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@Work: The Freudian Slip

Sept. 3, 2007 — A new boutique in Frederiksted's Sunshine Mall shows it's no great leap from promoting paradise to hawking handbags, brand-name fashions and best-sellers.
Shoppers strolling the second floor may spot a familiar face leisurely adjusting the fashions or stocking new merchandise inside the cozy Freudian Slip. On closer inspection, they may recognize Pamela Richards, the former commissioner of V.I. Tourism.
“On the surface you see one thing, but there is more underneath,” said owner Richards, explaining both the name of the store and her unexpected return to the world of retail.
The boutique is an elegant replica of those one might see on Park Avenue in New York City, with its smooth upscale lines, inviting décor and one-of a kind fashion finds.
“I’ve always wanted to have a lingerie store, a shoe store and a book store,” Richards said of her lifelong passion. “We take care of you from the outside in.”
Artfully arranged shelves, tables and walls hold an array of items, from elegant chapeaus, fun and flirty shoes, unique handbags, fashion jewelry, sweaters, intimate apparel, men’s shirts and best seller books.
“These are the brands I've used — I can attest to the quality,” Richards said.
The former V.I. ambassador is no stranger to retail. “I worked for H. Stern for eight years and have been selling hats since 1995. I’m not a stranger to retail.”
Richards remains loyal to that brand of hats. The light, airy fashion headgear in vibrant colors — some accented with kente cloth colors — are by St. Thomain designer Dale Isaac. Isaac is a Charlotte Amalie High School graduate currently living in London, Richards said.
Other hats include the Betmar line, fancy and elegant with faux feathers and soft bows, perfect for that special luncheon or Sunday service. All the way from “down under” the Wallaroo line features wide brimmed casual hat wear with built-in SPF sun protection!
The shoe rack’s special attraction is a collection from Oka: colorful thongs, clogs and sandals that are all machine washable.
“You see what I mean about, ‘there’s more underneath,’” Richards chimed. “Everything is carefully chosen.”
In another corner of the store are cultural items, mocko jumbies on mahogany bases and stringed Christmas ornaments by Carol Blake Hodge.
Providing the shimmer and glitz that attracts the eye of fashionable women are a wide selection of evening handbags, clutches and “miniaudieres,” which, Richards explains, is what the French call a small evening bag. Accented with rhinestones, pearls and precious stones, several bags are muliti-functional. Richards demonstrates by switching one bag between the clutch style, then releasing the handle and finally folding that down to pull out the over-the-shoulder chain.
For the style-conscious professional, the boutique carries soft briefcases and laptop computer carrying cases by Moonus.
In the lingerie section, ladies can choose from Walcol, Hanky Panky, Ongossamer, Vanity Fair, Lilly of France, Chantell and Natori brands.
Feeding the soul is an array of best sellers, interspersed throughout the shelves. Richards held a book reading for the debut of the new Harry Potter book and plans a similar event for the 50th anniversary of Dr. Seuss's "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" during the holidays.
Richards said her St. Thomas store located in the Crown Bay Commercial Center will open in about a month.
To contact The Freudian Slip, call 340-772-3490 or email Richards.
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