Nathalie Welch, between fashion and rhinos
Leaving her native Paris at age of 17 to participate in an exchange program at a high school in Texas, Nathalie Welch could not know at the time that her future would bring her to Atlanta. Indeed, since November, and right in the middle of the financial crisis, a new shop arrived in the Buckhead area of Atlanta: Rhinoceros Boutique. “I never choose the easiest way,” tells us Nathalie Welch, who intermingles American fashion and European trends in her shop.
The path to the Peach State was nonetheless long. After graduating in Texas, Nathalie went to New York University (NYU) to pursue her studies. While there, she selects a concentration in psychology, all while maintaining a deep interest in art and fashion. Fashion has always been part of her life, most notably in Paris and New York, where her long and lean silhouette enabled her to participate in multiple fashion shows.
Years later, we find our fashionista in Atlanta. It is here, in the place where she met her husband and has raised with him their beautiful four children, that Nathalie Welch has found her equilibrium and stability. Since then, she divided her time between painting and educating her children but always kept in mind one idea: to one day open her own fashion boutique.
Nathalie therefore decided to study marketing in order to realize her wish. At the end of 2008, in the midst of the financial crisis, she seized the opportunity to open her shop in Buckhead. The boutique follows in Nathalie’s image, unlike any other, and her originality finds its way even into even the name of her shop: Rhinoceros Boutique .
Rhinoceros…? This name, which might seem surprising to most, was quite an obvious choice for Nathalie Welch.
Her relation with the animal began back in her French high school days when she studied the play written by Ionesco called Rhinoceros. She was captivated by the animal and by the play’s main message: “Each one of us must engage ourselves in a cause in order to give life meaning.” This will become her creed, and opening her store, she made the courageous decision to donate a portion of her profits to the Save the Rhinos Foundation. This association seeks to heighten awareness among the public about this often misunderstood and endangered animal.
Nathalie Welch identifies personally with the rhino and tells us that “I have always been fascinated by the rhinoceros and somehow they remind me a little bit of myself: strong, powerful, and sometimes even intimidating, but also misunderstood and the closest and most protective animal with respect to their children”.
It is thus that, in an intransigent urban jungle, and just like the rhinoceros, Nathalie Welch seems to be part of a rare and original species, one, unfortunately, approaching the brink of extinction.