Discover and Explore Local Boutiques across the Country
One of the best ways to find one-of-a-kind fashion is to shop at boutiques. However, this can be hard for those who don’t have access to great boutiques. While researching for a solution to this problem I ran across a site called Shoptiques.com.
Shoptiques.com brings boutique shopping online. A one-of-kind online destination for discovering and exploring local boutiques across the country, Shoptiques.com lets you instantly jet set from New York to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Miami and beyond to explore the best-kept secrets beloved by locals and the savviest shoppers. Recently, I had the pleasure of interview the powerhouse behind Shoptiques.com, Olga Vidisheva.
Olga attended Wellesley College and modeled part time. After graduating, she worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in Technology, Media and Telecom Investment Banking in New York for about three years. Olga then began studying at Harvard Business School, where she was the Co-President of the Retail & Luxury Goods Club. She also worked at CHANEL in the “Fashion” and “Fragrance and Beaute” marketing divisions between her first and second years at Harvard Business School.
When asked about the inspiration behind Shoptiques.com, Olga stated: “It all started with a shoe in Paris. Walking down the streets of Paris, you can’t help but be fascinated by the fashion, architecture, style and boutiques! That was my first exposure to a tiny boutique with the friendliest, most stylish owner. Once the owner pointed out a pair of shoes by Phoebe Cham Pour Schu, I knew I couldn’t leave empty-handed! Upon my return, all of my friends wanted these shoes. The perfect combination of comfort and high fashion – they were in high demand. Unfortunately, the boutique owner wasn’t receptive to my friend’s phone requests and insisted that they fly to Paris to get the shoes. I was shocked! In the 21st century, my friends weren’t able to get shoes from Paris? I knew I needed to change that.
While attending Harvard Business School, my girlfriends and I would drive to New York almost every weekend to go boutique shopping in Soho or the Lower East Side. I again was shocked that we had to drive 4 hours to find these items and couldn’t just purchase them online. These stores didn’t have an online presence. Boutique shopping provides an amazing experience: beautiful, hard-to-find, hand-selected fashions and knowledgeable style advice from owners who know how to make you look beautiful and unique. This is how the idea for Shoptique.com came about. We wanted to give women immediate access to the most stylish boutiques while still providing them with the same intimate experience. If you live far away, are time-starved, or simply want to discover new boutiques, Shoptiques.com is your one-stop destination for the best boutiques online.”
The target market for Shoptiques.com is quite different and sounds a lot like myself! A Shoptique.com woman doesn't follow the trends, she sets the trends. She wants to be different and stand out in the crowd. She wants to feel like she is getting quality, stand-out pieces without breaking the bank. She is a jet-setter and loves to visit new places and discover chic boutiques.
Shoptiques.com uses a variety of marketing strategies. They are doing a lot of content marketing, as they recently launched THE EDIT, an online editorial layer of our site, which provides women with style advice and inspiration. They are also using social media, creating blogger partnerships and of course, encouraging word of mouth. They feel that branding is very important throughout marketing efforts. Olga states: “We are focused on building a brand that stands for women being who they want to be. Our motto is : ‘Be Yourself. Be Different.” Thus far, all marketing efforts have worked in their favor.
The business was originally funded by Olga and her best friends. Shoptique.com has also closed their seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock, Benchmark, William Morris Endeavor and General Catalyst among other investors in the spring. The funding will be used to expand to Paris and bring Parisian boutiques onto the platform. Shoptique.com also will use the funds to grow their team.
When asked about the future of Shoptiques.com, Olga stated: “I want Shoptiques.com to become a global brand. Wouldn’t it be amazing to explore the streets and fashions of Tokyo, Bali and Paris from the comfort of your home? There are consumers who enjoy shopping and entrepreneurs who open boutiques in every country and city, and we want to facilitate the creative exchange of style and self-expression everywhere. We’re beginning our international expansion with Paris at the end of October and hope to incorporate cities all over the world over the next few years. We have already partnered with over 160 US-based boutiques and we will launch with 20 of the most extraordinary boutiques in Paris this fall. We also plan to evolve THE EDIT so it provides advice for every item on Shoptiques.com: how to wear it, why to wear it, what event to wear it to, etc. We’re changing the way people shop local and helping boutiques to reach consumers worldwide.”
Shoptiques.com was selected by Mayor Bloomberg to be a part of Project Pop-Up NYC, an initiative designed to ensure that New York City remains and continues to grow as the global capital of the fashion and retail industry. As a winner, Shoptiques.com is hosting a pop-up store for the month of September in the Chelsea shop story on the corner of 19th and 10th avenue. They hope that women can stop by and experience their brand! Also, just a reminder—Be Yourself. Be Different!
By Lolita A. Alford
For more information on Shoptique please visit: http://www.shoptiques.com You can also visit Shoptique on Facebook and Twitter as well: https://www.facebook.com/Shoptiques, https://www.twitter.com/Shoptiques