For sisters Lisa Dixon and Deanne Garibaldi, owning a business is like fashion – things are always changing and new ideas are always sprouting. As the owners of FINA for 31 years, they know what it’s like for their business to grow with the fashion industry.
Lisa and Deanne’s interest in fashion started at a young age, growing up around their father’s downtown Stockton retail store, Mariani’s. Their department store experiences throughout college gave them the knowledge and desire they needed to start their own business.
FINA’s success came from the sisters’ perseverance. “At the time, it was really hard to get a spot in the Center, but when we found out that there was an opening, we went for it,” said Lisa. After signing the lease, they had just two weeks to get inventory before opening the store.
FINA is beloved by many regulars in Lincoln Center since its origin. After opening on the Brickwalk in November of 1986 and moving to the Atrium about 5 years later, FINA settled in its current location seven years ago. “There’s no other place that’s as safe as Lincoln Center. It’s a place where there’s always been upscale shopping and a loyal customer base,” said Lisa.
Upon opening, Lisa and Deanne quickly realized they were going to have to integrate marketing into their business plan. Since there was no social media then, the sisters sent out mailers to local residents explaining who they were. Within weeks, people started arriving at the store and the rest is history. FINA has now become a trailblazer in social media marketing and continues to strive for excellence by dropping their products right into people’s hands daily.
They started out with only two brands in their store, and now carry clothing and accessories from various high-end names. FINA is the exclusive retailer in the area for the latest styles from A.G. Denim, Vince and Joie. In addition, they are always bringing in new brands to keep up with fashion’s innovative cycle. “You have to change and evolve with fashion and try new lines,” said Deanne.
In the beginning years, they would buy sets of things, such as pants to match a shirt or a belt to match a bag. Now that rules are almost extinct in the fashion industry, they are free to purchase everything separate. Their ability to change with the industry adds to their success.
FINA’s loyal customers are what keeps them going. The sisters mention that some people come in every week looking for something new. Lisa says that they are constantly reading their customers’ desires. “We always have to try new things each season to keep people interested,” added Deanne.
The duo’s dedication to customer service, relationships and community keeps people coming back to FINA and Lincoln Center. Lisa and Deanne help customers put outfits together and take the time to listen – something that sets them apart from other retailers.
Through every decision, move and purchase, Lisa and Deanne have used their unique talents to grow FINA’s success, and plan to continue the journey together for years to come. “We can’t ever get rid of each other because we’re sisters,” Deanne joked. “We both have different talents and strengths that complement each other,” added Lisa.
Now that their original customers’ children have become customers, Lisa and Deanne have had to evolve with the times. Their true fashion sense – from the clothes they wear to their paralleled growth with customers – has allowed FINA to stay on trend for 31 years.
240 Lincoln Center
Monday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 – 5:00 pm
like us on Facebook