“If you work hard your dreams will come true …” We have all heard this motivational phrase ever since we were kids, but for Valérie Mélanie Engel, the owner of the fashion boutique Roses and Dreams on Miami Beach, it is not just a saying — it is her whole attitude towards life. Idealistic by nature, Valérie, at the young age of 26, has already accomplished more than most people do in their whole lifetime. While other young people in their mid-twenties think about partying and going out (especially here in Miami Beach), Valérie kept her eye on the prize by pursuing her dreams and taking chances. Valérie dived into unknown, foreign territory armed only with her go-getter attitude and a dream. That is right; this brave young lady left everything behind and relocated to another country, without knowing anyone there, and started her own business. Breaking all traditional boundaries and overcoming some major barriers, Valérie now is living her dream.
The first time I learned about Valérie was when I was doing a research on fashion boutiques in Miami Beach. Immediately I wanted to meet this wonderful and inspiring young woman and to ask her a few questions.
In a few words, please tell our readers about your background.
I went to an art school and then a fashion school and then worked for Chanel in the South of France and Paris at the image department.
When did you become interested in fashion?
I always liked fashion and shopping. I used to go with my mother when I was very young; she always bought me the nicest dresses!
What did you do before you moved to Miami?
I was working for Chanel in Paris. I came to Miami on vacation and really liked it. Having a boutique was my dream. I decided to try before it was too late. I am now 27, not married, and no kids, so it was the right moment.
How did you come up with such an interesting name?
I simply love roses and believe in dreams. I think it is very important to have your own dreams and live in your own world. This is the key to happiness; hope is very important. I am idealistic and I like to see only happy endings and good things in people, even if they are not always nice!
What was the most difficult aspect of opening your boutique?
The location, because I was not an American then so getting my visa was difficult. I quit everything from one day to another to go to a new country; the first days were not always easy.
What brands does your boutique carry?
We carry French brands like Mes Demoiselles Paris, Gat Rimon, Antik Batik, etc. All these brands are famous in Paris. Then we have new designers. We try to have a mix of items and please all our clientele.
What makes your boutique store unique?
Our brands are exclusive, and include our French touch and the luxury/special service we give to all of our clients.
What has been your most favorite experience to date as a fashion boutique owner?
I would say seeing people in the street with our shopping bags.
How would you describe your personal style?
For you, what would you say is the best part of being a fashion boutique owner?
Ordering! It is like having a huge closet, which is the dream of many girls. And making our clients happy.
You are such a beautiful woman; what are your beauty secrets?
Being natural and simple. I believe in not wearing tons of makeup, natural hair color, nails, etc. are the nicest. We are all pretty and changing, and what nature gives you is the best option, to me.
What are your all-time favorite fashion trends?
I like romantic clothes, flower prints, Chloe, etc. Chloe and Lanvin are to me the nicest. I would totally get married on the beach with a Chloe light pink open-back dress.
What advice would you give to a savvy fashionista who wants to open her (his) own fashion boutique?
Believe in your dream. Never give up, even if it is hard and you feel like crying. Never give up because if you work hard it will come!