A MOTHER who left her home country six years ago has fulfilled a dream by opening her area’s first Polish fashion store.
When she first came to the UK, Paulina Koczorowska worked long hours on Bournemouth beach selling ice cream and doughnuts while harbouring an ambition to open a clothes shop.
Her business, Mint Sisters, began as a market stall and has now opened as Boscombe’s first dedicated Polish fashion shop, in the Sovereign Shopping Centre.
Paulina, 32, hopes more people in Bournemouth will get into Polish fashion, which she says has a distinct modern style, and is looking to take on another staff member later this year.
She said: “I opened up the market stall five months ago and had a fantastic reaction. I needed more space and now I have the shop.
“It’s a dream come true. I’ve always dreamed about this. Since I came to England I’ve worked hard and saved up to open my own shop.”
She said she usually stocks a limited number of each item, so her customers know they are unlikely to run into someone wearing the same outfit.
She added: “We need more people to see we have really nice clothes from Poland. It is a very unique style, really different.
“We might have three or four things in the same style, so no one has the same clothes on. They come from different companies in Poland so people get a really individual style.”
Paulina has been used to working from 9am until 1am the following day. The mother-of-one receives help from her sister Daria.
She added: “It’s hard work. I’m working seven days a week. I do all the deliveries and the service in store.”From the summer I want to hire one person part time.”
She says younger British customers in particular have warmed to the Polish style.
“A lot of young people have been coming in and saying the style is really different and they like that,” she said.
“I hope things will get bigger and bigger. If this shop is a success I want to open up another in Bournemouth.”I need to make my website now because people keep saying to me ‘Do you have one?’, so that is my next step.”
Sovereign Shopping Centre manager Peter Ruscoe said: “We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Paulina and her store, Mint Sisters, to the Sovereign Shopping Centre.
“Her store provides a really unique fashion offer for female customers and I’m sure it will go from strength to strength in the coming months.”
Paulina added: “When I came over to Bournemouth six years ago I was working long hours every day on the seafront selling ice cream and doughnuts.
“First I saved money for a house and then I saved for my dream. Now me and my future husband are saving together for our wedding in July.”There has been a lot of saving for everything.”