Leslie is business partners with her sister, Candice Binno Pattah. Initially, Royal Dutchess was launched as the clothing site www.royaldutchessinc.com before the store opened in December 2010.
Both developed an interest in style at an early age. Even before becoming teenagers the Chaldeans always knew they wanted to open their own boutique.
Today they are living their childhood dream in the city they grew up in. Leslie says opening a business in an area where you know people has its advantages.
As a kid Candice would sketch her own clothing line. The inside of Royal Dutchess makes her expertise in interior design evident. She designed the whole store – even coming up with the name. Leslie worked in retail for eight years, and managed the clothing store BEBE for four years.
Since opening the boutique has gained immense positive feedback, and continues to expand in terms of the type of merchandise it carries. There is the Baby Dutchess and Doggy Dutchess couture clothing and accessory lines, and a new section for men called Dukes.
It carries a select choice of clothing, shoes and accessories. The brands consist of emerging new designers. Items are purchased in limited quantities, and often arrive straight from designer’s studios. There are new shipments every week to look forward to, including great sales. Last year Royal Dutchess had six fashion shows, and two so far this year.
For Leslie, running the business isn’t a job. She considers it a hobby, and says that’s because she loves fashion. She adds that when people pursue their passion they will be “amazed at what they do.” Still, Leslie admits it requires a lot of commitment, and isn’t always stress free. Although the economy’s condition makes pursuing your passion all the more challenging, Leslie still says it’s a good idea, citing people wouldn’t know the outcome if they backed down.
The sisters are members of the Chaldean Chamber of Commerce and affiliated with the Chaldean American Ladies of Charity. The store employs three other women. As for future locations, Leslie says the idea has come up, but there are no current plans in place.