Feb 14, 2016
POSHd By Valerie Joseph Comes To Ward Village
Ten years after opening Valerie Joseph, her first successful boutique, Valerie Ragaza-Miao made a point to take time and reflect on her business.
While she's been able to create a thriving string of boutiques in Honolulu, offering trendy, fun fashion at a price point that doesn't break the bank, she yearned to create something new, something that reflected her passion for fashion, but also made a point to give back to the world that had given her so much. With that mindset, the seeds of her newest venture, POSH'd, located at Ward Village, were sewn.
For those familiar with the Valerie Joseph boutique, the concept behind POSH'd is a bit more refined, cultured, and worldly. An effervescent Ragaza-Miao says:
I like to think of POSH'd as Valerie Joseph's older sister. It's a bit more sophisticated, but still fun. Among some of our merchandise, we're thrilled to carry a few collections that really help make the world a better place by supporting the planet or other small businesses and women in developing countries. To me that's really important.
By carrying lines that are not only in vogue, but also sustainable and conscientious, POSH'd joins a host of other storefronts in Ward Village, as well as the Ward Village Foundation, that count their worth not only by the success of their sales, but by the good they do for the community and planet. "We're carrying a line of bracelets that supports women's groups. We're also stocking another line of paper goods that plants trees based on their sales," confidently states Ragaza-Miao. "Giving back has always been very important to me."
For as long as she can recall, Ragaza-Miao has been passionate about fashion. When she was in school, she would regularly work through the night, not on her homework, but creating patterns and formulating new concepts for wardrobes. When she graduated, she went straight into the workforce and the fashion industry, diligently working her way up through numerous jobs and learning every facet of the retail industry. Eventually, she would rise in the ranks and take on the responsibility of managing multiple retail locations. But when the opportunity to move even further up the corporate ladder arose, Ragaza-Miao was hit with an epiphany: she could either continue working for someone else, or branch out and work for herself. "At that point, I felt like I'd learned so much working in retail and around fashion. It really felt like it was time to try my hand at my own business." she recalls. "That's how Valerie Joseph, the boutique, was born."
In 2008, the Great Recession took hold of both the domestic and world market. Like so many other small-business owners, the economic downturn hit the retail sector in Hawaii especially hard. "That was a tough time for a lot of small-business owners. But by moving some of our production overseas, we were able to bring down our expenses and weather that period without laying anyone off." But as the economy healed, Ragaza-Miao began set her sights once again on growing her business. Despite the success she found at running her boutiques, she felt compelled to answer the call of public service.
With both her business and civic pursuits on sound footing, Ragaza-Miao felt it time to expand her ambitions. Not long after, the concept of POSH'd went from concept to reality and a new boutique was born. "I'd always thought that after 10 years, it was time to rethink things a bit. The store is set to open on March 1st and we feel that, since we had a location at Ward in the past, it's really a homecoming of sorts for us. We can't wait to open up the shop and showcase this new concept to all of our customers."
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