By Patrice Smith
A new men and boys wear store has recently opened up in North Charleston. ‘i style u’ is a dream come true for owner Natalie Seel Ahadi.
“It was always a dream of mine to have my own store. When I found out that Bluestein’s Mens Wear was closing at the end of 2017, I saw it as God opening the door to my own business. So I stepped out on faith and here we are,” says Ahadi.
Ahadi managed Bluestein’s Mens Wear (formally on King Street for 134 years) for more than 20 years. She started at the store in 1995 after a chance meeting with Nicky Bluestein that would change the course of her life.
“I was finishing up at the College of Charleston on a basketball scholarship.” (Natalie was inducted into the College’s Hall of Fame in 2011). “My major was Elementary Education, but I only got as far as student teaching. My basketball coach set up a meeting between me and Mr. Bluestein and the rest is history.”
Nicky Bluestein says he was impressed with Natalie when he first met her.
“I’ve always been involved with the athletic department at the College of Charleston and would give the basketball players jobs, so I gave her one and she became my manager. We gained a true affection for each other and it’s worked out real well,” Bluestein says.
And Bluestein believes ‘i style u’ will do well.
“Natalie is well prepared and understands everything. Bluestein’s had a niche; the older customer, the church going customer, someone who wanted to wear suits and we were the only store that sold that type of merchandise. Natalie will have those same customers,” he says.
Ahadi says when she decided last February to open ‘i style you’, Mr. Bluestein said he’d be with her every step of the way.
“He’s called me every week to make sure I was doing everything right. Over the years he taught me how to buy merchandise, what to buy and when to buy. I’m so excited to show him what I’ve learned.”
“i style you” will sell style men’s and boys casual and dress clothing.
“I like to see our young men dress appropriately for the occasion. I want to dress them for an interview. I can dress them affordably and fashion forward,” she says.
‘i style u’ is located at 5633-C Dorchester Road in North Charleston.
“I’ve seen the demographics change downtown. The customer base wasn’t what it used to be. Older customers didn’t want to come downtown and fight for parking anymore. I decided to locate further up north, which is closer to where I live and many of my customers as well. This location is a good fit for me,” Ahadi says.
The store had to undergo an extensive renovation to get it in shape. Ahadi says she tore down walls and put up new ones up, she built a stage platform and dressing rooms.
The grand opening for ‘i style u’ was Saturday, December 1 with a 10 a.m. ribbon cutting. Ahadi says she’s been ready.
“I believe God told me that it was time for me to be my own boss. Former customers of Bluestein’s are waiting for me. And I look forward to serving them for a long time.”
Store hours will be 10am – 7pm Tuesday through Saturday. You can call ‘i style u’ at 843-789-5689.