Have you ever had a secret that you wish you could share with the entire world? Well we do, and it’s Major! The House of VillaMaria is nestled and tucked away in the south-western outskirts of Ole’ Nassau. The house itself is known to be magical and spell-binding, inducing a euphoric state on those lucky enough to unlock it’s secrets. Trinkets, baubles, pearls, precious stones, metals and rings can all be found here at the house of F.A.B.
The first of it’s kind on the island – Final Accents Boutique is a specialty accessory boutique, that services the last leg of a woman’s fashion journey. Accessorize! The F.A.B. accessory haven provides women with magical tools that will morph her into a “funky, simple or chic” trendsetter!
I recently had the opportunity to sit and discuss this “best-kept-secret” with the Lerielle Cole, accessory maven and Creative Director of Final Accents. Peep our MajorFab convo below.
Major: Where did F.A.B start from?
F.A: Final Accents started in November 2008. I went to school in Toronto (ironically to do Economics), the epi-center of fashion in Canada, and I fell in love with the multi-cultures and merging of fashion tastes & styles. I loved going into thrift stores, cultural festivals and little international markets to pick out the most unique accessories (African, Indian, Persian, Moroccan, etc)…I’ve ALWAYS LOVED detail and fashion so after coming back home (to Nassau) I realized there was a HUGE void in the market, to find trendy, quality and affordable pieces that could really identify you as an individual and speak to your personal style. I also realized that people didn’t appreciate the relevance of accessories, and what they can really do for you, SO, it only seemed right to merge the two (fashion & detail) and start up my own accessories company!
Major: How did you come up with the name “Final Accents”?
F.A.: I knew I wanted Final in there from the get-go, because accessories are the last thing I put on to complete my “look”. Then I was doodling different words and ideas I liked, a synonym to represent accessories. It was a toss up between Final Touches and Final Accents (I made all my girlfriends VOTE lol) and in the end Final Accents won (thank God)! Throw on “Boutiq” (which stands for an intimate escape/experience) and there you have Final Accents [Accessories] Boutiq, b.k.a. F.A.B.!
Major: Did you ever forecast F.A.B as being so well known nationally? Women are raving about this “best-kept-secret”.
F.A.: Is that right? F.A.B. is nationally known?! Haaaa! It’s SO funny because I STILL don’t think anyone really knows about Final Accents (at least on the level that I’d like)! But it’s REALLY nice to know people feel that way!
Major: How important do you think it is to accentuate an outfit with accessories? How would you compare an outfit with/w.o a final accent?
F.A.: It is absolutely necessary..no questions asked. Accessories just add that flare, that edge, that “wow factor” to your look. They really identify your personal style and propels your fashionable appeal to another level..something I don’t think just clothes can do. There is no outfit without a final accent!
Major: What is your favourite accessory & why?
F.A.: Lord why would you do this to me? For every time I’m asked this question I can never respond with just ONE piece! Lol! I love them all..but I guess if I had to HAD TO choose, I would say necklaces..because you can go uber simple with one or layer a few of them for a super funky approach (which is my current “trend”..layering necklaces). While I don’t think necklaces should be everyone’s staple piece, I definitely think you should have an accessory to frame your face (necklaces, earrings, head wear), since the face is what people notice and remember most.
Major: I’m not an accessory expert, how I go about picking out accessories?
F.A.: Pick your accessories based on your mood or the “look” you’re going for. If it’s punk rock, do chains and studs. If it’s glam, do pearls. If it’s chic, do bling, etc. Most of the times I wear basic tees, tanks and bottoms and achieve my “look” w/ accessories..*go figure*
Major: How do you decide on “trends”? i.e., What am I going to sell in the Boutiq, something that is “in style” and only hot for the minute or something that I know people will love and is year round.
F.A.: In terms of trends, I keep current because I LIVE on fashion sites and in fashion mags, so I pretty much breathe this stuff! When I’m shopping for The Boutiq, it’s pretty easy because I just pick pieces I like, pieces I think will sell and pieces I know people will appreciate. In that way, The Boutiq has everything – trendy, fashionable, seasonal, non-seasonal, wooden, hand made, colourful, metallic, etc. People appreciate getting pieces that are current but also pieces that speak to their specific preferences. Fashion fades but style remains.
Major: How hard was it getting your business off the ground. Saying, “I don’t want to work a 9-5, I would rather open a store doing something I love.”
F.A. When you can’t stay at a job for more than 6 months then you realize that a “9-5” ain’ for you! Lol! But seriously, I never actually thought I’d be doing this line of work career wise, especially because I was trained in accounts and economics (and half-way through a Masters in Cultural Studies)! BUT, when you find something you love and would do it for a dime a day if you had to, then it’s your calling. Ironically, it wasn’t until I started up Final Accents I realized how DEEP my passion for this thing is!
Major: What was the support like? We remember how hard you and your team, [your beautiful mother] worked at different events in the beginning.
F.A.: Girl, you know we were at EVERY event we could think of our first year in business! I always say my mom owns the business and I just run it..because she’s so heavily invested in it and I go to her to EVERYTHING..so if Betty ain’ feelin’ it, then chaal ain’ nothin’ happenin’! Support is one of the most crucial factors in keeping you driven and motivated to continuously strive for greatness because doing this is HARD work! And I’d say that everything is a timed process. There was a reason our focus was on doing events – to get our name out there and most importantly to connect our product to the intended audience. If people don’t see it, feel it, know it, then they ain’ supportin’ it! So the events have surely done their part in getting our products out there. Now, our focus is more on branding the company and bringing people to The Boutiq.
Major: We see that you’re launching a new F.A.B., collection? Can you give us some deets, it looks super exciting! Where did the concept come from?
F.A.: AHHHH..F.A.B.olution!! This concept and collection is ALL me..in terms of the style, the look, the accessories, the elements. F.A.B.olution just represents a revolutionary movement to really bring the attention to detail. I NEED people to realize how important “small” things are and how they can sometimes make the biggest statement. So it’s really about challenging industry norms and expectations and really taking the idea of detail to an unexpected but revolutionary level. I was (and still am) totally nervous about this campaign because it is a bit left wing for Final Accents, it’s VERY edgy, but I HAD to do it to show people what I can put forth, what I can represent and ultimately what I can change! *Fingers crossed* people will be impressed and inspired by what’s coming.
Major: We’ve seen the growth, from tables to F.A.B., to personal styling & photo shoots, to the face of F.A.B, to the new F.A.B. collection. What is next for the F.A.B team? (Have you thought about personally designing some pieces, like an actual Final Accents line?]
F.A.: F.A.B.olution is next! I really want to develop this concept as far as possible so my focus is that right now. I’m also launching my Bridal collection, targeting brides and their wedding party (we gatta F.A.B. them out too) because that’s another HUGE market that needs refining! I’m also launching The Doll Collection, which comprises of everyday girls and women representing an influential brand (F.A.B.) and positive movement. I want EVERY woman to feel like they can be a part of something big, that they don’t have to be a professional model to be the face of a company. I want them to know they too can have their own and do their own, so that’s what The Doll Collection is all about. Then still running The Boutiq, tapping into designing a bit, writing for Stylezine, tapping into online marketing and regional expansion, continuing to improve The Brand AND planning future events and concepts, *whew*! What I’m trying to do is greater than a store or a campaign. It’s a lifestyle, a culture, a F.A.B.olution!
Major: If you could “FAB out” one person who would it be and why?
F.A.: Does it have to be just one? Ok fine, #dontjudgeme but I’m gonna say The Kardashian Sisters! I absolutely love who they are, what they represent and what they do. They are moguls. They tap into EVERYTHING possible in the industry: designing, fragrances, shoes, bathing suits, retail, branding, they’ve mastered online marketing AND they’re super fashionable! People may not like them personally, but professionally, they are “taping” all the way to the bank! Now THAT’s the direction I would like to take F.A.B..a little bit of every undiscovered or unappreciated niche.
Major: Finally, you took a risk ultimately as it’s very difficult to foresee success, especially at home in that market. What advice would you give to women who have the ideas and talent to live “out of the box” and create a niche, but are hesitant?
F.A.: Do what you love, love what you do and ultimately, think like you’ve got millions but work like you’ve got nothing! (I SERIOUSLY live [and work] by this!)
We would love to thank head F.A.B. Doll & accessory connoisseur Ms. Lerielle Cole for chit-chatting with us about all things F.A.B! It was definitely a pleasure and we can not wait for the launch of FAB.olution! Get ready ladies, October 6th at F.A.B! It’s going to be Major!
For Major Fab, log on to Final Accents at www.finalaccentsaccessories.com
All Images Courtesy of Final Accents Accessory Boutique.