There's a reason why "customer" begins with "custom". Rebecca Aughton, owner and founder of Bra-vo intimates, discusses how retailers can tailor service to their clientele and at the same time unify to create thriving downtowns.
Running With Your Niche
Success in retail is more than stock, image, advertising, employees, planning and budgeting, it's all of these done well and simultaneously. I didn't plan on being in the bra business, I took advantage of an opportunity in my career that took me here. I found a way to change my lifestyle and it was the hardest thing I've ever done. People think retail is easy. It's not.
I started my business plan one year before I planned to open the doors and this is because I had experience in the industry. If you don't have experience I suggest you start planning earlier and find a minimum-wage job in retail to learn WHAT NOT TO DO. There are plenty of great examples of how not to run a business. I also suggest reading as many books of WHAT TO DO. There's no perfect school on retail or really well-known consultants outside of New York, but you must learn accounting, managing, trends and so much more to be successful.
I found a niche and became as knowledgeable about my market and my merchandise as I could. I continue to learn every day. I'm fortunate that over 95% of the women who walk into my store are wearing the wrong size bra. Some are dramatically transformed and others just need a little tweak. My staff and I are always learning and it continues to set us apart of our competition – we learn new brands and new fitting methods and we test every product we sell.
We are making women look and feel better in everything they wear. That is the driving force for all of us. We want every woman to have a great experience and the perception of size is way off in department stores. Not to mention they only carry a few sizes. We carry over 150 sizes.
In our culture it's hard being a woman. There are signs every where telling us how to look, we shouldn't have back fat and our hair should be thick and our lips luscious. It's rough! If you can change the way a woman looks at herself in an instant and all it takes is putting on a bra, that is huge.