Kim of Ooh La Luxe was kind enough to give me an interview about opening her future online botique by the same name. I'm especially interested since opening a boutique is something I'm planning on doing in the future and i'm so inspired by her because she's just a few years older than me! Best of luck with the store Kim, and thank you for your time!
What made you decide to open up an online boutique versus a physical store?
Mainly capital. This is my first real foray into running a business, and I'm straight out of school, so it's best for me to start small and learn, and grow over time. My online store costs probably about 10% of what a physical store would but at the same time, I could potentially reach 10x as many people; it's a nice trade off! Eventually I would like to have a brick and mortar boutique though.
What has been your biggest challenge in your venture?
It's way too early to ask that, lol! I'm sure that is yet to come. So far there isn't much that has been all that challenging, but the most frustrating thing is getting enough lines and getting the lines that I want within a certain budget. And the most nerve wrecking thing is interpreting trends and having faith that the items I've selected will actually sell. So I'll go with those two things.
What labels will you or would you like to carry in Oh La Luxe?
Well, you'll be the first to break this news..... Plastic Island, Egoist, Tart and Voom for Spring. You're probably familiar with the latter two, but the first two are brand new labels from overseas and we'll be one of only a few online stores to carry them.
Is there a target audience for your boutique or any particular style that your boutique specializes in?
Yes, all call the style of the boutique everyday glamour. If you're that girl who will shy away from anything too basic, almost always wear heels and is never really dressed down, then this store is for you. [EDITORS NOTE: this describes my style in a nutshell!]
What has been the most exciting/rewarding part of your experiences so far?
By far the most fun was going to the showrooms and picking out the clothes! I remember sitting there thinking, "Am I really doing this?" while I was in the showroom. My mom was there with me and told me I was doing exactly what I'm best at doing; spending money and picking out clothes, except it wasn't followed by any kind of lecture, which was nice.
Do you have any advice for other people (like myself!) wishing to someday start their own boutique?
Try and learn all that you can first. Take a business class or just talk to someone face to face who at least runs a business, even if it's not a boutique. If you've done that and you know that you have good taste in clothes and what not, follow your gut. It's always a good idea to start smallish, but if you're gut if you truly believe in something it very well might pay off. Also save up lots and lots of money. Promotion, branding, marketing...these things are just as important as your product. Chances are other people will be selling the exact same thing as you, so you need to create an experience within your store that will make them gravitate towards it. Be prepared to pour a lot of money into the look of your store and advertisement. And lastly, take up as much responsibility yourself as you can. It saves money and hassle because people are fickle!
Do you have an expected date you're hoping to open the boutique?
OohLaLuxe.com should open mid April!
Thank you again Kim!