From Jamaica to Milford, a local designer makes her dream come true at the Connecticut Post Mall

MILFORD — Since the age of 9, when Karlene Lindsay-Worrell lived in Jamaica, she knew she wanted to be a designer. Now his dream has come true.

Lindsay-Worrell is CEO and Chief Designer at Karlene Lindsay Designs, which has now opened at the Connecticut Post Mall in Suite 1072, between Macy’s and LA Fitness. Prior to the new Milford location, Lindsay-Worrell had space in West Haven.

“I design all the dresses and all the products, and they’re all made right here in the store,” Lindsay-Worrell said.

Lindsay-Worrell, a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, began selling her designs online.

“After I graduated from FIT, I knew I didn’t want to work for someone else, so I created an online website and sewed from home,” she added. “A friend of mine had a store in West Haven, so I rented a rack in her space, and that’s when I started getting more people to buy my products.”

As more and more people bought her designs, Lindsay-Worrell realized that her business was more of a brick-and-mortar business than an online one.

“A few years later, my friend closed her store and I wasn’t going to bring people to my house anymore, so I had to open a space for them to come,” she said. “I was looking for a studio, found a small store and decided to open my business there.”

The space worked for what Lindsay-Worrell needed, but she said foot traffic was too slow.

“I was walking around the mall and met a small business owner, and we got to talk a bit,” she said. “I decided to look into it to see how much it would cost for the space here because I thought it would be a better location.”

She said opening the mall was the right decision.

“Since coming here, I’ve met a lot of people who live in West Haven who didn’t know the store was there,” Lindsay-Worrell said.

Growing up with two older sisters, Lindsay-Worrell said they would get a lot of second-hand clothes, and because she was short, the clothes would often be too big for her.

“My grandma would send me old fashioned styles and my sisters would make fun of me, so I wanted to start making myself dresses, so I could start wearing pretty dresses too,” she said. declared.

So, at the age of 9, Lindsay-Worrell started sewing dresses by hand because she said her mother told her she was too small to use the sewing machine.

“I used a needle and thread to make my skirts, and I’ve been sewing ever since,” she said.

Lindsay-Worrell said she would always choose the home economics course as she attended school in Jamaica to learn more about sewing.

“After graduating from high school in Jamaica, I wanted to go to a fashion school. So I immigrated to the United States in 2004, and as soon as I arrived in America, I was accepted into a fashion school in Norwalk where I did a fashion design program,” she said. “Years after I was fired from one of my jobs, I went back to school and I took a business management program at FIT. So I have two associate degrees and a bachelor’s degree in fashion.

Lindsay-Worrell’s plan has always been to work in fashion and enter the fashion industry, but what inspired her to open her own business was a handbag she owned. seen working in retail to pay for his fashion studies.

“One of the things they sold in my retail job was cloth handbags, kind of like tote bags,” she said. “I was looking at all of them and I was like, how much money does this sell for? I can do it in five minutes. So in school we had a project to think about our future and what we wanted to do after we graduated, and one of the things for the project was to make a whole store.

With a background in retail and a fashion background, she had the idea to open and run a business, she said.

Because Lindsay-Worrell designs and manufactures all of its products in-store, it said customers know they’re getting quality designs at an affordable price.

“You know it’s going to fit, you know it’s going to last a while, and you know it’s going to look good,” Lindsay-Worrell said. “Because I have a physical store, the space is much bigger and I have more amount of things that I can create to fill the store that people can buy directly. So not everything is personalized. You can walk into the store looking for a prom dress and find what you need.

Karlene Lindsay Designs specializes in prom, wedding and evening dresses, and also sells jewelry, handbags and shoes to accessorize an entire outfit.

“So customers can get a complete head-to-toe set in-store and don’t have to go to other stores looking for everything else,” she said. “These dresses can be made unique to them. So when my clients go to a party, they will have a unique dress.”

Besides designing dresses, Lindsay-Worrell said she also does alterations on dresses from other stores brought in by customers.