Click to View Latest IssueClick to View Latest Issue

Gina Ratto’s Fashion Safari: A Whole New Adventure

By  0 Comments

Have you ever met someone and felt like you’d been friends forever? Gina Strawn Ratto is one of those people. Her genuine warmth and friendly demeanor permeate Fashion Safari, the store she bought and remodeled two years ago on School Street in Lodi, California. Throughout the shop, Gina’s keen sense of design is evident, from the broad selection of inventory to her own OOTD, as she calls her Outfit of The Day. Wearing a Chanel-style jacket and pearls one day, she is just as likely to don fashionable plaid flannel the next, depending on her mood.

During the remodeling process Gina revamped the layout, adding dressing rooms, all-new flooring and a variety of exciting new merchandise. “When I select what will be sold here, I focus on quality, color and variety,” she stated. It doesn’t hurt that her prices are also very reasonable. One woman peruses the sale rack and comes away with an adorable ivory top. Marked down several times, the garment is not only versatile, but also now downright irresistible at just $8.

Something for Everyone
Gina is always mindful of what might appeal to her customers. Sandals, accessories, jewelry and gifts all play a big part in meeting their needs. “I always carry vacation clothes for both cold and warm climates. I want to make sure that wherever you’re going, I’ve got something fantastic for you to wear,” she said. And there’s her Curvy Girls section. “I’m steadily adding to it and my customers who know about it just love it.”

With Mother’s Day coming up, Gina has found that gift certificates can be the best choice of all because they provide the recipient with a fun shopping experience in addition to whatever items they select. Perfectly situated on one of Lodi’s prime restaurant and shopping streets, Fashion Safari has become a bit of a tradition for friends who want to meet for a nice meal and some great shopping.

Gina says her absolute favorite thing about the store is “meeting all the people, helping them work with colors that suit them best, and making sure the clothes look really good on them.” She is also proud to feature the handmade creations of talented locals, a section that reflects the changing seasons and their flights of inspiration.

Local Attractions
Three popular events that locals and tourists enjoy throughout the year are the Lodi Street Faire, the Farmers Market and the Wine Stroll. Gina looks forward to these occasions, taking special care as she prepares for the extra visitors. “The people who come in are so nice, and it’s just such a pleasure getting to know them,” she said with enthusiasm.

A true people person to the core, Gina is one of the managers at Garlic Brothers Restaurant in Stockton, where she thrives on the positive interactions as well as “the best sunsets in town.” Her heart for others is also manifested in the donations she makes through Fashion Safari to Helping One Woman and Hospice of Lodi. “They are wonderful organizations,” she affirmed with humble sincerity.

Gina is the director for the Diocese of Stockton Catholic Youth Organization, or CYO. She oversees 12 parishes for cross-country running, girls’ basketball, boys’ basketball and girls’ volleyball. She became involved with CYO in 2011 and was appointed director five years ago.

Part of what fuels her, Gina related, is practicing a balanced life. Outside of work, the things that make her happiest are time with her son, AJ, her family, dogs, gardening, cooking, sports and watching scary movies. She feels truly blessed and appreciates all that is good in life. With an outlook of gratitude, she shares her motto with others, saying, “Life is short. Go with the flow and concentrate on the good stuff!”

Visit Fashion Safari at 123 S. School Street, Lodi, California, call (209) 263-7959 or go to @fashion_safarilodi to see newest additions.1