Fashion designer New Harford, “an entrepreneur by nature”, opens store in Canton

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For those familiar with her work as a stylist, Brenda Quin is known as “the queen of color”.

She recently opened Diva USA Pink House Boutique, a retail clothing store on Canton’s Albany Turnpike, in a pink building surrounded by flowering plants and a bright pink sign up front.

The old business was a consignment shop, but Diva USA sells Quin’s own clothing and accessories, made at its own factory in South Africa, as well as local crafts, soaps and jewelry from manufacturers in the region. .

Brenda Quin, a New Hartford resident and native of South Africa who worked as a fashion designer for decades, recently opened her own store, Diva USA, on Albany Turnpike in Canton.

Brenda Quin / Photo contribution

“It’s going really well, I was pleasantly surprised,” said Quin. “It’s a very good place for me; I plan to keep the prices halfway, so they are very affordable. We have a lot of nice high end stores here so it’s something different.

She also designs her own fabrics, using them to craft her unique dresses, flowing tunics, shiny tops and bottoms in a variety of solids and prints that are uniquely hers.

Quin, originally from South Africa and now a resident of New Hartford, moved to the United States in 2020 to be closer to her son and family, who live on Long Island. She and her 43-year-old husband Dave discovered Litchfield County while searching for a home; they have chosen a property and reside in a motorhome until the house is ready.

“It was just a shell house; it should be ready in about four months, ”Quin said.

Brenda Quin, a New Hartford resident and native of South Africa who worked as a fashion designer for decades, recently opened her own store, Diva USA, on Albany Turnpike in Canton.

Brenda Quin, a New Hartford resident and native of South Africa who worked as a fashion designer for decades, recently opened her own store, Diva USA, on Albany Turnpike in Canton.

Brenda Quin / Photo contribution

Her passion is to create women’s clothing that will make them happy, she said. After moving to New Hartford two years ago, Quin approached Jackie McNamara, owner of LiveBeYou at Winsted, a clothing and gift store that opened earlier this year.

McNamara rented her a space in the back of the store to sell some of her designer dresses, tops and handmade gifts.

But just being in a small room wasn’t enough, and when she was ready, she found the Albany Turnpike space and got to work opening her new business. The community reception at Diva USA has been very positive, she said. “We’ll see how we do; see what people need and want, ”she said. “I will listen to customers and what they want. It will be a whole new ball game.

Brenda Quin, a New Hartford resident and native of South Africa who worked as a fashion designer for decades, recently opened her own store, Diva USA, on Albany Turnpike in Canton.

Brenda Quin, a New Hartford resident and native of South Africa who worked as a fashion designer for decades, recently opened her own store, Diva USA, on Albany Turnpike in Canton.

Brenda Quin / Photo contribution

“I love helping women plan their wardrobes, helping them bring out their own style,” Quin said. “I believe that we are all unique individuals and that we like to express ourselves in our own way; sometimes we just need a little help.

Quin is a self-taught fashion designer and has worked in fashion for almost 30 years. She has supplied dresses to numerous Miss South Africa and Miss World contestants, and has presented her work at African Fashion Week in London and catwalks in South Africa, where she won the award for Best Collection. of women’s clothing in 2016 and 2018, she said. Quin was also invited to show her work at the Verdala Summer Palace of the President of Malta in Malta.

Brenda Quin, a New Hartford resident and native of South Africa who worked as a fashion designer for decades, recently opened her own store, Diva USA, on Albany Turnpike in Canton.

Brenda Quin, a New Hartford resident and native of South Africa who worked as a fashion designer for decades, recently opened her own store, Diva USA, on Albany Turnpike in Canton.

Brenda Quin / Photo contribution

Now that she is in Canton, Quin says she makes friends and finds local vendors to sell their products in her store.

“I believe in local support,” she said. “Right now I have scented candles and soaps; the manufacturer is happy to do it under my label; and we are always looking for someone local who makes jewelry.

“I also believe in empowering women in business,” Quin said. “A lot of women start their businesses from home because it’s the only way to operate. They are busy being mothers and wives, so they start at home, like me. So if I can help them make their own dreams come true, this is what it is.

Brenda Quin, a New Hartford resident and native of South Africa who worked as a fashion designer for decades, recently opened her own store, Diva USA, on Albany Turnpike in Canton.

Brenda Quin, a New Hartford resident and native of South Africa who worked as a fashion designer for decades, recently opened her own store, Diva USA, on Albany Turnpike in Canton.

Brenda Quin / Photo contribution

Diva USA is a full time engagement, but Quin is also enjoying her new life in New Hartford. “We moved in August 2020, during the pandemic, but it was not a huge challenge for us as we weren’t visiting anyone other than our son and his family,” she said. “We were playing it safe, of course.

“We are camping right now, with the motorhome while the house is being built,” she said. “In South Africa, we went on safaris, so we’re used to it. In the rain, it’s awkward to cook, but we adapted and we love it.

Their property borders a national forest, perfect for the Quins. “We come from an open space and we love wildlife – we’ve seen bears and deer here,” she said. “Dave was retired when we got here, but he’s just joined a builder and they’re flipping houses. So he’s not sitting at home; he is not bored.

Quin was not yet ready to retire.

“I wanted to do something with my fashion business once I got here, and if someone asks me, ‘How could you do that, during the pandemic? My answer has always been, if you don’t try, you will never succeed. I took the bull by the horns and opened the store by faith, ”she said. “It’s like starting over completely. But I am an entrepreneur by nature, and that comes with risks. I want to try and never fail.

Brenda Quin, a New Hartford resident and native of South Africa who worked as a fashion designer for decades, recently opened her own store, Diva USA, on Albany Turnpike in Canton.

Brenda Quin, a New Hartford resident and native of South Africa who worked as a fashion designer for decades, recently opened her own store, Diva USA, on Albany Turnpike in Canton.

Brenda Quin / Photo contribution

Quin said she plans to add a staff member to make changes for her customers and support her neighbors.

“What I take away quite strongly is that people are very supportive of buying local,” she said. “If you don’t take care of your local stores, eventually they will close, and the local economy will collapse. I am as strong as the other stores; we are all together and we can work together.

Diva USA Pink House Boutique is located at 164 Albany Turnpike, Canton. Store hours are Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To reach the store, call 845-375-7505 or visit https://m.facebook.com/Diva-USA-104774641824747/

Brenda Quin, a New Hartford resident and native of South Africa who worked as a fashion designer for decades, recently opened her own store, Diva USA, on Albany Turnpike in Canton.

Brenda Quin, a New Hartford resident and native of South Africa who worked as a fashion designer for decades, recently opened her own store, Diva USA, on Albany Turnpike in Canton.

Brenda Quin / Photo contribution



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