Fashion store models for success

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 19, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

With a prayer and giant leap of faith, Faye Okolo Holland opened CCU Fashion Store in a single room at the Washington Square Mini-Mall in 1997.

Over the past six years, Holland – who is also an evangelist – has seen her prayers for a successful business answered.

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CCU Fashions has moved twice since opening, with each new location bringing the shop more visibility and a larger customer base.

Last month, CCU moved into new digs at 120 N. Main St. The two-story building, in the heart of the downtown business district, will enable the store – which has traditionally only carried women’s clothing and accessories – to expand its offerings.

In the near future, Holland said, she will devote the second floor to men’s fashions and add a hair salon in the rear of the store.

Holland attributes CCU’s success to her faith that the Lord would help her grow the business.

&uot;You can never show fear when you want to advance. A lot of people in business stay in one position because of the fear of the unknown but God wants us to prosper and to operate in faith, Holland said.

&uot;When God opens the door of opportunity, we must rise to the occasion. He put the right people in my path to help me make this move and provided me with the means to move forward,&uot; she continued. &uot;That in itself helped to remove the fear of the unknown.&uot;

Holland, who attended elementary school in Suffolk and later moved to Huntsville, Ala., broadcasts a weekly religious program, Faith Works Outreach Ministry. The show can be heard at 2:30 p.m. Saturdays on WKGM-940-AM, a radio station based in Smithfield.

She and Sandra Gay are co-hosts of the ministry, located at the Upper Room, 117 W. Washington St.

She also credits the landlords of spaces that CCU has leased over the years, local businessmen Andrew Damiani and Mike Duman, with helping her business thrive.

&uot;I thank God for being a resident of Suffolk because regardless of the imperfections that exist in any structure, Suffolk is one city that has businessmen who have shown a desire to support the small businesses in our area and to contribute to the economic growth for the little man,&uot; Holland said. &uot;That is a blessing.&uot;

Holland also gives a big thank you to her father, Edward Lee Brooks, who she said always stood by her in every move that she made to advance in business.