It’s never too late to live your dream

PREMIUM

Despite being in her early 60s and on the verge of retirement, Rose Willer has proven that it is never too late to make your dreams come true.
After working in events management for over 20 years, Willer has decided to follow her passion for design and women’s fashion by opening up her own clothing boutique.
“I’ve always been passionate about design and clothing, and I actually started out attending markets and selling home décor in 2017.
Later I moved on to selling some clothing collections at markets too, but this boutique has been a dream of mine for a really long time,” said Willer, who has been toying with the idea of a boutique for five years.
Opening up Villa Rosa Designs in Chamberlain Square in East London this month, Willer has enjoyed a whirlwind journey and said that she never imagined she would own a business.
“I never thought I’d actually be here, and it’s definitely put me out of my comfort zone, but I really think that if you’re not scared, then your dream isn’t big enough,” said Willer.
“I can’t believe how quickly it all came together too. I always wanted a space at Chamberlain Square and I saw the ‘to let sign’ in January, signed the lease and now we’re here.”
An events co-ordinator at the East London IDZ, Willer said instead of withdrawing from the working world when she turns 65, she will keep going.
“Villa Rosa is my retirement plan, because I honestly could not sit at home and do nothing. Meeting with designers and seeing how they work has been fascinating for me, and this entire journey has been incredible,” said Willer, whose boutique garments and products match her vibrant, colourful and cheerful personality.
Offering up playful, patterned clothing items for special occasions, Villa Rosa Designs is all about making women feel and look good, according to Willer.
“When women walk into Villa Rosa I want them to have a wonderful experience. We get a lot of women who come in looking for something to wear to weddings or 21sts and other occasions, and I love making sure they feel and look amazing,” said Willer.
The boutique also offers funky accessories such as hats, bracelets and earrings, body products and a range of resort wear, including sarongs and sandals. The boutique’s official launch is on Thursday evening, when Willer will also be revealing her new stock.
“I’m so grateful for my husband and family who pushed me to do it. I’m good at managing events and people and I could plan an event in no time, but this is all very new to me,” said Willer.
“I’m not a risk-taker or an entrepreneur – I’m not business-orientated at all, but I took a giant leap of faith, and who knows where Villa Rosa will go.
“I got married for the second time when I was 61 and I registered my own business at 62 and now I have my own boutique. Life begins at 60,” she said cheerfully...

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