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  • Improve Your Lingerie Boutique as an Online Business

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    “Even without decorated dressing rooms and printed shopping bags, a customer can still have an enjoyable and memorable lingerie shopping experience online.”

    Chez Johnson, a self-professed intimate apparel enthusiast, followed her passion in 2010 when she launched her designer lingerie boutique Chez Boutique. The self-starting careerist’s ideal intimate apparel locale wasn’t a trendy storefront corner or charming street boutique though. Johnson’s dream destination resided right online.

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    Above and from left: Chez Johnson of By Chez Boutique with the Paradisiac Swimwear team.

    “I envisioned a destination spot for women that blends intimacy with online choices,” says Johnson. And yet, don’t women want to touch, feel or try on pieces before making a purchase? “Sure, we all like to touch and feel,” says Johnson, “but we also live in a digital age” — a mainstay online marketplace where shopping with the click of the button is the norm.”

    Sell Online, Market Online

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    Online lingerie retailer Catherine Coast also successfully built her business Violet’s Knickers online. She shares with Keepoint that she concentrates on digital marketing to help drive her sales and grow a following. The startup business owner values the leverage of digital marketing insomuch that she’s partnered with a marketing specialist, website designers and developers, a public relations expert, and social media management services to shape her brand and promote a glossy, high-quality online presence.

    “Even without decorated dressing rooms and printed shopping bags, a customer can still have an enjoyable and memorable lingerie shopping experience online.”

    Chez Johnson, a self-professed intimate apparel enthusiast, followed her passion in 2010 when she launched her designer lingerie boutique Chez Boutique. The self-starting careerist’s ideal intimate apparel locale wasn’t a trendy storefront corner or charming street boutique though. Johnson’s dream destination resided right online.

    Above and from left: Chez Johnson of By Chez Boutique with the Paradisiac Swimwear team.

    “I envisioned a destination spot for women that blends intimacy with online choices,” says Johnson. And yet, don’t women want to touch, feel or try on pieces before making a purchase? “Sure, we all like to touch and feel,” says Johnson, “but we also live in a digital age” — a mainstay online marketplace where shopping with the click of the button is the norm.”

    Sell Online, Market Online

    Online lingerie retailer Catherine Coast also successfully built her business Violet’s Knickers online. She shares with Keepoint that she concentrates on digital marketing to help drive her sales and grow a following. The startup business owner values the leverage of digital marketing insomuch that she’s partnered with a marketing specialist, website designers and developers, a public relations expert, and social media management services to shape her brand and promote a glossy, high-quality online presence.

    Above: Violet’s Knickers’ video campaign, “Who’s Violet?”.

    As a savvy businesswoman, Coast maximizes her marketing by influencing online social spaces with stylish imagery and blog posts to attract site visitors and generate conversation. Even without decorated dressing rooms and printed shopping bags, a customer can still have an enjoyable and memorable lingerie shopping experience online.

    Impact of e-Commerce

     

    Whether you already own a brick-and-mortar lingerie store or you’re thinking about investing in an online-only business model, establishing a retail presence online is paramount. Engaging in social platforms to connect with customers and offer promotions keeps a business globally competitive and relevant. By not offering intimates on an e-commerce site or marketing loungewear on Facebook, you’re missing out on the 2.7 billion Internet users in the world, as well as the 73 percent of Americans online who use social networking sites. Without an active digital presence, you’re highly limiting your consumer-base, especially since “M-commerce (mobile commerce) is saturating the globe,” according to Internet Retailer.

    The 2014 Mobile Media Consumption Report by InMobi, a mobile advertising company, and partnering research firms revealed that 48 percent of respondents worldwide agree: mobile is the prime channel that affects purchasing decisions. Sixty-eight percent of InMobi survey respondents have visited an advertiser’s website, and 52 percent of mobile device users responded to mobile advertising by making a purchase.

    Thrive Online

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    Participating in the e-commerce environment is also less risky than traditional trade, asserts VentureBurn.com. Mark Chirnside, CEO of online payment services company PayU, tells the startup news site that the online trading environment offers entrepreneurs minimum risk and maximum output for their business venture. An e-Business model, a website with an attractive design and reliable hosting, a shopping cart, and a payment processor are givens as you embark on an online business.

    Tips to Follow

     

    But to make your online lingerie store thrive, along with your physical store, keep in mind the following recommendations.

    Create an active social community and foster dialogue on major platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+. Violet’s Nickers entices followers with collection sneak peaks, high-quality product imagery and blog reviews.

    Promote online perks, such as discount codes and coupons, that boost customer retention. Online lingerie store Yumdrop.com offers same day shipping on its lingerie collections, including flirty panties, swimsuits and clubwear, as well as an entire sales collection.
    Connect with your customers on a personal level. Johnson stands out by not hard selling and appreciating her customers. She sends thank you notes to customers and offers a generous return policy.

    Be hands on. Coast committed herself to be an integral part of her company, from the marketing side to its administration.

    Network online and get involved with community events. In an interview with Good Housekeeping, Denise Joy-Embry of lingerie shop owner Ella’s Room advocates town meetings and social gathering as ways to make contacts and meet prospective clients

  • Lareymondie & ByChez Lingerie Boutique

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    Lareymondie & ByChez Lingerie Boutique

    The House of Lareymondie and ByChez Lingerie Boutique do it again! Two amazing women get together and organize an event that debuts their beautiful designs at an event at The Empire Hotel on the Upper Westside in New York City. They came together to create a unique look of ByChez Lingerie Boutique and Lareymondie Luxury Loafer and Shoe Collection.

    Set in the rooftop of The Empire Hotel in New York City guest were surrounded by beautiful women wearing the most luxurious and unique lingerie styled with customized loafers and the new shoe collection by The House of Lareymondie. Designer Maylis De Lacoste Lareymondie designed a exclusive shoe just for the night. During the holiday season when people are trying to find the perfect gift guests were able to chill at an event were not only they had cool music, a great view, and cocktails, but the opportunity to purchase any items the models wore. The party was just as unique as the shoes themselves.

    The House of Lareymondie not only created an exclusive loafer for the event, it debut it’s new shoe collection of beautifully designed men’s style shoes that empower women. It was a juxtaposition of masculinity and femininity that oozed strength and sexiness. It is exactly what designer Maylis believes, that everyone woman has that strength and power. By collaborating with ByChez Lingerie Boutique she was able to send that message across – Women can be sexy in flats.

  • Founder Of Online Lingerie Store, byChez Boutique, On Internet Business Success

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    Chez Johnson says she has “always been intrigued with fashion and the feminine form,” and it is evident in her colorful career path. She’s styled music videos, worked as a bra-fitting specialist and managed retail boutiques. And, ultimately, all of those twists and turns led her to her most recent and defining position – as owner of an online lingerie boutique that brings upscale undies to the interwebs.

    Chez launched byChez Boutique in 2010, and it took about $150,000 of startup capital, culled from an insurance settlement, an angel investor and the sum total of her life savings. It was a gamble, sure, but the self-professed “intimate apparel enthusiast” is finally living her dream. Here, she gives us a behind the scenes look at how she made it happen and how others can do the same.

    MadameNoire: What inspired you to start a lingerie boutique? And why do it online? It seems that many women would want to be able to touch and feel or try on the pieces before they purchase them.

    Chez Johnson: The short answer is that I’ve always wanted to have my own high-end boutique. I’m the great-granddaughter of a lingerie seamstress, and it’s been my passion as long as I can remember. That said, I didn’t have the money. Then a few years ago, I was in a really bad car accident that left me in the hospital for 30 days. The hospital gowns, the physical therapy, the restrictions on where I could go or what I could wear. It was agony. Thank goodness for my friends and family who kept me sane. But as I looked to the future in those dark days, it all somehow came together – my longtime passion, the loungewear I had accumulated, the need to do something of my own. I envisioned a destination spot for women that blends intimacy with online choices. Sure, we all like to touch and feel, but we also live in a digital age where we’re more used to buying with the click of button. byChez Boutique brings all those worlds together.

    MN: How did you establish the relationships with the different designers to begin carrying their lines on your site?

    CJ: Intimacy is the name of my game; it’s all about being up close and personal. I vividly recall my first trade show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center [in New York]. I was so nervous, and there were over 900 vendors. How could I possibly see everyone, let alone get up close and personal? So I developed a strategy. I figured out a priority order for the designers I most wanted to meet – I wanted  to know their story, their inspiration, their new collections. I wasn’t going to get distracted (OK, it happened a few times), and I wasn’t going to spend all my time with account executives looking to sell. As a fledgling business, I knew I wouldn’t get the big names right away, but that was fine. I started with talented indie designers, such as Melissa Franchi of Nevaeh Intimates, Mel Rose Bickerstaff of Paradisiac. and Christina Remenyi of Fortnight Lingerie. I’ve been building relationships one at a time, and I’ve been working my way up.

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    MN: There are so many online businesses these days. How do you  promote your company so that it stands out? And how much of those efforts are offline?

    CJ: Again, there’s no magic bullet here. It’s hard to stand out. I work very hard to build an experience my clients will never forget. I try to engage and interact with every client as much as possible. I don’t do hard sells; I send thank you notes after they get what they bought, and I have a generous return policy. It’s not like I have a big staff or anything – I have to do just about everything.

    Of course, as the business has grown, I’ve brought in others. For example, I recently signed with a boutique PR agency, Social Fly, and I literally love the folks there – they do an awesome job, one that I could never do myself. They’re making waves for me online, and it’s why I’m now getting attention from MadameNoire! But there’s always more to do – showing up at key events to publicize byChez Boutique, participating in Lingerie Fashion Week, working with models to build their lingerie portfolio and regular lunches with designers and showrooms. And yes, I still take on outside gigs to make money, but I keep my eye on the future.

    MN: What has been the most challenging aspect of building your business?

    CJ: Wow, it’s hard to identify one challenge. As everyone who reads  MadameNoire knows, it’s not easy dealing with womanhood, career and spiritual growth. I’m learning to deal with all of them equally.

    MN: With no business experience, what gave you the confidence to make such a large investment in yourself? And what advice do you have for others considering taking an equally risky step?

    CJ: I have a wealth of experience, just not in launching a business. That makes me like every other internet entrepreneur following a vision. I’ve learned a lot through 15 years in the fashion and entertainment industry, and I apply those lessons every day. Launching a business is a huge risk; there’s no getting past that. If you want it, you have to apply dedication, passion, knowledge, a strategy and, let’s be honest, cash. Work hard, work smart and be realistic but passionate. That’s all you can do.

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