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April 17, 2008


After 32 Years, High-end Fashion Boutique to Close

For Immediate Release                                                               Contact: Nikki Haley
Wednesday, April 16, 2008                                                        803-926-5656

COLUMBIA, SC – After thirty-two years of offering upscale fashion to customers from across the country, Exotica International, Inc. will close its doors on May 31, 2008. The founders and owners, Dr. Ajit S. and Mrs. Raj K. Randhawa are retiring after a brilliant run in the upscale fashion industry.

The Randhawa’s story is that of the American dream accomplished. Raj came from India with a Law Degree from Delhi University. She earned her Masters in Education and taught in the Bamberg public school system for seven years. In 1969, after Ajit earned his Ph.D from the University of British Columbia, the family moved to South Carolina. Ajit joined Voorhees College as the professor of Biology and taught for 29 years and retired as Chairman of the Division of Natural Sciences, Math and Computer Sciences in 1998.

In 1976, Raj started Exotica International, Inc. as a unique gift boutique housing a selection from many countries around the world. Apparel was added in 1980 upon the company’s first expansion. After two previous expansions, the company relocated in Columbia to a beautiful 10,000 square foot facility on Highway 378.

Exotica quickly earned a “must shop” reputation and attracted customers from as far away as California. One of the oldest family-owned businesses in the Midlands, Exotica has offered its customers unrivaled service. Long celebrated for its over-the-top commitment to its clients, the company provided its fashion savvy customers with unique styles and beautifully tailored quality attire to stay ahead of the competition.

In addition to providing exquisite customer service and quality products, Exotica made generous contributions to many organizations and communities in times of need. Exotica provided financial support for medical research in the area of cancer and HIV/AIDS, local organizations within their community, and during national tragedies like Hurricane Hugo and 9/11.

For their business success and commitment to community service, the Randhawas have earned numerous awards and accolades. Mrs. Randhawa was honored for her business contributions and awarded as a runner up for the 2002 S.C. Business Woman of the year. Dr. Randhawa also received the “Governor’s Distinguished Professor Award” from Governor Carroll Campbell.

Ultimately three generations of the Randhawa’s worked at Exotica and each gave back to the community through Exotica. The Randhawa’s have four children, a son-in-law, Michael Haley, who was the Men’s wear manager at Exotica and a daughter-in-law, Sonya Randhawa, who is the current Ladies Fine Wear Assistant Manager and Alyssa Randhawa, one of six grandchildren who currently serves as a wardrobe consultant.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. gmcmohankrishan permalink
    May 27, 2010 6:53 am



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