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New Portage business is hoping to set trends

Shelley Cook

Portage's newest fashion shop opens its doors to customers on Wednesday morning.

Olina Fashion, located on Saskatchewan Ave E, is the newest business in this city that will not only keep Portage women hip and trendy, it will also do it without breaking the bank.

The selection at Olina Fashions doesn't just stop at clothes though, owners Ajay and Komal Aggarwal say the store also has nearly three hundred different designs of handbags; from genuine leather to faux leather, there is something for everyone and every budget.

"You will not find these prices in Winnipeg," he said.

"We won't compromise when it comes to good stuff," echoed Komal. "What I was being offered here was nowhere in comparison to what I wanted."

The Aggarwal's also own Olina Jewels just down the street from the fashion shop of the same name. The couple said they decided to expand the Olina brand by opening up the clothing shop because, they say, it fills a void in this city for fashionistas of all ages looking for trendy clothes. The store offers clothing for women (and some men) of all shapes and sizes.

"We have plus sizes," Ajay said, adding that some of the clothes sizes go up to 4XL. "That's one the main requests I received, people want plus sizes, so I've got all sizes."

Komal said she plans to continually upgrade the shop by listening to what her customers want, and by delivering products that aren't easy to come by in Portage, including grad and wedding dresses.

"We will have five or six samples (of wedding dresses) here and we'll custom make them to order," Ajay explained.

"The best thing is that we'll always relate the jewels and the fashions," echoed Komal. "If we are running a promotion, we will always try and benefit the crowd shopping there (at Olina Jewels) as well as here."

The couple say their new shop is just the first step in building a bigger brand that will eventually outfit men and children as well.

The Aggarwal's moved to Canada two years ago from India with their daughter Arishya, 8, and now happily call Portage their home. The couple say they have plans to open up more businesses under the Olina brand in the upcoming years because, they say, they want to create jobs and keep money flowing into the local economy.

"All of my business will be in Portage," Ajay said. "We'll be giving a lot of employment to people in Portage because we are not going to be managing any of the stores, we'll have people to manage the stores."

Wednesday's opening is the clothing store's "soft launch" before the grand opening that is slated for September.

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