Micronesia Mall, 2nd floor
1088 W. Marine Corps Drive
By Morgan Legel
As a young woman, Richelle Cabigting had dreams for her future, and with a lot of hard work and saving, she made them come true. Her first venture as a business-owner happened when she was just 22 years old — she opened a video store that also sold boba drinks. From there, she opened a clothing store —Threads at 25, with Vapebeast, which is a retail store specializing in vaping supplies, soon to follow.
She ended up selling Threads in 2017, saying something had to give between her businesses and other job as a daycare director.
“I was really young when I opened Threads, and I just drew away from that type of clothing,” Cabigting says.
However, a few years later she realized she “missed being in the fashion industry,” and thus, Aura Boutique was born.
Located on the second floor of Micronesia Mall, nestled right next to Seas and Sidewalks, another small boutique, Aura opened on April 1.
“I realized how much I really loved being in this industry,” she says. “I wanted to bring styles to the island that I could only find from online retailers.”
Aura’s demographic is women, like working moms and young adults. The color-coded racks are loaded with “modern, feminine fashion,” as Cabigting likes to call it. This type of style incorporates dresses and stylish, sophisticated clothing like office and workwear.
Unlike many other boutiques on Guam, Aura offers sizes extra small through three extra-large.
“I want to be able to cater to every woman, regardless of body size,” she says. “We should all feel that type of confidence when it comes to our dress.”
Currently, Aura has six employees.
How would you describe Aura to a new customer who’s visiting for the first time?
Richelle Cabigting: I would let them know what we are about here at Aura — we are a women’s clothing store specializing in modern, contemporary fashion for women of all sizes. Our goal is for the women who come in our store to shop to feel confident in the clothes we show and offer them. That’s all that matters — the confidence and the good energy that they will receive.
What do you bring to the island’s fashion market that is special and/or unique?
Cabigting: We try to bring in a lot of fun colors and prints that also blend in with island life; we then organize our store by color so it’s easier to find.
What are some of your current top-seller items?
Cabigting: Right now, it’s our Clara woven tops in a dark rust color. (The Clara woven top is a wrap-style blouse with a high-low hem.) We also have them in plus size. For this top, you can wear it casually or to the office; it’s very versatile.
What is your favorite aspect of running a business?
Cabigting: I love meeting people and giving that good energy to people and receiving it back. I always appreciate it when customers walk out happy and confident with the items they purchase, and that’s really all that matters to me.
What challenges have you encountered as a business owner?
Cabigting: A lot. With the timing and COVID being here, it’s just hard because a lot of places have limited hours. We’re on the line right now, as in we don’t know if all the businesses will close again, or anything like that.
As a small business, what have been some of the greatest resources to you?
Cabigting: I haven’t taken advantage of a lot of the resources offered, especially during the pandemic. Like the assistance loans, I just started through savings, with no loans. I worked hard and saved money to reach my goal.
Do you have any future plans of expansion?
Cabigting: We’re actually looking into online soon, hopefully by June or July our online store will be launched. As far as expansion, we don’t know yet.
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