Meet Our Fit Specialist of the Month
Get to know your fitter! Amoena highlights a certified mastectomy fitter each month.
Rita Torro -- Especially for Women
Gainesville, FL -- February, 2014
Rita Torro has called Gainesville, Florida home since she was in the 6th grade. The youngest of four children, Rita initially followed in her mother’s footsteps by becoming a registered nurse. Although she loved the work, once she had a family, the 12-hour shifts meant her kids were asleep when she left and when she came home. Since she had always had the bug to open her own business, she and her sister opened and operated a shop of their own. The mommy/baby part of the business was a natural fit for Rita.
Amoena: Tell us a little bit about Especially for Women.
Rita: My sister opted out of the business about three years ago, so I am now running my own place. I guess the best description of Especially for Women is it’s a store that has all the things a woman might want, but wouldn’t necessarily want a man sitting there while she was shopping. It’s actually a women’s health boutique. I carry wigs, hats, turbans, compression stockings for swelling and lymphedema, as well as post mastectomy bras and forms, but I also have mommy/baby stuff, nursing bras and large-sized bras you can’t find elsewhere. People may not usually associate these types of items being housed in the same location, but they work really well together for me.
Amoena: What do you think makes Especially for Women unique?
Rita: Well, truthfully, I think what makes it unique is that I’m the owner and I’m there every single day so I can provide both a personal touch and the knowledge my customers need to make the best choices. I take the time, I listen to my customers and I don’t worry so much about the dollar amount. I try to find them what they need. It’s not uncommon for me to plop myself on the floor to show someone how to put on their compression hose, and then watch them do it themselves. I honestly care how each and every customer feels as they are leaving.
Amoena: What is your favorite Amoena bra and why?
Rita: I think it depends on the person. I like the Marlena a lot because of the microfiber, so it’s soft and seamless, which is just perfect for many of my customers. I also like the Bella soft cup shallow fit with its wide strap and fiber fill. I call that my meat-and-potatoes bra. My store has been open for 15 years and this bra has always been available, so it withstands the test of time.
Amoena: What is your favorite Amoena form and why?
Rita: I like the Essential Light 442 because it’s not just lightweight, but it also has a nice drape to it and the price is reasonable.
Amoena: What is your favorite part of being a fitter?
Rita: I like being a fitter because I have time to spend with the women, compared to hospital work where I was taking care of a bunch of people and couldn’t spend the time I wanted with each of them. Generally, in my store, someone arrives needing something and they leave feeling fulfilled. I love to see the surprise on someone’s face and how happy they are. My customers always leave happy, and that doesn’t happen in a lot of places! Even when I sell a nursing bra or a large-sized bra, my customer is always much happier when they leave.
Amoena: What are some of the challenges of being a fitter?
Rita: The thing about being a fitter is, sometimes someone will walk in and the first bra you put on them is perfect, but for other women you may not have every bra in every size so that can be frustrating. You can know exactly what size they need or what they want, but even though you have 30 bras in stock they may need the one you don’t have.
I try to have a variety of styles in every size drawer. I always try to have something lacy, full figure, seamless, underwire so there is something to appeal to just about anyone. And, if I order for someone they are never obligated if it doesn’t work. This also means I can have some very interesting items on hand in any given drawer!
Amoena: What's the most important thing you've learned over the years?
Rita: Honestly, one of the most important things I’ve learned is that making money and working all the time is not the most important thing. Spending time with your family and loved ones is what really matters. I see all these women with breast cancer coming in all the time and that teaches me to know you never know what life’s going to hand you. I’ve learned that I need to take care of myself and I need to make my family and myself a priority.
All working all the time means you are chasing dollars. I’m only open Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 5:00. You have to enjoy your life. I learned this when my kids were little. If you don’t take time for yourself you can’t take care of other people.
Amoena: What do you think makes a good fitter?
Rita: I think what makes a good fitter is someone who doesn’t worry about the price of an item, so you are not trying to sell something to someone because you have it in stock. Listening to your customer and giving them advice is really important. And when I say advice, I mean being honest with them. Sometimes this means ordering something rather than making do with an item that isn’t quite right. If you build trust with your customers, they will know what you are suggesting will work better and make them happier. After all, this is something they will wear every day all day long, so getting it right is important!
Amoena: When you aren't working, what do you like to do?
Rita: I love to bike. I actually did a century (100 miles) on a road bike in November, and I also did an off- road 50 mile ride a few weeks ago. Yoga is another type of exercise I thoroughly enjoy.
I also like to work in my garden. I actually have a little farm, so gardening is a necessity I thoroughly enjoy.
My husband Juan and I have been married for 27 years. My son David is 24 and my daughter Lexi is 20. So both ofmy kids are grown and gone. David and his wife Julie (and my amazing four-year-old grandson Rali) live in California, so getting to spend time with family when they are here, is something I cherish.