The Bloom Has Never Left Dusty Rose
By Georgetta L. Morque
Some stores come and go, but Dusty Rose, which opened at the Rye Ridge Shopping Center 29 years ago, has proved its staying power. Despite the move to online shopping, an influx of boutiques at Rye Ridge, and the economy’s ups and downs, Dusty Rose remains the go-to destination for everyday women’s fashions and all things lingerie. And it has a loyal following.
“It’s generational,” said Lisa Feller, who has been at the helm of Dusty Rose almost since its inception. Over the years, she’s seen customers get married, have children, and bring in their daughters. She and the sales staff help them shop for weddings, special occasions, and their favorite brands. “You learn about their lives, which is nice,” said Lisa. The store even ships to longtime customers who have moved out of the area.
Dusty Rose is a family-owned business that started 39 years ago with its first store in New City. Lisa’s mother, Roberta Zahl, was asked by a real estate agent if she would operate a new lingerie shop after the owner died in a car accident shortly before the opening. With the urging of her husband, Michael, a pharmacist, she did.
The name for the store came from a bedroom carpet sample called Dusty Rose that Roberta and her friends passed around. She soon realized that the name was a great fit for the shop. Not long after opening, the store expanded to include clothing.
Lisa, 12 at the time, spent plenty of Saturdays helping at the store. After college and a stint with Federated Department Stores, she decided to return to work for her family. The Rye Ridge store opened in 1989, originally in the Chopt space, which was next to a Woolworths. It later moved to its current and larger location. Lisa and her mother, who still runs the New City store, do the buying for both stores, and her father handles accounting and the back end of the business. Her brother, Adam, a lawyer, also helps out.
At Dusty Rose, bra fitting is a specialty and women come in regularly for this complimentary service. In addition to a large assortment of lingerie, the store features popular clothing brands and accessories for all ages and occasions. For winter, top sellers are faux fur-trimmed capes and ponchos, sweaters, both cashmere as well as cotton to appeal to customers who spend winters in Florida, and the much-loved Lisette pants, which Lisa says are easy, washable, and look great.
Lisa Feller at Dusty Rose in the Rye Ridge Shopping Center