New clothing shop a sister act

by | November 22, 2018 5:00 pm

Last Updated: November 20, 2018 at 10:51 am

With her three children now in school, Tara Langdale started wondering what was next. Vis A Vis was what’s next.
Before become a stay-at-home mom, Tara was a buyer and stylist in fashion stores, first in Charlotte and then in the Charleston area.
Taking on motherhood full-time, Tara started a fashion blog at home about five years ago and began generating an income with it. She still blogs.
Her husband Jeremy was born and raised in Walterboro. About two-and-a-half years ago, they decided to relocate to her husband’s hometown.
Since birth, Tara’s parents called her a nickname with a certain southern sound — Tara Belle. “I was destined to be down here,” she said.
Her older sister, Kelly Bender, was bestowed the family’s only other nickname, Kelly Jo. “I never understood why,” Kelly said.
Now partners in Vis A Vis at 244 E. Washington St., the sisters’ calling cards prominently display their nicknames. Kelly arrived in Walterboro Nov. 7 for a full weekend of grand opening events. “I never saw the store before last night,” Kelly said. She liked what she saw.
As she considered rejoining the workforce, Tara knew there were no fashion world jobs in Walterboro. She pondered, “Do I want to go back to work at a job I don’t love?”
Over the years in her regular calls with Kelly, she had often considered starting her own business.
In a mid-summer call, Kelly said, “Let’s do it together.” Tara said, “I had never thought to asked her to partner with me.”
Kelly was married when her parents decided to relocate to Charlotte from Pittsburgh. Kelly stayed in Pittsburgh, while Tara went to Charlotte.
While Tara was in retail in the world of fashion, Kelly was building her own business. She has operated an accounting practice for almost 20 years. “Essentially I worked with small businesses and small business owners from inception through retirement. I believe in small businesses.”
Kelly returned to Pittsburgh after the whirlwind weekend and will manage the business’ finances from there.
“We never liked each other when we were kids,” Tara said. The five years’ difference in age loomed large back then. “We got to be adults and we realized we were complete polar opposites in all kinds of things, but 100 percent the same on all kinds of important things. When it came to values and family, we are so much the same.”
In their new partnership, Kelly said, “I’m the finance, she’s the fashion. She wants to buy all kinds of crazy, fun things. I tell her what her budget is.”
“She keeps me grounded,” Tara said. “I don’t question her fashion choices,” Kelly added.
Tara said when she gets ready to place a clothing order, she sends it to her sister and asks “Is there is anything you hate?”
“She is the average woman, I am not. I like you to see me coming,” Tara said. Tara’s taste might be a little out of the box when it comes to clothing. Kelly represents the average woman who wants to look nice.
Vis A Vis represents a mingling of styles — the partners operating a brick and mortar shop as well as an on-line presence.
Those who have followed Tara’s blog, she said, “know my style.” Local residents “love me for me, but maybe don’t want to dress like me.”
Fashion sense is different for every person. “Give 100 girls the same top, they are going to wear it a hundred different ways,” Tara said. “They make it their own.”
The sisters explain that everything is the shop is under $100, the average is about $50. Great value for fashionable women’s clothing, they think.

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