Paulette Martsolf, a resident of Newfoundland, never would have guessed that she would someday make it big in the fashion industry. Nevertheless, her passion for all things fashion eventually led her and her husband to move to Toronto, where she enrolled in a fashion design course. She honed her skills and eventually crafted her first line of clothing, a collection of pajamas, which she aptly named Allie-Coosh, a nod to her childhood days in Newfoundland where the word meant “go to bed.”
“I have always been fascinated by fashion. When we moved here, I tried working for different companies, but I quickly realized that I would have to establish something on my own to truly survive in the fashion industry,” Martsolf commented.
After moving once more with her husband, she opened the first Allie-Coosh store in 1992, located in Snider Plaza in Dallas. She maintained quality control by producing nearly everything in-house despite the high costs, as she was driven by her goal to create timeless pieces of women’s clothing and jewelry that are both formal and functional, able to create numerous outfits. Martsolf states that her aim was to offer something that was not readily available for women aged 50 or 60, with its unique balance of femininity and elegance.
News of the brand eventually caught on, leading to the expansion of their store space to the next storefront and necessitated the construction of a workshop at the back to cope with the demand. In 2010, a new store located in Richardson was launched to further the brand’s evolution.
“We managed to form a close relationship with many of our customers. These were personal connections that continued to flourish through the years, eventually becoming long-lasting friendships,” Martsolf said.
Due to rising rent costs in the Snider Plaza store, they shifted their operational hub to Richardson, with the loyal community they cultivated following suit. Martsolf attributes the success of Allie-Coosh to various elements including hard work, dedication, and, most notably, their clients, who often return after decades to purchase more items that complement their previous purchases. Even in the height of the pandemic, customers continued to buy items, supporting the business.
“There are women who come here and tell me, ‘I bought this from you 15 years ago, and I still wear it now.’”
Allie-Coosh can be found at 521 N. Interurban St., Richardson, and can be reached at 214-363-8616. Store hours are from Tuesday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed on Saturday and Monday, according to their website www.allie-coosh.com.