Nolkis Roman (owner) and her husband, Eli Roman.
Photo by Peyton Jacobs/The Connection <cl>Nolkis Roman (owner) and her husband, Eli Roman.
While the weather was gloomy and dim this past Saturday, the doors to Havana Vintage Boutique were wide open and inside was anything but gloom. Cheerfully colored walls, luminous chandeliers, and the friendly faces of owner Nolkis Roman and her family greeted customers as they walked into the high-end consignment store to celebrate their five years in business.
Growing up on a farm in Baracoa, Guantanamo, Cuba, Roman did not know what her future would hold. She always loved clothing – creating and selling outfits for her dolls made of sticks as a child – and she dreamt of owning her very own store one day. After leaving her homeland behind and travelling to the U.S. in January of 1988, this ambition began to grow.
Her dream finally came true on Oct. 1, 2011 when Havana Vintage first opened. “As soon as I walked into the store, I said ‘this is it’. Great Falls has such a wonderful sense of community, and I am so grateful to my customers for allowing my business to grow as much as it has,” Roman said.
Consigners from all over Virginia, D.C. and Maryland bring their upscale brand-name or vintage clothing, shoes, and jewelry, receiving 50 percent commission on these items. The store also has a selection of European soaps, lotions, home goods, handbags, wallets, and more.
Customer Ellen North said she and her daughters visit the boutique often, her youngest playing with a pair of men’s shoes and her oldest carrying a large assortment of dresses into the curtained dressing room as she spoke. “They are very aware of their different kinds of customers, and they always remember us when we come back!” she said, smiling.
As a live band played and Roman continued to greet incoming guests, her children, Genesis, Victoria, and Noah, stood in the front of the boutique, away from the band and the chatter of the customers. “I love helping out at the store and getting to spend time with my mom,” said Victoria. “Knowing that we are helping and contributing to her dream makes it a really rewarding experience,” added Genesis. “We are really proud of her.”
If you would like to learn more about Havana Vintage, visit their website at www.havanavintageboutique.com.