Starla Boutique celebrates 3 years

by Emma Nolan
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Dublin boutique Starla is celebrating three years in business this month.
To celebrate, owner and founder of the South William street shop, Johanna McAleese has launched its brand new look website. (
“I think we have some really unique dresses that you just won’t find in other stores,” Johanna says.
Starla opened as a dress rental store in 2013 and since then, has developed into a platform to not only rent but to buy luxury designer gowns and cocktail dresses both in store and online for all occasions.
Johanna’s aim is to ensure the boutique offers every customer a special experience.
“At Starla, we have a mix of dress rentals and dress sales and we do everything from glamorous gowns to short party dresses, she said.
“While a lot of our customers are aged between 18 and 30, looking for something special for a night out, we attract women of all ages who might be going to a wedding or a ball or just looking for something that will help them look and feel amazing.
“They’re searching for something that will make them stand out.”
Johanna’s own story is unique in itself. Having dreamed of owning her own store since a young age, a series of life-changing events helped spur her on to achieving her dream.
Johanna told the Gazette: “When my mum passed away, I realised I wanted to put more value into my own time and that gave me the jump I needed to move forward.
“I had always wanted to own my own shop but I didn’t have much retail experience and it was a daunting adventure to take on.
“But I feel I’ve come a long way in the past three years. I had to be flexible and adapt to who my customers were but it has paid off.”
Johanna said her dream is to eventually move to a bigger store but for now, her focus is online.
“You can reach the whole world with a click of a button and that’s where I see myself developing the store over the next 12 months.
“In any business these days, you have to keep up to date and fresh. And that’s what Starla is about.”
Starla stocks dresses from a number of unique designers, including Holt Miami, Rachel Gilbert, Alex Perry, Dress Studio, Nadine Merabi and Stop Staring, to name a few.

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