By DAVID JONES
Editor at Large
TREND SETTERS: Donna’s Fashions offers a variety of clothing and accessories for women and men. Owner Donna Brollier is photographed between her long time friends, Melody Lenox, left, and Carie Sutphen who help run the shop. She stresses quality in the shop and welcomes everyone to the shop’s relaxed atmosphere.
KELSY LORIN TAYLOR for GTR Newspapers
“More than anything else,” says Donna Brollier, I want people to enjoy the time they spend here.” The “here” she refers to is Donna’s, an upscale store in the Shops of Seville at 101st and South Yale.
The store is now enjoying its 13th year serving people in the South Tulsa area. It has fulfilled the dream Brollier had when she opened a tiny shop dedicated to fine women’s fashions in September 1998.
“I wanted it to be more than just fashion. I hoped that when a customer walked through the door they would find an environment that was comfortable, easy and inviting. I know that the lines we carry represent quality and value. The combination of quality and customer service was what I was seeking.”
The public response to such an approach has been so receptive that three years ago she all but doubled the space of her shop when the business next door moved. She went from 1,300 to 2,300 square feet and discovered a clientele she had heretofore utterly ignored: males.
“When we expanded we first offered just a few men’s items but that part of the business has grown enormously. We also discovered something about male shoppers – they are totally different from women. Women like to come in and shop and try things on. Males come through the door with a to-do list in mind, get what they came to get and leave. No fuss!”
Brollier took a roundabout path to discovering her passion for the fashion business. As a teenager, she worked retail in her hometown of Broken Bow. She went on to completing her degree in child development and fashion merchandising. She then received her masters degree in counseling from Oral Roberts University. Combining the ingredients of her “people skills” mixed with her flair for fashion have proven to be a good recipe for this business woman.
The idea of running her own store took hold and her counseling friends at school urged her to make the jump so in 1998 she did. “I stressed quality from the beginning but I tried to make an atmosphere where everyone was at ease.”
Donna’s fashion team, her sales staff, has been with her for many years and are close friends.
For women she has specialized in lines like Alberto Makali, Nic and Zoe and Joseph Ribkoff. For men she specializes in Tommy Bahama for more upscale clothing and Life is Good for more casual wear. “When I buy,” she says, “I am looking for lines as special, sophisticated and unique as my customers.”