Aubade; Barefoot Dreams Robes; Bocca Terry Spa Robes; Bravado Nursing Bra; Calvin Klein; Casual Moments; Commando; Cosabella; Curvy kate (sizes up to K cup); DKNY; DKNY Sleepwear; Fantasie; Fasion Forms; Felina; Fleur’t; Freya; Fun For Feet; Gemma; Goddess; Hanky Panky; Hue; Huit; Jezebel; Le Mystere; Lise Charmel; Marlies Dekkers; Mary Green; Memoi; Montelle; NK I Mode; Nu bra; On Gossamer; Pj Salvage; Playful Promises; Pleasure State; Shock Absorber; Simone Perele; Spanx; Squeem; Timpa and; Wacaol. Johari carries many brands in swimwear which include; Anne Cole; Aerin Rose; Barbara Gerwit; Becca; Betsey Johnson; Carmen Marc Valvo; Fantasie Swim; Freya Swim; Gottex Profile; Jag; Juicy Couture; La Blanca; Lisa Curran; Lucky Brands; Magic Suit; Micheal Kors; Miracle Suit; Nanette Lapore; Reebok; Shan; Sunsets; Swim Systems; Tommy Bahama; Tommy Bahama Resort Wear; Trina Turk; Vince Camuto; Vitamin A and ; Vix. Finally, Johari carries many brands in accessories, which include; Ahead; Calvin Klein hosiery; Commando; Forever New; Hue; Illume Candles; Kathy Jeanne; Levante; Rider sandals; San Diego Hat co; Spanx; Vida Aire Sanitizer and; Wolford.
465 Bloomfield Ave
Montclair, New Jersey